Jo Collins

Jo Collins - Editor

London, UK

Creative children’s picture book editor with extensive publishing experience - guidance for new and seasoned writers and author/illustrators

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Overview

I am a children’s book editor, creative writer and specialist in the field of picture books. With 12 years’ experience working in-house for major children’s book publishers, I went freelance in 2014.

I now offer a range of editorial services, and work with agents, publishers, writers, and as a mentor at The Golden Egg Academy, UK.

I love working with both seasoned and new and emergent writers, helping them hone their talents and write their best possible stories.

Whatever stage your project is at, I can help. Services include:

• Manuscript assessment
• Structural editing from first draft through to finished manuscript
• Copy-editing
• Proofreading
• Editorial project management
• Writing book copy and support material
• Writing original text to brief (children’s short stories, picture book, novelty and non-fiction texts).
Languages
English (AUS)
English (CAN)
English (NZ)
English (SA)
English (UK)
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Children's - Non-fiction
Fiction
Picture Books

Work experience

Freelance children's book editor and writer

Self-employed
August, 2014 – Present (over 6 years)

Recent clients have included The Golden Egg Academy, Little Tiger Press, Barefoot Books, Artemis & Bear Ltd., The Entertainment Department

I offer a range of freelance editorial services, and work with agents, publishers, writers, and as a mentor at The Golden Egg Academy.

As picture book editor and mentor for The Golden Egg Academy, I co-run their popular Picture Book Programme alongside Barefoot Books co-founder, Tessa Strickland. This is a 12-month course for aspiring picture book writers. We mentor students through one-to-one editorials and a series of workshops, helping them build a portfolio of manuscripts ready to submit to publishers and agents. We have a First Look Deal for our graduates with Andersen Press, and Peters, Fraser + Dunlop Agency.

I also take on writing commissions and am currently writing a series of picture books for The Entertainment Department.

Previous writing credits:

'Sleeping Beauty' illustrated by Kirsti Davidson, Little Tiger Press, UK and Tiger Tales, US, 2019
'Hansel and Gretel' illustrated by Marisa Morea, Little Tiger Press, UK and Tiger Tales, US, 2018
'From Bump to Baby: a Pregnancy Journal', Little Tiger Press, 2017
Original stories in 'Favourite Animal Stories', 'Favourite Bedtime Stories' and 'Favourite Fairy Stories', Little Tiger Press, 2016
'Thank you, Teacher', Thunder Bay Press, US, 2015

Senior Editor

Little Tiger Group
June, 2009 – August, 2014 (about 5 years)

Editor of more than 40 new picture books.
Commissioning and working with many acclaimed authors, including amongst others, Sue Mongredien, Claire Freedman, Steve Smallman, and Tracey Corderoy.
Working closely with authors, nurturing texts from initial ideas to finished manuscript.
Project management and scheduling of books.
Concept and development work.
Finding and developing potential authors and new texts.
Negotiating contracts.
Writing novelty picture book titles.
Writing adult gift book titles.

Group Editorial Manager

Barefoot Books
September, 2005 – August, 2007 (almost 2 years)

Editorial management of all new titles and backlist reissues for both the UK and the US.
Managing the in-house editorial team and all external freelance designers and copy-editors.
Briefing artists and giving art direction.
Costing all books, and ensuring they kept on schedule and in budget.
Commissioning and producing all audio books and songs.
Attending the Bologna and Frankfurt Book Fairs to assist the foreign rights team and look for new artists.

Portfolio (11 selected works)

Thank You, Teacher! (Someone Special)

Josephine Collins

Thank your teachers for everything they do by giving them this adorable gift book Thank You, Teacher! Cute and compact, this book expresses appreciation for the knowledge and encouragement teachers offer their students, and also recognizes all the tasks they perform outside the classroom. With charming illustrations and sweet words, this book acknowledges instructors with a special note of gra... read more

Thank your teachers for everything they do by giving them this adorable gift book Thank You, Teacher! Cute and compact, this book expresses appreciation for the knowledge and encouragement teachers offer their students, and also recognizes all the tasks they perform outside the classroom. With charming illustrations and sweet words, this book acknowledges instructors with a special note of gra... read more

Dragon Stew

Steve Smallman

Five bored Vikings went out hiking, looking for adventure, something daring, bold and new. So they thought they'd hunt a dragon, and then tie it to their wagon, take it home and chop it up and make a dragon stew! But when the Vikings set off to find their dragon they get a big surprise!

