I’ve been teaching and performing poetry in schools of all kinds for many years, all over the UK and as far away as Kazakhstan. I love working with children and young people of all ages and I have a wealth of age-appropriate material that I’m just itching to get out there.

So you can imagine my excitement to have recently signed a (rare, they tell me) international three book international deal with Hachette, one of the prestigious Big 5 publishing houses. It follows their opening of a Manchester office to cover The North and Scotland and I was honoured to be the very first acquisition of the wonderful and hugely experienced Children’s Picture Book Development Director North, Emma Layfield.

They’ve paired me with a hugely talented and exciting illustrator  – the books will, of course, be credited to us both – and the beautiful illustration work is now well underway.  I’ve learned a great deal about the process of developing a book for the 3-7 age group and a ton more about the whole publishing, production and distribution processes at this top level. Such an amazing collaboration of so many skills and talents.

The deal made headlines in the publishing trade press and you can find out more in the screengrabs below. You can read more about my education work here and my earlier forays into children’s publishing can be found here. My work with children has featured several times on BBC tv and these appearances can be viewed here.

The whole exciting experience has inspired me to maintain the momentum in my writing for children and I now have a number of further projects currently in development.

Huge thanks to Emma at Hachette and to everyone who has supported me this far. Exciting times but a long way still to go. I’ll be sure to keep you posted and so do check back soon for further news. 

Photo : Paul Fosbury Photography