Spotlight on...


I currently work as: a Freelance illustrator (hooray!)

This year I have worked for: Random House, Bloomsbury Children's Books, Oxford University Press, WHSmith, Higgidy (mmm lovely pies), Usborne Publishing, Macmillan, Historic Royal Palaces (Kensington Palace) and many more . . .

In a former life I was: a social worker

One of my proudest work moments was: when I finally quit my day job and concentrated on the job I love - being an illustrator!  

My favourite children's book is: 
Alice in Wonderland. I remember seeing Sir John Tenniels illustrations when I was a tiny child and being amazed by them.

You'd never guess but: I once made a hat for Lady Bracknell!

If you'd like to contact me: visit my website

2016 Events

Picture Book Taboos: Panel Discussion

Wednesday, 20th April 2016 at 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Location: 80 Strand, WC2R 0RL

Death, bullying, LGBT themes, religion, slavery, war – are there any subjects which are inappropriate for picture books? The panel will be an exploration and a discussion of how picture books cover ‘difficult’ topics, and whether there is anything that should be off-limits in books for the very young.

The panel:

Suzanne Carnell (CHAIR) is publisher for Two Hoots, a new illustrated imprint of Macmillan Children’s Books. With a wealth of experience in children’s books, Suzanne has worked with the likes of Emily Gravett, Axel Scheffler, Lydia Monks, David Roberts, Rod Campbell and Julia Donaldson.

Laura Main Ellen has several years’ experience in children’s bookselling and buying and is currently the Lead Children’s Bookseller at Waterstones Piccadilly. She is also the creator of the YouTube channel and Instagram account Plugging Pictures, where she regularly reviews illustrated books.

Emmi Smid is the author/illustrator of Luna’s Red Hat, a book which deals with the stigma of suicide. With a background in Fine Art and a degree in Design and Illustration, Emmi focuses on designing picture books that tackle social taboos and highlight current global topics.

Jessica Shepherd is the author/illustrator of Grandma, a book which explorers the effects of dementia from the eyes of a child. Jessica’s varied background, including a degree in Illustration and experience working as a carer, has given her a passion to see children’s books used as a tool for discussion about parts of life that may be difficult and not easily understood by children.

Imogen Russell Williams is an arts journalist and critic, writing on trends in children’s and YA publishing for The Guardian, where she has recently written about picture books which bring to light challenging concepts. She also works as an editorial consultant, and reads and reports on manuscripts for The Literary Consultancy.

Sarah Foot is the author of Fragments and Fair Sex. She has written for Vogue, the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. She is currently working on her next novel, Don’t Take Your Love To Town, and lives in Suffolk with her family.

Coming soon:

Picture Book Meet and Critique - 23rd June 2016

Do you want to create a picture book? Are you struggling with a narrative? Does your writing or illustration have the professional polish that editors, designers and agents are looking for? Are you pitching your work at the correct readership and age group? Is your story standing out . . . for the right reasons?

Send us your picture book texts or illustrations and we'll give you an intensive, fifteen-minute session with an industry expert. Top editors and designers will be on-hand to critique your work and share market tips. This is your chance to get professional, one-to-one feedback on your work - places are limited, so get in there quick!

Please note that there are only 35 tickets available and these will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. You must send in your picture book texts or illustrations to by Thursday 2nd June 2015.

Members £10 / Non-members: £15

The CBC Summer Party - July 2016

More details coming soon!

The Patrick Hardy Lecture - September 2016

More details coming soon!

The Eleanor Farjeon Award - November 2016

More details coming soon!


Who are we?

Founded in 1962 as an informal association of children’s book editors, we are a not- for-profit organisation run entirely by a committee of volunteers from the industry. Over the past 50 years, the CBC has expanded to embrace anyone with a professional interest in children’s books, from publishers, librarians, authors and illustrators, to teachers, booksellers and agents.

What We Do

Each year, we put on 10-12 children’s book events in order to promote, explore and celebrate the importance of children’s publishing. These can range from Meet and Critique evenings, to panel debates about everything from digital futures to where to draw the line in teen literature. Hosted by a diverse range of industry experts, we believe that discussion and debate are key factors in driving the children’s book industry forward, and audience participation is actively encouraged.

In order for industry professionals to meet in a less formal setting, we also organise several purely social events, from pub quizzes to spring and christmas drinks evenings.

Connect with us!


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