Still the maddest statement to say and I have to pinch myself a little bit each time I talk about it. I am currently completing a Masters Degree in Publishing, i’m very near the end of the course now and it’s been a very intense time of assessments, industry preparation and trying to bloody understand profit and loss sheets. After losing the final year of my undergraduate degree to Covid I promised myself I would say yes to more opportunities at my MA and make the most of my final year as a student. Two weeks into the course an email came through asking for volunteers who would like to work on a children’s anthology, I applied and got accepted.

Stories of Care is a is writing and outreach organisation founded by (BAFTA award winning and complete legend) Sophie Wilan. Stories of Care work with writers from diverse backgrounds to help nurture their creative voices so that they can tell their stories to the world. The team gives voices to the typically unvoiced and allows them to create exceptional pieces of art and literature.

Their latest book ‘Tales of the Bold, the Brave and the Beautiful” is a short-story anthology featuring high energy stories written by a multitude of writers and who provide representation for those not typically included in literature.

I worked within the editorial team, fiercely led by Kaye Tew, and watched the process from development to the final production of the book. We were each given 2 titles that were our ‘lead titles’ where we independently led copy-edits, structural edits and relayed information back to the authors. I was beyond lucky to work on ‘Marley and the Mango’ and ‘Amber’s Teddy’ and I feel exceptionally proud of the final stories created by the wonderful Reece and Sophie.

I think people are quick to dismiss roles such as editorial when thinking about the general production of a book. It takes deep focus, passion, a nurturing presence and bouts of creativity to be able to successfully edit somebody else’s words. I found myself struck by how deeply personal the process can be as you get the privilege of developing and strengthening somebody’s creation.

Jacqueline Wilson endorsed the book. Read that again. I can’t believe it either. It seems utter madness that my name can be found alongside an author that filled row upon row of my bookshelf as a child. The whole process was very special and I feel very proud to have been a small part of a wonderfully, vibrant and liberating project.

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