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Children's Fiction Editor and Book Coach

I'm Jess. I live on a small farm in the Kent countryside with my two ponies, Ammi and Flower, our Patterdale terrier, Woody, and numerous pigs, sheep, chickens, ducks and geese.

 

I am passionate about high-quality children's fiction and helping children develop a life-long love of reading. I have a keen eye for detail and love perfecting and polishing prose. Having completed a Masters in Children's Publishing at Bath Spa University, I am now combining my skills and experience to help you produce your best work and create children's fiction of the highest quality.

Favourite age range: Middle grade, early chapter and picture books.

Favourite genres: Literary, historical, magical realism, fantasy and adventure

Favourite author: Can I pick 3? Lucy Strange, Lindsay Galvin and Kiran Millwood Hargrave. Oh and Julia Donaldson, of course! Make that 4!

Favourite children's character: Harry Potter

Favourite biscuit: Again, almost impossible to choose but I'll go McVitie's Dark Chocolate Digestive.

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A Bit About Me

Q: Have you always been an editor and proofreader?

A: No, I initially worked as a primary school teacher, coordinating literacy across the school. I have many years of experience working with excellent children's literature and teaching the joy of writing. When my children came along, I set up my own business in the Early Years activity sector, running music classes for under 5s and their parents. I also managed the national Instagram account for the franchise which involved content planning and creation. I have always had a keen eye for detail and a natural flair for language and writing.

Q: What is your dream job?

A: I used to say I would have loved to be a commissioning editor at a large children's publishing house. However, setting up Inky Frog has been amazing and so much fun. I get to discover new voices in children's fiction, help authors shape and polish their work and be my own boss with the flexibility I need. 

Q: What qualifications do you have?

A: In addition to my BA in Education and PGCE in English and Early Years, I have just completed a Masters in Children's Publishing (Distinction) which focused on picture book creation, visual narrative, typography, pitching new book proposals, marketing, creation of marketing materials, editing and the use of Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. I have also completed proofreading and copy editing courses with the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) and the Publishing Training Centre (PTC). I am now undertaking further training in developmental editing.

Q: Would you consider working on YA or adult fiction?

A: While much of my work is within children's fiction, I do enjoy YA and adult fiction and will always consider projects if I feel I could be a good fit for the work. However, if I feel a different editor would do better justice to your book, I will tell you. With my background in education I am also always open to working on educational non-fiction projects,

Q: What one piece of advice would you offer beginning writers?

A: Pick up a pen, or open your laptop, and just start writing. No-one is ever happy with their first draft. But until you have something down on paper, you can't begin to improve it. Practice makes progress!

 

Qualifications, Training and Certifications

MA Children's Publishing

Bath Spa University

Modules including picture book creation, visual narrative, typography and marketing.

Teaches how to proofread on PDF, on paper and in Word, and explores common editorial conventions and the role of proofreading in the publishing process.

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