The Team

Here's the team who put Words & Pictures together:

Claire Watts

Claire has been a freelance writer and editor of non-fiction for children for thirty years, though secretly she was always messing around with fiction too. About ten years ago, she decided to concentrate on fiction. Since then, she’s self-published three YA novels and written many more both YA and MG.  After winning W&P's Slush Pile Challenge, she's now represented by Ben Illis. Claire moved from London to rural Scotland twenty years ago and yearns for the city when she’s at home and the country when she’s in the city. Her house is full to bursting with all sorts of books but children’s books are her passion.

You can contact Claire at

A M Dassu (Az) 
Deputy Editor


Five years ago, whilst writing some copy for a friend’s website, A M Dassu rediscovered her love of writing for an audience. Since then her work has been featured on The Huffington Post and the Times Educational Supplement, to name a few. In 2015, her first piece for The Huffington Post, for whom she was a featured writer, was published on the front page, alongside Barack Obama and Lenny Henry. Her previous work experience includes project management, marketing, and some editorial work at Reader’s Digest.

A M Dassu was delighted to receive the Outstanding Contribution Award for her work as Words & Pictures' Events Editor in 2017 and absolutely loves her new role as Deputy Editor. She is currently plotting her next contemporary upper middle grade novel, whilst editing her fiction debut which is due to be published in 2020. She loves planning school workshops and as a lover of hats, she spends a lot of her time choosing which hat to wear.

You can contact Az at

Features Editors

Anne Boyere
Network News Editor

Twitter @AmusedNonQueen
Anne is a writer and a breastfeeding counsellor. She is fluent in English and French but, please, don't ask her to do maths in English or her brain will fry. You can ask her about her four children, husband and cat and she will happily tell you all about them until you beg for mercy. She won the 2018 Winchester's Writers' Festival prize in Funny Fiction for her story about a grandmother were-cow, which she is determined to submit to agents till the cows come home. In her spare time she murders violin pieces or dreams about being invited to Desert Island Discs (spoiler: her book of choice would be Eloise).

Elaine Cline
Writing Competitions Editor 

Elaine is the Writing Competitions Editor and coordinates the quarterly Slush Pile Challenge. She loves to write picture books, middle-grade and teen books. She lives by the sea and has a soft and silly cat and a dog.

Nick Cross
Blog Network Editor


When Nick isn't reading blog posts, he works for Oxford Dictionaries, helping to bring their unique dictionary content to life through digital services. A devoted student of the English language, Nick is an Undiscovered Voices winner who has published over 10 short stories for children, and in 2015 was honours winner of the SCBWI Magazine Merit Award for fiction. He is an illustrator as well as a writer, and loves to create novels that combine words and pictures in exciting new ways.

Hannah Fletcher
Writing Features Editor

Based in North East England, Hannah has worked in the written word world for the past ten years including positions in bookselling, publicity and as a Co-Editor in Chief of a literary magazine. Her time is currently spent as a writing feedback tutor and managing her own creative writing business for children. She is passionate about children’s literature and is currently working on her Middle Grade Fantasy novel called Fable Quinn and the Storyteller’s Scroll. 

Alison Padley-Woods
Deputy Illustration Features Editor

Alison Padley-Woods has been writing for as long as she can remember: for the school magazine, for the student paper at Leeds University and for Conde Nast’s Brides Magazine where she became the Home Editor, writing and styling features. Taking a career break to bring up her three children, Alison completed a Creative Writing MA, specialising in children’s fiction, at Manchester Metropolitan University. Since then her short stories have been included in three anthologies, including Time Travellers and the Crystal Dome —Stories from the Portico Library. She’s been longlisted for the Bath Children’s Novel Award and shortlisted for the Times Chicken House Competition, and Writing Magazine’s Picture Book Prize.

Eleanor Pender
KnowHow Editor


Based in Bristol, Eleanor divides her time between lecturing in digital communications and talking about literary and arts projects. She lived in Edinburgh for six years where she worked for Edinburgh City of Literature Trust and discovered her passion for young readers, going on to chair at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Eleanor has had short stories published in Inaccurate Realities and anthology We Need To Talk published by Jurassic London. She is currently working on a young adult fantasy novel.

You can contact Eleanor at

Fran Price
Events Editor

Fran has been involved in the publishing world for almost 30 years. She was an editor for a range of customer and staff magazines in Bristol before moving back to her Welsh homeland to do a year at art college and then an MA in Creative Writing. She has written several lifestyle features and wrote and illustrated a middle grade children’s story for Aquila magazine. When her second son was tiny she worked for With Kids magazine as researcher and baby page editor. She now writes picture books and middle grade, makes pots, has just become a golden egger.

You can contact Fran at

John Shelley
Illustration Features Editor


John studied illustration under Tony Ross and debuted in London before zipping off to Japan for over 20 years. A former Board member of SCBWI and Assistant Regional Advisor in Tokyo, he’s been a key member of the British Isles Region Illustrator Committee since returning to the UK, while continuing to work on titles for publishers in East and West. Bilingual in Japanese, to date he’s illustrated over 50 children’s books for publishers in the UK, Japan and the USA. He's a multiple nominee for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

You can contact John at

Julie Sullivan
Writing Features Editor


Julie is an American translator (French and German to English) and copy editor and has lived most of her adult life outside the USA. Her four children all went to school in England but only the youngest can switch from one accent to the other on demand. Julie studies classical Chinese for fun (信而好古!), writes historical fiction, and loves the friends she has met volunteering for SCBWI.

