Hazel Holmes UCLan Publishing

Hazel has a MA in Publishing from Oxford Brookes University. She has worked as the children’s book special- ist for Borders, and for Askews and Holts Library Services as its children’s buyer. Hazel co-ordinates The Northern YA Literary Festival and is currently working on acquisitions for UCLan, building a growing children’s list.

The Bookseller Children’s Conference Meet the speakers

Ni Hongri Beijing International Book Fair

Hongri has helped hundreds of publishers to enter the Chinese market since he joined Beijing International Book Fair in 2015. He is highly experi- enced in children’s books rights trading through his daily contact with both Chinese and international children’s books publish- ers. He is fluent in Chinese, English and Russian.

Sharna Jackson Artistic director & author

Sharna is the artistic director at Site Gallery. She is also a children’s author: her début, High- rise Mystery, was released in April. She is on the board of Sheffield Doc/ Fest and New Writing North, in addition to being a member of BAFTA’s Children’s and Learning and New Talent committees.

Denise Johnstone-Burt Walker

Denise is a publisher and executive editorial director at Walker Books. Since joining in 1998, Denise has published a range of titles, from baby books, picture books and gift books, through to middle grade and YA fiction and non-fiction.

Nicolette Jones Reviewer & author

Nicolette has been the children’s books reviewer of the Sunday Times for more than two decades. She has also written author interviews and features about children’s books for national news- papers, and is a regular event chair. She has judged children’s book prizes and was nominated in 2012 for an Eleanor Farjeon Award.

Philip Jones The Bookseller

Philip Jones is editor of The Bookseller, having first joined the magazine in 1996 as financial news reporter. He has been web editor, managing editor, and deputy editor. His commentary about the book business has been carried across the media. He also co-founded the FutureBook blog, and programmes the FutureBook Conference.

Daphne Lao Tonge Illumicrate & Knights Of

Daphne founded Illumicrate, the UK’s first YA and crossover book subscription box, in 2015. She was an award-winning YA book blogger from 2011–18, and is also marketing director for inclusive children’s publisher Knights Of, and a regular event chair. She can usually be found recommending books on social media.

Alicia Liu Singing Grass

Alicia has a decade of experience in cultural brand-building in lifestyle and entertainment. After working in the Mayor of London’s Strategic Culture Team, she launched her career as a consultancy, Singing Grass, advising international brands including the London Book Fair, Beijing International Book Fair and the BBC.

Lucas Maxwell Librarian

Lucas was born in Nova Scotia, Canada, and has spent the past 10 years working with young people in both public and school libraries. He is a writer for Book Riot and contributes to the School Library Journal. In 2017, he was named the UK’s School Librarian of the Year.

Annette McCartney Pop Up Projects

Annette is special educa- tional needs relationship manager at Pop Up Projects. She has 30 years’ experience as a learning professional. A passionate advocate of visual literacy, Annette has trained special school teachers in techniques for “reading” wordless books to support children with learning disabilities.

Jamila Metran Consultant

Jamila spent many years as a commissioning broadcaster of children’s programming at ITV, and then Sony Pictures Entertainment. She now runs her own consultancy specialising in content development and acquisitions, and channel and broadcast strategy across linear and digital platforms.

Ellis Moore Bolinda

Ellis has worked in the audiobook industry for five years, specialising in audiobook acquisitions across the trade and library market. In 2017, she was named as one of The Bookseller’s Rising Stars, and she currently works as rights and content manager at Bolinda Publishing, the world’s largest independent audiobook publisher.

On the day

Please note that, while every attempt has been made to ensure that the list of speakers is complete and final, changes to the line- up may occur before the conference on 23rd September. Delegates will be informed about such changes and an up-to-date list of speakers can be found at

14 6th September 2019

Suzy Reading Journalist

Suzy is a chartered psychologist, yoga teacher and health coach. She is on the editorial board for Motherdom magazine, is the psychol- ogy expert for wellbeing brand Neom Organics and is a founding member of the Nourish app. Her first book, The Self-Care Revolution, was published by Aster in 2017; she has written two further titles.

Jasmine Richards Storymix

Jasmine is the founder of Storymix, a children’s fiction development studio that creates narratives with an inclu- sive cast of characters. She has also written more than a dozen books, from picture books to teen fiction. Her most recent novel, Keeper of Myths, was published by Harper Collins US last year.

Imogen Russell Williams Reviewer

Imogen reviews children’s books for the Guardian, the Metro and the TLS. She’s also the author of The Big Book of the UK, and a forthcoming poetry collection called The Women Left Behind.

Pete Selby W H Smith

Pete has been at W H Smith since April, having spent the previous eight years as Sainsbury’s head of books and music. He started his retail buying career at Our Price Music in the late 1990s having graduated from Loughborough University. A father of two young children, he is a passionate advocate for children’s publishing.

Penny Thomas Firefly Press

Penny is the co-founder and publisher of Wales- based Firefly Press, which was set up in 2013 to publish fiction for five- to 19-year-olds. Penny has also worked as a fiction editor for literary publisher Seren, among others, and is a trained journalist, having worked in the regional press for 14 years.

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