Freelance designer and illustrator Lisa Horton originally studied to be a fashion illustrator before finding herself in the world of YA and kids’ book design, via a stint in adult fiction and a return to college to study Graphic Design. Among many others, she has designed a series of covers for author Lisa Heathfield, including Paper Butterflies, which was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2017.
Hannah Sheppard is a Branford Boase Award-nominated editor who has worked in trade publishing for fifteen years. She started her career at Macmillan Children’s books before moving to Headline Publishing Group to run the YA and crossover list, where she published Tanya Byrne’s Heart-Shaped Bruise, Jennifer E. Smith’s The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and Julianna Baggott’s Pure trilogy. She is now a literary agent with the D H H Literary Agency, representing authors such as Abi Elphinstone and Keris Stainton.
Cecelia Ahern was born and grew up in Dublin. She is now published in nearly fifty countries, and has sold over twenty-five million copies of her novels worldwide. Two of her books have been adapted as films and she has created several TV series. She and her books have won numerous awards, including the Irish Book Award for Popular Fiction for The Year I Met You. She lives in Dublin with her family.
Julie Scheina is a freelance editor of children’s and young adult fiction. As Senior Editor at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, she worked with talented authors and artists on books for ages 0–18+. Since founding Julie Scheina Editorial Services, she has collaborated with debut and bestselling authors, as well as publishers, packagers, and agents. During her career, she has edited numerous acclaimed and bestselling books for children and teens, including #1 New York Times bestsellers, a Lamda Literary Award finalist, a William C. Morris Young Adult Debut Award finalist, and an Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy nominee.
Karen Ball has over 25 years’ experience of the publishing industry. Her career includes periods as Head of Editorial at Working Partners and Publisher at Little, Brown Books For Young Readers. In September 2016 she launched Speckled Pen, a creative consultancy aimed at helping content generators develop publisher-facing projects. Together with three industry friends, she organises the Book Bound writers’ retreat, aimed at children’s authors.
Mike English is a freelance food and lifestyle photographer based in London. Shooting for various top magazines and publications, as well as ad agencies and food manufacturers, Mike traces his passion for food back to when, aged 5, he was taught how to cook by his Grandmother. Not long after, it was his fashion photographer uncle who first inspired him to pick to up a camera. Having previously owned a studio, he now operates from his home, which has a large shooting space.
Laura Nickoll a freelance project manager and editor, specialising in non-fiction food, cookery and lifestyle illustrated titles and TV tie-ins. A member of the Guild of Food Writers, her recent contributions include restaurant reviews and chef biographies for the Where Chefs Eat series and Where to Eat Pizza (Phaidon Press). She has over 15 years’ experience in the publishing business and has worked with numerous high-profile authors and production companies, including Rachel Allen, Mary Berry, Annabel Karmel, the BBC, Neal Street Productions, and Masterchef. She launched her publishing services business in 2011, and clients include Hardie Grant, Ebury, HarperCollins, Bluebird (Macmillan), Phaidon Press, Simon & Schuster, and Orion.