Simon & Schuster UK is one of the leading general book publishing companies in the UK. The group is based in London with sister companies in Australia, India, Canada and the United States. Within the UK division, there are three imprints: Simon & Schuster; Simon & Schuster Illustrated and Simon & Schuster Children's Books, which publish a wide and eclectic mix of authors ranging across commercial fiction, literary fiction, general non-fiction, and children's publications. Home to bestselling authors and award winners, Simon & Schuster UK prides itself on being a commercially driven publishing house of quality writing. It also runs a sales and distribution service for a number of independent and international publishers including VIZ Media, Andrews McMeel Publishing, Rebellion, and Black Library.
Managing Director, Adult Publishing Division
I joined Simon & Schuster in 2000 from Macmillan. I oversee the Adult Editorial department, working closely with our Fiction and Non-fiction Publishing Directors on the shape and focus of our hardcover and paperback lists. I am lucky enough to have a commissioning role as well, and I edit a number of our authors, predominantly in fiction but also in the areas of narrative non-fiction and memoir.
I am proud to work with authors such as Philippa Gregory and Santa Montefiore. We have taken both to Number One on the Sunday Times bestseller list. Publishing Child 44, Tom Rob Smith’s astonishing debut, in 2008 has been a highlight, as have his three subsequent thrillers, including his Number One bestseller, The Farm. Commercial women fiction authors whom I have brought to the list include Milly Johnson, Paige Toon and Rachel Hore. American fiction is also a great love of mine and I am fortunate to count among the authors whom I work with Pulitzer Prize-finalist Philipp Meyer, Pulitzer Prize-winning Anna Quindlen, Alice Hoffman, 2016 Man Booker-longlisted Virginia Reeves and Waterstones favourite Joseph Kanon.
My non-fiction over the years includes Sting’s Broken Music, two volumes of memoir by Anjelica Huston, The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan, Poems That Make Grown Men Cry, edited by Anthony and Ben Holden, which was 2014’s highest-selling poetry book in the UK, David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon and the upcoming biography of Mikhail Gorbachev by Pulitzer Prize-winning William Taubman. Rupi Kaur’s new poetry collection will be a stand-out title in the autumn of 2017, building on the onoing success of her first, milk and honey.
Publishing Director, Fiction and Audio
What I’m looking to acquire: For S&S I am looking for stylish, compelling crime fiction and thrillers: I want to be shocked by twists and intrigued by unreliable narrators; swept along by a relentless narrative pace; gripped by drama. I will also happily settle down with ‘cosier’ crime, establishing series characters and developing the community and location as an integral part of the overall appeal. I am looking for women’s fiction that makes the reader think and feel deeply – ensuring you wonder ‘What would I do if that happened to me?’. And I also love well-written historical fiction – I will champion Ferney by James Long forever. For Scribner, I am keen to acquire beautifully crafted, evocative and original storytelling with broad appeal – my recent acquisition The History of Bees is a highlight.
Books I’m proud of/looking forward to: Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift; The Caller by Chris Carter; This Love by Dani Atkins; The Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer; The Night Raid by Clare Harvey.
Editorial Director, Scribner
What I’m looking to acquire: I am looking for brilliantly crafted literary fiction, stylish storytelling with broad appeal, and distinctive narrative non-fiction, as well as intelligent suspense and mysteries – in English and translation. I love an utterly convincing voice and setting – whether that’s contemporary or historical – and compelling characters, or a story that no one else can tell. I am keen on genre-bending storytelling, unreliable narrators and clever plot twists.
Books I’m proud of/looking forward to: The North Water by Ian McGuire; The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende; Back to Moscow by Guillermo Erades; Everything I Don’t Remember by Jonas Hassen Khemiri – and in 2017 I am looking forward to The Wanderers by Meg Howrey and Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong.
Editorial Director, Adult Fiction
What I’m looking to acquire: I’m just starting to build my list here at S&S, and am very excited about commissioning big, mass-market fiction, with a particular focus on crime, thrillers, science fiction and fantasy. I love fast-paced, page-turning action and adventure (preferably with lots of explosions). And there’s a special place in my heart for books that use the trappings of genre to explore gentler subjects, like Becky Chambers’ The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, the award-winning science fiction novel that uses space opera as the lens to examine the meaning of family.
