The Writers’ Advice Centre Team
The Writers’ Advice Centre for Children’s Books is managed by me, Louise Jordan. I believe that writers like to know who they are working with, so I have deliberately limited my team to just six experienced editors, plus one specialist copy editor.
I was one of the original founders back in 1994 and have been in the children’s publishing industry for over 30 years. Having trained as a journalist, I initially worked for IPC Magazines in their youth sector. I was fiction editor on Oh Boy! Magazine, before leaving to write fiction for magazines and books.
After having children of my own, I studied children’s writing at the City Literary Institute where I was tutored by renowned children’s author Elizabeth Hawkins, and worked alongside prize-winning author and children’s laureate, Malorie Blackman.
Before founding the Advice Centre, I worked as Head Reader for Puffin – a role I only gave up in order to concentrate on the Advice Centre full time. I am a previous columnist for Writers News, Writing Magazine and Writers’ Forum and am the author of the best selling title How to Write for Children and Get Published.
In 2015 I launched my own children’s publishing company, Wacky Bee Books, publishing ‘books with a buzz’ for 3 to 12 year olds. The company was specifically launched to pick up some of the more talented writers who come through The Writers’ Advice Centre. However we are now open to unsolicited submissions and are proud of the growing number of titles on our list. Since their launch, Wacky Bee’s successes have included two Carnegie nominations, two books selected for the Summer Reading Challenge, an Empathy Lab inclusion, a Guardian Best New Kids Book selection, finalist in the British Book Design and Production Awards, not to mention two books starring on CBeebies and BBC Bitesize.
Handles submissions of fiction for all ages and also poetry
Tess is a poet and freelance proofreader and editor who also runs creative writing workshops for children and young people. She fits her freelance jobs around working in her local library where she enjoys running Rhyme Time and Storytime sessions and promoting the Reading Agency’s Summer Reading Challenge.
Tess’s poetry is widely published in UK poetry magazines and she has published two pamphlets – Touchpapers (Eyewear, 2016) and Thus the Blue Hour Comes (Indigo Dreams, 2017). Her first full collection – Breakfast at the Origami Café – was published in 2020 by Blue Diode Press. As a writer herself, she appreciates the need for a sensitive, respectful and honest approach to editing.
Tess has a First-Class Honours Degree in English Literature, a Master’s Degree in Creative and Critical Writing and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Primary Education. She is an Entry-Level member of the Chartered Institute of Editors and Proofreaders. For more details about her proofreading service go to www.poemsandproofs.co.uk
Handles submissions of shorter fiction for 5 to 8 year olds and also picture books
As a freelance editor, she has worked for many children’s publishers including Bloomsbury, Element, Orion, Orchard and Scholastic. Notably, she copy edited the manuscript of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and updated a whole series of Enid Blyton titles for Bloomsbury.
Andrea has also written children’s fictional and educational materials. She regularly writes children’s book reviews for The School Librarian and Books for Keeps, is reviewer and web editor for Armadillo magazine and is the children’s specialist for The Good Book Guide. She has MAs in Children’s Literature and The Novel.
Handles submissions of fiction for 5 to 12 year olds and also picture books
As a freelance senior editor, she has worked for many ELT publishers in the UK and abroad, including Cambridge University Press, Zanichelli Editore and Oxford University Press. She has also worked for children’s publisher Red Robin Books on their picture books, and for De Agostini Scuola on their graded readers.
Handles submissions for all ages but is particularly keen on middle grade. Anna is also an editor at Wacky Bee Books.
As a freelance editor she has worked for many children’s publishers including Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hot Key, Stripes and Scholastic. She has completed hundreds of manuscript appraisals for independent clients and particularly enjoys helping YA authors bring out the best in their work.
Anna has also written or ghostwritten dozens of children’s fiction and activity books, from the fiction series Secret Kingdom and Agent Asha to activity books for brands such as Thomas the Tank Engine and Wallace and Gromit. She holds an MA in Russian Studies and gets very excited on the rare occasions she gets to deal with a manuscript containing a Russian component!
Handles submissions of fiction for older children and is also our non-fiction expert
Handles submissions of all types of fiction and non-fiction
His other books for children include picture books Five Naughty Kittens and The Cat that Went Woof! (Franklin Watts); The Bell Tower and The Hangman (Ginn); Sir John Franklin; The Last Duel and Smuggler!; The Lost Purse and The Great Fire of London.
Handles submissions for all ages and is also an editor for Wacky Bee Books.
Prior to joining Roehampton’s staff, and after completing her Literature PhD at the University of Oxford, Amy worked as a Literary Agent (specialising in children’s fiction) at the Felicity Bryan Associates for several years – representing a combination of middle grade and young adult fiction writers.
For the past twelve months, Amy has also consulted as a children’s fiction reader for Maria B. Campbell Associates, recommending titles for Netflix to adapt for television and film.
Handles poetry submissions for children of all ages
Coral has had 3 collections published – Creatures, Teachers and Family Features, Breaking the Rules and My Teacher’s as Wild as a Bison. She has also contributed to over 100 anthologies for children and is featured in Favourite Poets (Hodder). More recently she has written a picture book, The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat, which is illustrated by her daughter and published by Wacky Bee. She won the Caterpillar Poetry Prize 2018 with Mustafa’s Jumper and Wacky Bee have just released an early reader based on the poem, also illustrated by her daughter.
Michael Rosen says of her, “Rumble has a dash and delight about her work.”
Handles submissions for picture books and early readers. Jenny is also an editor for Wacky Bee Books.
She spent 8 years as an in-house editor for Macmillan Children’s Books, working on titles by a variety of both newer and more established, high-profile authors. She also researched and wrote the texts for internationally successful jigsaw book and pop-up book series, illustrated by Anne Sharp.
She has worked in primary and secondary schools, including 5 years as a school librarian.
She loves the creative process of working with an author to develop an initial story idea into a carefully crafted final text.
Over the past 20 years we have been instrumental in helping writers find their place with publishers, whether directly or indirectly. The following is just a handful of our success stories…
"Thank you for turning this around so quickly for me. The feedback is invaluable and will allow me to make a number of really worthwhile amends before approaching publishers. As I go through the report in more detail I may have the odd question, so thank you for being open to further assistance."
R Myles (Manuscript Appraisal Service)
"I’d like to thank you for your words of encouragement. My wife said to my children after the phone call, ‘That’ll be it now, you won’t see your dad for months as he’ll be busy writing.’ How true!"
Neil Swinney (Telephone Appraisal Service)
"Sharing our book with Louise Jordan at the Writers’ Advice Centre was one of our most important steps on the road to publication of our book My Mum’s a Bug-Eyed Monster. Without Louise’s advice about story pacing and which publishers to target, our monster mum may still be languishing in the slush swamp!"
Andy Rigden & Jim Landen (Face to Face Meeting)
"I am finding this writing course very enjoyable and feel inspired by the assignments. I find your feedback particularly motivating and believe that signing up to this course has not only developed my writing confidence, but is one of the best things I did for my writing career"
Kim White (Home Study Course)
"Thank you for facilitating such an excellent workshop yesterday. I would strongly recommend it to anyone wishing to write for children. Experienced writers would definitely benefit from it as well. Pure gold!"
A Chisambo (Writing Workshop)