An A-Z of all our wonderful speakers

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Jannat Ahmed grew up in Barry, Wales and is Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Lucent Dreaming. She graduated with a MA in English Literature from Cardiff University and is better known for her work as Subscriptions and Marketing Officer at Poetry Wales where she introduced, and now manages, Wales Poetry Award and Wales Young Poets Award/Gwobr Beirdd Ifanc Cymru. 

Jannat Ahmed

Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Lucent Dreaming

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Jannat Ahmed grew up in Barry, Wales and is Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Lucent Dreaming. She graduated with a MA in English Literature from Cardiff University and is better known for her work as Subscriptions and Marketing Officer at Poetry Wales where she introduced, and now manages, Wales Poetry Award and Wales Young Poets Award/Gwobr Beirdd Ifanc Cymru. 

Nelle Andrew is a literary agent at Rachel Mills Literary (RML). She represents award winning and bestselling authors from Elizabeth Day and Sara Collins to Bryony Gordon, Beth Underdown, Ayisha Malik and Heidi Perks. She won Agent of the Year at the British Book Awards having been nominated in 2018 and was a Bookseller Rising Star in 2016.

Nelle Andrew

Literary Agent at Rachel Mills Literary

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Melis is currently the Social Media Associate for Lantana, a role which she undertook after completing her MSc in Publishing from Edinburgh Napier University. After attending an SYP conference in 2017, she was inspired to pursue a career in publishing, and went on to help organise the SYP Scotland 2020 conference as a conference committee member. 

Melis Anik

Social Media Associate at Lantana

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Georgie graduated with distinction from City, University of London in 2020 with an MA in Publishing, having previously studied Anthropology at the University of Bristol. Her first role out of Uni is with The Tandem Collective, a digital marketing agency that serves the publishing and film industries, as a campaign manager. She has worked with clients including Penguin Random House, Hachette and Curzon and has experience delivering events and interviewing authors.

Georgie Bewes

Campaign Manager at Tandem Collective UK

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Naomi Bacon is the founder and director of Tandem Collective, a global marketing agency with a focus on community building, partnerships and peer-to-peer marketing initiatives, predominantly servicing the publishing industry. Clients include Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette, Bloomsbury and Pottermore. In 2020, Naomi was nominated by The Bookseller as one of the top 150 most influential people in publishing.

Naomi Bacon

Founder and Director of Tandem Collective UK

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Shalini Bhatt is a Recruitment Consultant specialising in Publishing Recruitment at Inspired Selection. She is also the Jobs Officer on the SYP Committee and is delighted to be joining the panel at this year's conference to give her top tips and advice on interviews. Shalini also has an MA in Publishing and has helped to place many publishing hopeful in their first jobs, as well as support experienced candidates progress through their publishing careers.

Shalini Bhatt

Recruitment Consultant at Inspired Selection

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Elle Brenton-Rounding is Senior Sales and Business Development Manager at Bonnier Books, Children’s, where she has been since March 2021. She is co-head of the foreign sales department, where she is focusing primarily on North America and global business development; she has sold rights into over 35 languages. She has worked in publishing since 2016, starting in sales at Octopus Books, doing a stint in academic publishing, and having most recently been in charge of fiction rights at Little Tiger. She was the 2020 London SYP Chair, has been shortlisted for two Trailblazer Awards, and lectures on both publishing and in social work departments on her MA dissertation research.

Elle Brenton-Rounding

Senior Sales and Business Development Manager at Bonnier Books UK, Children's

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Suki Broad is an Online Submissions Coordinator at Taylor & Francis Group and will be speaking on our 'Tackling the Misinformation' Panel

Suki Broad

Online Submissions Coordinator at
Taylor & Francis Group

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Suzanne Collier is known as THE person to see if you want to get ahead in book publishing. She’s a fully qualified Registered Career Development Professional (RCDP) who specialises in book industry roles and regularly coaches people for job interviews. Suzanne is the founder of bookcareers.com, runs a periodic salary survey for the industry, and has been shortlisted by the IPG three times for Services to Publishing. Her book 'How to Job Search in Publishing' will be published in 2022.

Suzanne Collier

Writer, Consultant and Founder of BookCareers

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Paula is a Senior Digital Content Controller and has worked at Oxford University Press for six years working in the Academic division. Their role involves managing the sourcing, production, and conversion of online products and journals content for publication online and further re-use. They have also been a trade unionist for 3 years and stepped up to be a union representative last year during the first lockdown and are now the branch Equalities Officer.