Books I’m proud of/looking forward to: Debut author Catherine Steadman’s Something in the Water, my first acquisition here at S&S, which will publish in July 2018. It’s A Simple Plan meets The Couple Next Door and heralds the launch of a brilliant new talent in psychological suspense.
What I’m looking to acquire: Something snappy and addictive for the millennials in the tradition of Girls and all things Lena Dunham, Anna Kendrick and Amy Schumer. I’d also love something that will fit in the newly coined ‘Midsters’ market, something for fans of Catastrophe and Big Little Lies. The key things I’m looking for in all of my commercial women’s fiction are a strong hook, great relationships, humour and/or a sucker punch of emotion.
Books I’m proud of/looking forward to: Catherine Bennetto’s How Not to Fall in Love, Actually – one of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time – the next generation Helen Fielding. I’m looking forward to publishing Holly Hepburn’s new book, The Picture House by the Sea, which comes out in August, and Heidi Swain’s next Christmas bonanza, Sleigh Rides and Silver Bells at the Christmas Fair, which will publish in October.
What I’m looking to acquire: I’m looking for upmarket reading group fiction with crossover appeal. I enjoy thoughtful, intelligent writing combined with a well-crafted, tight plot. I’m drawn to novels with a strong, emotionally compelling narrative and an intriguing, unique voice. In particular, I’m a big fan of high-concept and speculative fiction and I’m quite partial to quirky or unreliable narrators.
Books I’m proud of/looking forward to: One of my first acquisitions, debut author Jordan Harper’s edgy, filmic novel, A Lesson in Violence, publishing in August 2017. It’s a raw and intense novel about a father, a daughter, and the extreme measures a parent takes to protect his child from harm.
Editorial Assistant, Fiction
Books I’m proud of/looking forward to: I’m delighted to be working on Rupi Kaur’s next two books; Rupi is a young Canadian poet who rose to prominence on Instagram with her debut collection milk and honey. I’m really excited about Anatomy of a Scandal, a thrilling story of a high-profile marriage and a terrible crime, coming in January 2018. I’m thrilled that we’re publishing Meg Howrey’s The Wanderers and looking forward to Goodbye, Vitamin, both coming in 2017.
Publishing Director, Non-fiction
I have led commissioning departments that have acquired Professor Brian Cox’s Wonders of . . series; Downton Abbey ITV tie-in (number one bestselling title both sides of the Atlantic). I really love working in the genres of narrative history, popular science, politics and serious memoir and acquired both physical and digital projects with high-profile authors, brands and organisations. I have enjoyed various best sellers with the likes of Karren Brady, Carl Honore, Sir David Attenborough, the Imperial War Museum, Ferdinand Mount, Jonathan Fenby, Paul Morley, James Naughtie, Michael Portillo, and Sir Ranulph Fiennes.
Editorial Director, Non-fiction
I joined Simon & Schuster in December 2012, initially as Head of Sport, having previously worked at Headline and then Orion, where I was Non-Fiction Publishing Director. Our sports list at Simon & Schuster focuses on the twin strands of personality books and quality sports writing. Recently, we have published memoirs by Dennis Bergkamp, Geoffrey Boycott, David Lloyd and Nigel Mansell, building on the company’s track record with stars such as Pelé, Paula Radcliffe and Paul Scholes. Previously, I have worked with Brian Clough, Nick Faldo, Paul Gascoigne and Martin Johnson and many other sporting legends. This year I am most excited by Joey Barton’s brilliant book No Nonsense.
We have also published numerous award-winning sports writers, including Mike Atherton, Gideon Haigh, Simon Hughes, Ronald Reng and David Walsh, winning the William Hill Sports Book of the Year prize with authors Tom Bower, Donald McRae and Brian Moore. In the Cross Sports Book Awards of 2016, we had more shortlisted books than any other imprint.
Beyond sport, I have published in a wide range of areas, especially business, autobiography and humour, working with Duncan Bannatyne, Leslie Phillips, Andy Taylor and Marco Pierre White to name but a few. This autumn’s highlights include Spaceman by astronaut Mike Massimino and The Phantom Atlas, a lavish look at the maps that got it very wrong, by Edward Brooke-Hitching.
