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 the United States, Canada, Australia and India. Within the UK division, there are three imprints: Simon & Schuster; Scribner 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 is a publishing house of quality writing and a proud home to its authors and their exceptional work. It also runs a sales and distribution service for a number of independent and international publishers including Andrews McMeel, Black Library, Boom! Studios, Elliott & Thompson, Gallup Press, Inner Traditions, National Geographic Adult Books, Rebellion and VIZ Media.
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Simon & Schuster UK Editors
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, Adult Fiction
I head up the Adult Fiction team at Simon & Schuster UK, and oversee the strategy of the list as a whole. My career has taken me from HarperCollins, to S&S, to Orion and back to S&S, and my passion is finding brilliant authors and bringing their books to as wide an audience as possible. I am drawn to strong storytelling, fresh voices and interesting hooks, and publish primarily across women’s fiction, reading group fiction and historical fiction. I have been lucky enough to work with authors such as Tracy Chevalier, Joanne Harris, Erica James, Cathy Kelly, Milly Johnson and Libby Page, plus many more. I love discovering debut writers with a career ahead of them, and also working with more established authors on growing their brands. I am currently looking for strong hook-led reading group/general fiction that bucks the trend, a big love story and a big-ideas novel that will change the way we think. I like to be surprised, but will respond best to plot-driven novels with great writing.
Brand Development Director, Adult Fiction
I joined Simon & Schuster in 2007 and spent 12 years as Special Sales Director in the Sales team, as well as working closely with the Editorial, Marketing and Publicity teams as Brand Director for our women’s fiction community Books and the City, which I launched on Valentine’s Day 2011. I moved into the Editorial team in November 2019, working across the adult fiction list, identifying new talent and helping to grow the profile of our already established authors. I continue to run our Books and the City community and manage our women’s fiction #DigitalOriginals #OneDay open submission publishing programme.
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.
Commissioning Editor, Adult Fiction
I am currently looking for hooky crime/thrillers, reading group/book club and women’s fiction with bite, although that’s a much smaller part of my list. I love dark, high-concept novels like Stuart Turton’s The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven. I like speculative fiction, strong, character-led crime, plots with a twist that you don’t see coming and stories that are told in unique ways. A book I would have loved to have published is The Binding by Bridget Collins. I’ve loved working with Robert Crais as well as on the amazing crime debut Firewatching by Russ Thomas. I’m also incredibly excited to publish The High Moments by Sara-Ella Ozbek, a filthier, more candid version of The Devil Wears Prada.
Editor, Adult Fiction
I look after a range of authors, from big brands to exciting new voices, including Heidi Swain, Kate Rhodes, Claire Frost and Sheila Jeffries. I’m chiefly looking for female-driven commercial fiction, from heart-warming and hilarious romantic comedies with a character I can really root for, to atmospheric suspense novels with powerful, threatening backdrops. I love classic murder mysteries and locked-room settings, and in women’s fiction I want something that will either make me laugh or cry! I’m also looking for nostalgic family sagas and I’m always on the lookout for an exciting saga name to bring to our growing list. Love Songs for Sceptics by debut author Christina Pishiris publishes April 2020 and I am immensely excited about that. It has hilarious writing and loveable characters set against the backdrop of great music – what’s not to like?! I’m also hugely proud to see Kate Rhode’s crime series set on the Scilly Isles get the recognition it deserves. Look out for Burnt Island coming soon.
Publishing Director, Non-fiction
Apart from overseeing the day-to-day activity of the non-fiction programme, I acquire mainly in history, politics, memoir and popular music. Over the past few years here at Simon & Schuster UK, I have published a variety of indigenous bestsellers such as The Age of Bowie by Paul Morley, The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah by said artist, The Century Girls by Tessa Dunlop, and, Spitfire: A Very British Love Story by John Nichol. Working with my US colleagues I have also been the UK publisher for recent number-one bestsellers Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen, and, What Happened by Hillary Clinton.
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.
Managing Director, Children’s Division
I started as MD of Simon & Schuster Children’s Division in February 2016. I first joined Simon & Schuster in 2005 as Children’s Rights Director, before crossing the globe to become Managing Director of an Australian Publishing house for six and a half years. There I managed a business publishing up to 400 titles per year, from board books and novelties to picture books and licensing. From 2014 I was responsible for concurrently setting up and managing a new start-up Adult Publishing house which I branded Echo, focusing on non-fiction, fiction, true crime and photography. Prior to that I worked for The Watts Publishing Group (Hachette) and Phaidon.
I’ve worked on partnerships with licensors such as Dreamworks, worked with brands including Dr Seuss and Sesame Street and with authors and illustrators including Lauren Child and Ben Cort. I love finding and nurturing new talents to launch on a global platform. I’m passionate about getting amazing stories published and into hands of millions of readers worldwide.
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.
Art director, Picture Books and Novelties
I first joined Simon & Schuster in 2008 and have over twenty years’ experience in children’s publishing, working for Penguin, Little Tiger Press, Random House and Dorling Kindersley. Over the course of my design career I've worked with a huge and varied array of award-winning illustrators, including Benji Davies, Sara Ogilvie, Liz Pichon and Kate Hindley.