Paula Dunne

Senior Digital Content Controller at OUP

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Carlos has a Degree in Journalism, 16 years of experience in international publishing sales and for the last 4 years he has been running a Public Speaking Coaching consultancy with bases in Oxford (UK) and Valencia (Spain). In 2020 Carlos published his first book, 'Public Speaking: A Very Practical Introduction' in which he makes the mysteries and challenges of Public Speaking easier to apply to everyday situations for personal and professional success. He coaches individuals and corporate teams on crafting their speeches, presentations and brands because he believes in the power of the spoken word to drive positive change.

Carlos Gimeno

Public Speaking Coach and Author

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Jane Harley is Policy and Partnership Director, UK Education, Oxford University Press. She has over 30 years’ publishing experience in the education field, working on both UK curricula and resources for the international market. For many years, she was the Editorial Director for Primary at OUP, responsible for some of the leading reading programmes used in primary schools today, including Oxford Reading Tree and Read Write Inc.

Jane Harley

Policy and Partnership Director at OUP

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Helena is a Senior Lecturer and Subject Coordinator for the MA Publishing (via distance learning) at Oxford Brookes University. Helena's professional career spans publishing, bookselling, and digital consultancy. As Publishing Innovation Manager at Blackwell she completed a Knowledge Transfer Partnership developing and launching the UK’s first custom textbook service to incorporate chapters from multiple copyright holders. Prior to this she worked in International Sales at Taylor & Francis and was Head of New Business at Perini Networks.

Helena Markou

Senior Lecturer and Subject Coordinator
at Oxford Brookes University

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Sam Missingham is an award-winning book marketer and publishing consultant. She runs The Empowered Author, a book marketing membership service for authors. She also works as a consultant for publishers and authors. 

Prior to this she worked at HarperCollins UK for 4 years as head of audience development where she ran large-scale marketing campaigns that connected books and authors with readers. Previous to HarperCollins she worked at the industry trade magazine, The Bookseller, running conferences, awards, marketing where she was also co-founder of FutureBook, its digital publishing community.

Samantha Missingham

Book Marketer, Publishing Consultant and Founder of The Empowered Author

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Cat Mitchell is a Lecturer and the Programme Leader for the Creative Writing and Publishing degree at the University of Derby. Before working in academia, she worked for five years in the publishing industry in various marketing and publicity roles. She is currently doing research into disability and publishing.

Cat Mitchell

Lecturer and Programme Leader for the Creative Writing and Publishing Degree at University of Derby

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Heather O’Connell has over two decades of publishing experience, which involve working both on a B2B and C2B basis. This panel will take a look at the current hiring trends following a global pandemic. What differentiates you from the rest of the candidates? How should you identify what publisher fits your unique set of skills? These and more questions will be answered during our hour-long panel. Heather’s presentation will be followed by a Q&A from the audience.

Heather O'Connell

Founder of Bluebird Consulting

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Jane has worked in the charity sector since 2003 when she began working for national reading charity Volunteer Reading Help.

In 2008 Jane & colleague Elaine Adams set up a new charity ARCh, with trained volunteers providing personalised reading support for children in primary schools throughout Oxfordshire.

The charity has since helped thousands of children develop a love of reading, enhancing their lives at school and beyond.

Jane Rendle

Development Manager at ARCh
(Assisted Reading for Children)

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Penny Thomas is the Publisher and

Co-Founder of Firefly Press, which publishes fiction for children aged five to nineteen. She has also worked as the fiction editor for Seren literary publishers and as a journalist in the regional press, where she was at various times an environment reporter. Firefly is one of the founder signatories of the Publisher's Association's Publishing Declares pledge to make the industry more sustainable. She lives and works in Cardiff.

Penny Thomas

Publisher and Co-Founder of Firefly Press

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Sanne Vliegenthart has been recommending books online since 2008, through her Book and Quills YouTube channel. She currently works in London as a freelance social media consultant and literary event host. Her videos about her favourite reads, the publishing industry and author interviews have been viewed by more than 15 million people. She loves using her years of experience working in the publishing industry and the online reading world to create connections and inspire readers. 

Sanne Vliegenthart

Freelance Social Media Consultant
and Literary Event Host

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Beth Cox is an Inclusion and Equality consultant and has worked in publishing since 2003 (before which she was a primary school teacher). She has been self-employed since 2011 and making books inclusive since 2005, long before it became ‘popular’. She was on the steering group for the Scope In The Picture Project (2005-2008), and in 2013 co-founded Inclusive Minds alongside Alexandra Strick.

