Hi. I'm Lisa.
I help authors and publishers make fun and inclusive children’s books.
When people talk about diversity or inclusion they often only focus on one element.
But there are so many facets of diversity: ethnicity, disability, gender, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status are only a few of the elements I look at through my editing. What’s most important is making books authentically inclusive and fun – this isn’t a box-ticking exercise or focusing on “issues”.
I became interested in inclusivity editing while working as the buyer at BookTrust, the UK’s largest reading charity for children. I was buying 3.5 million books a year that would go to every child, regardless of their backgrounds, so I had to start looking at books in a different way.
There aren’t many books that you can give to every child.
And often there weren’t any books suitable for some of the children I was buying for – particularly books accessible to children with additional needs and children in the care system.
Since then, it’s been my aim to address market failures to ensure books are being published for all children, especially those who are marginalised or vulnerable, because these are the children who would benefit most from the life-changing power of reading.
I do this by combining my expertise on what makes books inclusive with a solid background in the publishing industry. I have worked at major publishers including Simon & Schuster and Hachette, and in departments including editorial, rights, and production.
Not only do I know the industry inside-out, I know what kids actually want to read.
This balance is difficult to get right, and with children’s books held to such a high standard, it’s understandable that people are worried about getting something wrong. Which is why it’s important to work with someone who can put you on the right path from the onset.
I’ve been surrounded by books my whole life. I’m originally from Akron, Ohio, where I grew up on a healthy diet of Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow, and regular visits to possibly the best library system in the world. But I grew up in a white, middle-class bubble where my exposure to difference was limited. I’ve always been more interested in stories different to my own background and learning about new cultures.
Along with helping authors and publishers create inclusive children’s books, I have worked on programmes to get more books from around the world translated into English, so that English-speaking children can be exposed to different cultures from an early age. I know how rewarding exposure to other cultures can be, having lived in three countries and one of the most diverse cities in the world.
After earning a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing in Ohio, I moved to London to get my Master’s in Publishing and have worked in children’s publishing ever since.
I became a freelance editor and publishing consultant when I moved to Munich in 2018, and now work with publishers, authors, translators, and charities around the world.
I’m particularly interested in supporting authors that have been historically underrepresented, and do not currently work on projects where authors focus on identity that is not their own.
Want to know more about me?