Helen Mortimer

Helen Mortimer - Editor

Oxford, UK

I am a freelance editor with over 25 years of in-house experience in children's publishing.

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Overview

I am an extremely diligent and imaginative freelance editor with over 25 years’ in-house children’s publishing experience. Having worked for Oxford University Press, Simon and Schuster, Gullane Children’s Books, David Bennett Books, Quarto and HarperCollins, I offer a range of services that can be tailored to your needs.
My area of expertise is in picture books, gift books, young fiction, pre-school, novelty and illustrated non-fiction. I love the alchemy that develops on the page as words and pictures combine to create a powerful storytelling whole for children and adults alike.
I can provide manuscript review, story shaping, help with character development, plotting and pacing for both picture books and young fiction.
I have worked with some stellar authors and illustrators including Lauren Child, Catherine Rayner, Yuval Zommer, Valerie Thomas, Korky Paul, Jane Clarke, Tom Moorhouse, Richard Byrne, Corrinne Averiss, Fiona Woodcock, David Roberts and many, many more.
I think this testimonial from Layn Marlow best describes what it's like to work with me: ‘Helen is an exceptionally talented editor. I’ve always found her to have a light touch coupled with deep understanding and this sensitivity extends to the all-important visuals too. Helen always manages to be friendly, prompt and responsive at the same time as taking a well-considered, thoughtful approach to every project. For me, that’s a perfect combination!’


Languages
English (UK)
Non-Fiction
Children's - Non-fiction
Children's
Middle Grade
Picture Books

Certifications

  • University of Cambridge MA Hons Geography

Work experience

Freelance editor

Self-employed
July, 2019 – Present (5 months)

Senior Commissioning Editor

Oxford University Press
November, 2004 – July, 2019 (over 14 years)

Through commissioning and delivering exciting picture books, character brands, young fiction and gift
publishing, I helped to shape and build a successful children’s list.

My stable of authors and illustrators included Richard Byrne, Corrinne Averiss, Fiona Woodcock, Sean Sims, Layn Marlow, Tim Warnes, Lalalimola, Mark Sperring, Lauren Child, Briony May Smith, Tom Moorhouse, Ross Collins, Rebecca Ashdown, Sarah McIntyre, Valerie Thomas, Korky Paul and Simon Rickerty.

• Commissioned and edited commercially successful titles with strong market and customer appeal.
• Attracted high-profile author and illustrator talent to the list, including David Roberts, Yuval Zommer
and Catherine Rayner.
• Generated new ideas, characters and concepts for pre-school titles, picture books and young fiction
before bringing creative teams together to realise them.
• Developed storylines and wrote texts.
• Rejuvenated backlist gems into new formats appropriate for today’s market.
• Provided trusted author and illustrator care, including career and creative development support.
• Offered industry insights to organisations such as SCBWI, Bath Spa University and The Story Museum
through one-to-one mentoring, panel events and presentations.

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