Anna Bowles

Anna Bowles - Editor

London, United Kingdom

I have 10+ years' experience working on children's and YA writing at UK publishers including Hachette and HarperCollins.

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Overview

During my decade of experience as an in-house editor, I worked on top children's commercial fiction series such as Rainbow Magic and Beast Quest, becoming a commissioning editor at Hachette before going freelance in early 2015. Since then, as well as taking on individual clients, I have continued to copy-edit for Hachette, Penguin and HarperCollins amongst others, working on high-profile authors such as David Walliams, Babette Cole and Holly Smale. I've also been involved in the fiction publishing side of dozens of brands, from Winnie-the-Pooh to Wallace and Gromit, meaning that I can offer clients the benefit of my extensive experience in developing and working with characters.

I'm a published writer as well as an editor, and my first YA novel, Rapids, has been longlisted for the 2022 Branford Boase award. I've also ghostwritten for the Secret Kingdom and Agent Asha series. So I know what it's like on your side of the desk (or computer) as well as mine!

My fees for work on YA and Middle Grade manuscripts are variable. For any manuscript under 2,000 words I can offer an editorial assessment report covering plot, characterisation, language and market context for a flat fee of £140.

I have connections with Ukraine, and send 20% of my after-tax Reedsy earnings to my friend from Mariupol who now runs a shelter in Kyiv for displaced teenagers.

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Some recent testimonials from my Reedsy clients (see the reviews section for more):

Anna's keen eye for story structure and detail combined with her killer work ethic and human touch makes for a great editorial experience. I really feel I'm getting top-notch industry advice on my manuscripts when working with her. I couldn't recommend her more highly!
– Mez Blume, author of the Katie Watson series

Anna's insight into what publishers and readers are looking for, and also what makes a great story, is a powerful combination. Her ability to marry these priorities and make suggestions that may lead to improvements in both these areas would be a valuable asset to any writer, but was especially enlightening for an unpublished writer like myself. I cannot recommend Anna highly enough, she is like antivirus software for your manuscript.
– Tim Cove, author of the Riftgate series

I gained more in one Developmental Edit from Anna, than I have from many a Creative Writing course. Anna is straight to the point and very insightful. I wish I had paid for a service such as this years ago. This is the missing link for many writers who are yet to be published and looking for clear feedback on their work.
– Emma McGuire, pre-published Middle Grade author
Languages
English (UK)
Fiction
Coming of Age
Contemporary Fiction
Fantasy
Middle Grade
Middle Grade Fantasy
Picture Books
Young Adult Fantasy

Certifications

  • BA in English Literature from Oxford University
  • MA in Russian Studies from University College London

Work experience

Freelance

N/A
April, 2015 – Present (almost 8 years)

I have been freelancing since April 2015, as well as having freelanced previously from 2008 to 2011. In addition to individual authors, my recent clients include HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, Scholastic and various divisions of Hachette.

Commissioning Editor

Octopus (Hachette)
December, 2013 – April, 2015 (over 1 year)

Senior Editor

Carlton Books
December, 2011 – December, 2013 (almost 2 years)

Managing Editor, fiction

Orchard (Hachette)
November, 2010 – December, 2011 (about 1 year)

Editor, fiction and brands

Egmont
December, 2005 – June, 2008 (over 2 years)

Portfolio (16 selected works)

Gangsta Granny Strikes Again!

David Walliams

‘Walliams balances high comedy with an emotional message’ Daily Mail ‘Walliams does comedy with profound, genuine heart’ Guardian The new children’s book from No. 1 bestselling author David Walliams – an extraordinarily brilliant and rollicking mystery adventure illustrated by artistic genius, Tony Ross, and the sequel to the much-loved and bestselling Gangsta Granny. Ben is getting used to li... read more

‘Walliams balances high comedy with an emotional message’ Daily Mail ‘Walliams does comedy with profound, genuine heart’ Guardian The new children’s book from No. 1 bestselling author David Walliams – an extraordinarily brilliant and rollicking mystery adventure illustrated by artistic genius, Tony Ross, and the sequel to the much-loved and bestselling Gangsta Granny. Ben is getting used to li... read more

An Atlas of Tolkien

David Day

This lavish, colour atlas is a complete guide to the weird and wonderful geography of Tolkien's world. Packed with full page maps and illustrations of events in the annals of Middle-earth, it is the perfect companion to the bestselling A Dictionary of Tolkien. This book is unofficial and is not authorised by the Tolkien Estate or HarperCollins Publishers.