BeeBee Taylor 
Celebrations Editor


Professional daydreamer BB Taylor accidentally discovered a love of telling stories through her animals and visiting schools teaching about weird n wonderful animals of different shapes and sizes. From there she was hooked. A enthusiastic author from Birmingham, she loves to travel, sharing stories from her books featuring everything from raccoons and fairies to yetis and zombies.

You can contact BB at

Julia Tuffs
Writing Features Editor

Natalie Yates
Writing Features Editor

When she’s not working as a Teaching Assistant in the local secondary school, Natalie loves to write for young adults. Around family life and writing, she also manages to fit in her role as a SCBWI Networks Coordinator for the North East. She loves to write contemporary realistic novels and was longlisted for the Commonword Diversity Writing for Children prize in 2016, the year in which she also gained an MA in Creative Writing from Hull University. As well as editor for some writing features, Natalie also organises Opening Lines.
You can contact Natalie at


Fran Benson

Fran is a journalist and copywriter, works for a health charity, does the bookkeeping for her husband's business and runs a popular book club at her local primary school. She has three children and a dog. In her spare time she's redrafting a middle grade fantasy which was longlisted for the Bath Children's Novel Award last year. You can say hello on Twitter @journalistfran.

Joan Longstaff

Joan lives in Cambridgeshire and, after spending 25 years in the publishing arm of RNIB where she turned other people's stories into braille, large print and audio, she decided to turn her hand to writing her own. Picture books are her passion and she finds inspiration comes best when there's a healthy supply of tea and biscuits to hand. Follow her on Twitter @joan_longstaff

Jo. E. Verrill


Jo used to work at a radio station, telling off presenters for swearing on air, but has recently quit to pursue her dream of being the funniest children’s writer in the world. She has finished four books to date, which are too good for publication. Jo does not photograph well.

Writers & Columnists

Natascha Biebow

Natascha Biebow is an experienced children's book editor, mentor and coach. She is the founder of a coaching and mentoring service aimed at helping children's authors and illustrators to shape their picture books, young fiction and novels pre-submission.  Passionate about picture books, she writes the bi-monthly Picture Book Storyshaper column for W & P, and blogs at Picture Book Den. She is the author of  The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons, winner of the Irma Black Award and a best STEM book. She has been the co-RA (Chair) of SCBWI British Isles since 1998, and in 2018 was awarded SCBWI Stephen Mooser Member of the Year and an MBE for services to children's authors and illustrators.

Sarah Broadley

Sarah Broadley lives in Edinburgh with her family and two cats. She is a member of SCBWI Scotland. Follow her on Twitter.

Caroline Deacon

Caroline Deacon lives in Edinburgh and is the author of several childcare books. She now writes MG and YA and is agented by Lindsay Fraser of Fraser Ross Associates, Edinburgh. Find her on Twitter @writingdilemmas and at

Elizabeth Frattaroli

Elizabeth Frattaroli is a YA and MG writer who lives by the sea near Dundee. She has been longlisted in The Bath Children’s Novel Award, the Mslexia Children’s Novel Award and the WriteMentor Children's Novel Award and, as of 2020, is also a golden egg with the newly launched GEA Scotland. She is on Twitter @ELIZFRAT.

Tizzie Frankish


After having spent most of her 20’s travelling and studying or travelling to study, Tizzie settled back in her home town of Coventry and into a 15-year career in further education; teaching ESOL, English and assessing learners with dyslexia. By day, she is a mum to two boisterous boys and a part-time university tutor; by night, an agented writer who is plagued by her characters. She has dabbled in poetry, picture books and has short stories published in anthologies, but is currently working on a number of young fiction stories. Her works are often humorous and more often than not include animals; even if she starts out thinking they won’t. Tizzie is an Assistant Writer for Writing West Midlands; Spark Young Writers, the founder of Mighty Writers: Creative Writing Workshops and in 2016 she was selected for the Teachers 204 Writers Development programme. The only time her mind is writing free is when she is exploring her make believe worlds or doing yoga in this one.

Helen Simmons

Helen is a writer of YA fiction, a full time drama teacher and a reader of anything and everything. When she is not putting on shows, reading or writing, Helen loves to walk in wild places, or hang out with her family and friends in London, France and Cornwall.

Kate Walker


Kate  mainly writes MG fantasy as well as dabbling in picture books whenever a character grabs her imagination. Kate lives in Kent with her two children who are addicted to stories just as much as she is.

Art Director

Suzanne Dore


Su is a freelance graphic designer, illustrator and writer. She graduated in fine-art, has completed many children’s book illustration online courses, and joined SCBWI in 2015. Longlisted twice for Undiscovered Voices, and shortlisted twice for Templar Publishing’s Illustration competition. She is currently unpublished and seeking an agent.

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