Beth Cox

Inclusion and Equality Consultant 

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Beth Fennell works for
Penguin Random House Children’s rights team and manages licensing rights for Eastern European and Russian languages. 


Beth Fennell

Rights Executive at Penguin Random House Children's

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Chelsea is an MA Publishing graduate and Editorial Assistant, and after founding The Publishing Post in June 2020, is excited to continually see the magazine provide a well-needed voice and source of insight to those hoping to get into the publishing industry.

Chelsea Graham

Founder of The Publishing Post and
Editorial Assistant at Happiful Magazine

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Lucy is a literary agent for children’s writers and illustrators at Jenny Brown Associates in Edinburgh, chair of Barrington Stoke and co-founder of Picture Hooks.  She has worked in the publishing industry for over 25 years.

Lucy Juckes

Literary Agent at Jenny Brown Associates

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Keltie Mechalski is the Media Rights Executive at Penguin Random House UK. She moved from Canada to England to pursue a MA in Publishing at City University of London after which she worked in the Rights teams at HarperCollins as well as Conville & Walsh before settling at PRH UK at the beginning of 2020. Keltie reactively and actively negotiates film, TV and theatre deals for titles across the entirety of the company and especially loves working on children’s musical theatre adaptations and independent short films.

Keltie Mechalski

Media Rights Executive
at Penguin Random House 


Jason Mitchell is Acquisitions Editor at Elsevier responsible for Chemistry, Physics and Economics content. He has 20 years’ experience in the academic/STM publishing sectors after completing an M.Phil in Publishing Studies at the University of Stirling. Jason is Chair of the STM Early Careers Graduate sub-committee, and has written articles for LOGOS, the quarterly journal of the world publishing community.

Jason Mitchell

Senior Acquisitions Editor at Elsevier

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Zaahida Nabagereka is Programme Manager for Lit in Colour, working between Runnymede Trust and Penguin Random House. Lit in Colour is campaign designed to increase the representation of authors of colour in English Literature taught in UK schools. Zaahida completed her doctorate at SOAS focusing on linguistic imperialism in Uganda and how it affects contemporary literature production in indigenous languages. She then co-founded Afrikult, a literary organisation seeking to widen access to African literatures through interactive workshops in 2014. 

Zaahida Nabagereka

Programme Manager for Lit in Colour at Penguin Random House and Runnymede Trust

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Juliet is an agent and director at Blake Friedmann Literary Agency, and represents a broad range of fiction – from romantic to literary, via short stories – and non-fiction – from memoir through nature writing to politics and cookery. She enjoys contemporary books that encourage conversation, dig deep into character and culture, and offer fresh, inspiring perspectives.

Juliet Pickering

Agent and Director at Blake Friedmann
Literary Agency

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Jasmine Richards has worked in children's publishing for over 15 years and written over a dozen books for children, ranging from picture books to teen fiction. Her most recent books are Lucas Dives Deep and Aziza's Secret Fairy Door, which she has co-written with Tọlá Okogwu, under the pen name Lola Morayo. Jasmine is also the founder of Storymix, a children’s book incubator with a social purpose. They create stories with inclusive casts of characters. All children, regardless of background, get to be the heroes in our stories. 

Jasmine Richards

Founder of Storymix and Children's Author

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Irina is an early career scholarly and academic publishing professional with experience in STM Open Access (OA) journals. Her main areas of expertise are OA strategy, policy and research funding. Formerly part of the Springer Nature OA Strategy team, I have recently made the transition to the fast-growing publisher EMJ Reviews where I am developing my skills as a data analyst in the Marketing team, with a view to growing the audience of their OA journals.

Irina Surducan

Database and Support Coordinator at
Springer Nature

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Ellen joined ROCKET marketing agency as a Campaign Manager at the start of 2021.

She specialises in managing search, social and influencer campaigns to target youth and parent audiences within the education and publishing industry.

Ellen Statham

Campaign Manager at
ROCKET Marketing Agency

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Shareen Wilkinson is an English adviser and a primary senior leader, leading on teaching and learning for a multi-academy trust. In addition, Shareen was previously an LA lead primary adviser and has over 20 years’ experience in education. She is an established educational author, series editor and writer with 10 years’ experience in publishing, having written for leading educational publishers. She is also the joint series editor and author for the Oxford University Press Word Sparks reading programme. 

Shareen Wilkinson

English Adviser and Primary Senior Leader