This lavish, colour atlas is a complete guide to the weird and wonderful geography of Tolkien's world. Packed with full page maps and illustrations of events in the annals of Middle-earth, it is the perfect companion to the bestselling A Dictionary of Tolkien. This book is unofficial and is not authorised by the Tolkien Estate or HarperCollins Publishers.

Skies of Olympus: Books One, Two & Three (The Immortality Trials)

Eliza Raine

Twelve deadly Trials. A race for immortality. Her last chance for revenge.Olympus is a beautiful but dangerous place, controlled by twelve gods wielding unlimited power. Now they have devised the a new kind of entertainment; a chance for their favourites to compete in twelve Trials to win the ultimate prize - immortality.Lyssa didn’t think the Gods knew who she was, until she was chosen to try... read more

Twelve deadly Trials. A race for immortality. Her last chance for revenge.Olympus is a beautiful but dangerous place, controlled by twelve gods wielding unlimited power. Now they have devised the a new kind of entertainment; a chance for their favourites to compete in twelve Trials to win the ultimate prize - immortality.Lyssa didn’t think the Gods knew who she was, until she was chosen to try... read more

Winnie-the-Pooh: Return to the Hundred Acre Wood (Winnie-the-Pooh - Classic Editions)

David Benedictus

A sequel to A A Milne's original 'Winnie-the-Pooh' stories. It takes you back to the Hundred Acre Wood for more adventures.

A sequel to A A Milne's original 'Winnie-the-Pooh' stories. It takes you back to the Hundred Acre Wood for more adventures.

Radio Silence

Alice Oseman

The second novel by the phenomenally talented author of Solitaire, Alice Oseman - the most talked-about YA writer right now. What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong? Frances has always been a study machine with one goal, elite university. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret - not even the person she is on the inside. But when Frances meets Aled, the s... read more

The second novel by the phenomenally talented author of Solitaire, Alice Oseman - the most talked-about YA writer right now. What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong? Frances has always been a study machine with one goal, elite university. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret - not even the person she is on the inside. But when Frances meets Aled, the s... read more

Head Kid

David Baddiel

Illustrations Steven LentonFrom David Baddiel, bestselling author of THE PARENT AGENCY and BIRTHDAY BOY comes a wildly entertaining wish-fulfilment adventure that asks the question: what would happen if the strictest head teacher swapped bodies with the naughtiest kid in school?Strictest head naughtiest boy = chaos.Bracket Wood is about to be visited by the school inspectors. But there's one b... read more

Illustrations Steven LentonFrom David Baddiel, bestselling author of THE PARENT AGENCY and BIRTHDAY BOY comes a wildly entertaining wish-fulfilment adventure that asks the question: what would happen if the strictest head teacher swapped bodies with the naughtiest kid in school?Strictest head naughtiest boy = chaos.Bracket Wood is about to be visited by the school inspectors. But there's one b... read more

Forever Geek (Geek Girl)

Holly Smale

My name is Harriet Manners and I'll be a geek forever... The FINAL book in the bestselling, award-winning GEEK GIRL series is here! Harriet Manners knows almost every fact there is. Modelling isn't a sure-fire route to popularity. Neither is making endless lists.The people you love don't expect you to transform into someone else.Statistically you are more likely to not meet your Australian ex-... read more

My name is Harriet Manners and I'll be a geek forever... The FINAL book in the bestselling, award-winning GEEK GIRL series is here! Harriet Manners knows almost every fact there is. Modelling isn't a sure-fire route to popularity. Neither is making endless lists.The people you love don't expect you to transform into someone else.Statistically you are more likely to not meet your Australian ex-... read more

Angelica the Angel Fairy

Daisy Meadows

Get ready for an exciting fairy adventure with the no. 1 bestselling series for girls aged 5 and up. Angelica the Angel Fairy makes sure we all treat each other kindly at Christmas time. But when Jack Frost steals her magic items, everyone from Brownies to the residents of an old folks' home start acting up! Can Kirsty and Rachel restore order in time for Christmas?'These stories are magic; th... read more

Get ready for an exciting fairy adventure with the no. 1 bestselling series for girls aged 5 and up. Angelica the Angel Fairy makes sure we all treat each other kindly at Christmas time. But when Jack Frost steals her magic items, everyone from Brownies to the residents of an old folks' home start acting up! Can Kirsty and Rachel restore order in time for Christmas?'These stories are magic; th... read more