Senior Project Editor, Non-fiction
I studied Literature and Linguistics at York University, before training as a copy-editor with Cambridge University Press. After three years in editorial at Headline Publishing Group, I joined Simon & Schuster in 2012, to work with commissioning editors across the non-fiction team. I edit within a wide range of genres, including history, celebrity autobiography, TV tie-in, current affairs, business, sport and memoir. I have worked with a number of best-selling and high-profile authors, such as Caroline Flack, Sam Faiers, Ranulph Fiennes and Gordon Brown, and in successful collaboration with popular vlogger Louise Pentland (Sprinkle of Glitter), the founders of Not on the Highstreet.com and the programme makers of the Mr Selfridge series.
Commissioning Editor, Non-fiction
I recently joined Simon & Schuster in March 2016, and I have previously worked for Hodder & Stoughton, commissioning for the non-fiction imprint Coronet, as well as within the non-fiction teams at both Ebury and Orion. As an editor, my aim has been to gain as much experience as possible across the genres I love: TV, music, film, and popular culture. To that end I am fortunate to have worked with a fantastic range of authors, from award-winning comedians and actors to critically-acclaimed journalists, chefs and pop stars. At Simon & Schuster I hope to acquire books which feel timely and tap into the current zeitgeist, and I am delighted to have acquired the memoir from Geordie Shore star, Scotty T, which I look forward to publishing this autumn. I am particularly interested in autobiography, biography, gift and humour and books which will, ultimately, entertain.
Editorial Assistant, Non-fiction
After working in television production for three years, I began my publishing career at Simon & Schuster in 2014. I started as Digital Publishing Assistant, supporting both the Editorial and Digital departments and moved across to the non-fiction team in January 2016. My areas of interest include popular culture, humour and narrative non-fiction. I have recently commissioned my first book – a collection of darkly comic, illustrated essays entitled Literally Me by popular Instagram illustrator Julie Houts (@jooleeloren).
Managing Director, Children’s Division
I first joined Simon & Schuster back in 2005 with the role of Children’s Rights Director until 2009 when I crossed the globe to become Managing Director of The Five Mile Press (part of Bonnier) in Australia, which specialises in children’s books and adult non-fiction. From 2014 I also managed Echo Publishing, a complementary adult imprint concentrating on narrative non-fiction, true crime, photographic and fiction titles. I was so pleased to come back to S&S when I was offered the role of Children’s Managing Director, returning to the UK in February 2016. In my publishing career I have previously worked for Phaidon and The Watts Publishing Group, now part of Hachette. I have also helped to establish major partnerships with businesses such as Dreamworks; worked with brands including Sesame Street and Mattel and on projects with authors and illustrators including Lauren Child and Ben Cort, and helped in building new talent including Jedda Robaard and Natalie Marshall.
Editorial Director, Children’s Fiction
I joined Simon & Schuster in 2009, having previously worked at HarperCollins Children’s Books. I oversee the children’s fiction editorial team and work on a number of titles across the list for readers aged 6+, meaning the books I edit are incredibly varied both in genre and age. Authors I work with include Rachel Renee Russell, Danny Wallace, Cassandra Clare, Clare Furniss, Abi Elphinstone and Sophie McKenzie. My editorial tastes are as varied as the list I look after and I love working on funny middle-grade fiction as much as hard-hitting YA with a heart but, ultimately, I’m always looking for a strong voice and stories with that magical quality to inspire a lifelong love of reading. I’m also especially keen to find new authors from different backgrounds and writing that reflects the multi-cultural and diverse world we live in.
Editorial Director, Children’s Fiction
I joined Simon and Schuster in 2012 as editorial director and commission across our four colour lists including picture books, novelties, activity books and licensed properties. I work with a wide variety of authors and illustrators, including Benji Davies, Ben Cort, Claire Freedman, Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet, Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie, Kate Hindley and many more. I’m incredibly proud of our best-selling, award-winning list which is dynamic, diverse and features a mix of established and new and emerging talents. I’m always looking for a good story, an eye-catching illustration, a clever novelty book idea and books with heart and humour (or both!) I’ve previously worked at Egmont, and Oxford University Press, working on picture books, gift books and poetry collections.
If you would like information about careers and opportunities at Simon & Schuster UK, find out HERE.