Hubert Horatio: How to Raise Your Grown-Ups

Lauren Child

Hubert Horatio Bartle Bobton-Trent is back in this hilarious and gloriously illustrated book for ages six and up from the superstar creator of Clarice Bean and Charlie and Lola, Lauren Child. “These stories are about the days when the Bobton-Trents had it cushy, very cushy indeed.” The Bobton-Trent seniors certainly know how to make the most of their extravagant wealth – socialising, doing thi... read more

Hubert Horatio Bartle Bobton-Trent is back in this hilarious and gloriously illustrated book for ages six and up from the superstar creator of Clarice Bean and Charlie and Lola, Lauren Child. “These stories are about the days when the Bobton-Trents had it cushy, very cushy indeed.” The Bobton-Trent seniors certainly know how to make the most of their extravagant wealth – socialising, doing thi... read more

Robin Hood: Hacking, Heists & Flaming Arrows

Robert Muchamore

A town. A forest. A hero. You can't go far without a quick brain and some rule-bending in a place like Locksley. After its vast car plants shut down, the prosperous town has become a wasteland of empty homes, toxic land and families on the brink. And it doesn't help that the authorities are in the clutches of profit-obsessed Sheriff of Nottingham, in cahoots with underworld boss Guy Gisborne.W... read more

A town. A forest. A hero. You can't go far without a quick brain and some rule-bending in a place like Locksley. After its vast car plants shut down, the prosperous town has become a wasteland of empty homes, toxic land and families on the brink. And it doesn't help that the authorities are in the clutches of profit-obsessed Sheriff of Nottingham, in cahoots with underworld boss Guy Gisborne.W... read more

Katie Watson and the Painter's Plot

Mez Blume

“Sherlock meets Shakespeare in this time-travel, murder mystery with a twist of magic.” Visiting an old manor house is hardly Katie’s idea of an adventure. But then, Otterly Manor isn’t just any old house… When an enchanted painting whisks Katie back in time to Shakespeare’s England, she lands in the middle of a perilous adventure beyond her wildest imagination. With the help of Princess Sophi... read more

“Sherlock meets Shakespeare in this time-travel, murder mystery with a twist of magic.” Visiting an old manor house is hardly Katie’s idea of an adventure. But then, Otterly Manor isn’t just any old house… When an enchanted painting whisks Katie back in time to Shakespeare’s England, she lands in the middle of a perilous adventure beyond her wildest imagination. With the help of Princess Sophi... read more

The Crooked Mask (sequel to The Twisted Tree)

Rachel Burge

Part ghost story, part murder mystery - a creepy and magical tale steeped in Norse myth, perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman.Welcome to the Circus of Myth & Mayhem - where performers re-enact tales of the Norse gods wearing masks which mysteriously change expression, the creepy jester isn't quite human, and the big top is full of the dead.Martha arrives at the circus, deep in the forests of Northe... read more

Part ghost story, part murder mystery - a creepy and magical tale steeped in Norse myth, perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman.Welcome to the Circus of Myth & Mayhem - where performers re-enact tales of the Norse gods wearing masks which mysteriously change expression, the creepy jester isn't quite human, and the big top is full of the dead.Martha arrives at the circus, deep in the forests of Northe... read more

Frostheart

Littler, Jamie

Rapids

Anna Bowles

Anna has 184 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Alondra Mack
I’m very grateful to Anna for the excellent editorial assessment report she provided me with. It was easy to understand, filled with useful information, and wonderfully thorough. Her feedback, recommendations, and ideas helped me to see how much better my story could be by making some changes. I believe Anna can help you perfect your story, too.

Alondra Mack, January 2023


Dawn Walker
My time with Anna has been very positive. She pointed out many issues with my manuscript and gave me sound structured advice on how to improve it. As a novice writer it's been incredibly helpful hearing the good and bad feedback. I really like her pragmatic manner and feel she's given me the tools and encouragement to carry on.

Dawn Walker, January 2023


Sian Dewhirst
Great collaboration. Received a very detailed report far quicker than I was expecting, with quick and clear communication throughout the process. Very happy with the amount of detail in the report of my novel, and I now have a clear direction when I continue with my writing and editing. Would definitely recommend.

Sian Dewhirst, December 2022


Jennifer P
Anna's quick, thorough, and elaborate assessment of my manuscript blew me away! I have worked with several editors before, but none as insightful and in-depth as Anna. She was also great about answering my questions afterwards in a thoughtful manner as well. I definitely hope to work with Anna in the future!

Jennifer P, December 2022


Jade Stedford
I requested a quote from Anna and she provided me with something within my budget without compromising on the quality of service. I would definitely recommend Anna and would be happy to work with her again.

Jade Stedford, November 2022

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