Five bored Vikings went out hiking, looking for adventure, something daring, bold and new. So they thought they'd hunt a dragon, and then tie it to their wagon, take it home and chop it up and make a dragon stew! But when the Vikings set off to find their dragon they get a big surprise!

Santa's Special Letter Hb

Josephine Collins

Rare Book

Rare Book

Sleeping Beauty (Fairytale Classics)

Josephine Collins

A wicked fairy puts a curse on the king's daughter, Aurora, that sends everyone at the palace to sleep. Thorns grow like a forest around the castle. Can anyone break the spell?

A wicked fairy puts a curse on the king's daughter, Aurora, that sends everyone at the palace to sleep. Thorns grow like a forest around the castle. Can anyone break the spell?

Hansel and Gretel (Fairytale Classics)

When Hansel and Gretel find themselves lost in the forest, their discovery of a cottage made of sweet treats is a welcome surprise. But the owner is not so sweet! How will they escape? Part of the beloved Fairytale Classics series.

When Hansel and Gretel find themselves lost in the forest, their discovery of a cottage made of sweet treats is a welcome surprise. But the owner is not so sweet! How will they escape? Part of the beloved Fairytale Classics series.

I Want My Mummy!

Tracey Corderoy

It's Arthur's first day apart from his mummy and he really misses her. Even his fantastic dragon costume and favourite toy dragon don't cheer him up. 'Raaagh!' he roars grumpily. But luckily Granny knows just what to do.

It's Arthur's first day apart from his mummy and he really misses her. Even his fantastic dragon costume and favourite toy dragon don't cheer him up. 'Raaagh!' he roars grumpily. But luckily Granny knows just what to do.

Harry and the Monster

Sue Mongredien

One night, Harry has a dream about a scary monster. The next evening, he doesn't want to go to bed. His Mom suggests that he try imagining him with a pair of pink pants on his head! You'll laugh so much that it won't be scary. But no matter what Harry does, the monster keeps coming back! Then, one night, Dad has an idea that just might be silly enough to work.

One night, Harry has a dream about a scary monster. The next evening, he doesn't want to go to bed. His Mom suggests that he try imagining him with a pair of pink pants on his head! You'll laugh so much that it won't be scary. But no matter what Harry does, the monster keeps coming back! Then, one night, Dad has an idea that just might be silly enough to work.

Port Side Pirates

Oscar Seaworthy

Ahoy Matey! Jump aboard and set sail with an adventurous group of pirates. With fun facts about ships and notorious pirates from around the world, along with a catchy singalong, this vibrantly illustrated story will become a beloved treasure of your child!

Ahoy Matey! Jump aboard and set sail with an adventurous group of pirates. With fun facts about ships and notorious pirates from around the world, along with a catchy singalong, this vibrantly illustrated story will become a beloved treasure of your child!

I Love You Just the Way You Are

Tammi Salzano

A joyful and exuberant celebration of the unconditional love between parent and child from exciting new illustrator Ada Grey (Shhh! Don't Wake the Royal Baby!) and author Tammi Salzano. This touching story follows a mother and son from morning to bedtime. Little ones will recognise familiar activities such as dressing-up, reading, painting, having a bath and saying goodnight. I Love You Just t... read more

A joyful and exuberant celebration of the unconditional love between parent and child from exciting new illustrator Ada Grey (Shhh! Don't Wake the Royal Baby!) and author Tammi Salzano. This touching story follows a mother and son from morning to bedtime. Little ones will recognise familiar activities such as dressing-up, reading, painting, having a bath and saying goodnight. I Love You Just t... read more

Jo has 16 reviews

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

emmalene kramer
Jo helped me push my book further to where I wanted it to be! Thank you jo!

emmalene kramer, January 2021


Amy Arnott
It was a pleasure working with Jo to edit my rhyming children's story and I am more than satisfied with the result. Under her guidance, I was able to tighten up my book significantly and bring it much closer to publication-ready. Jo's comments and suggestions were thoughtful, focused and clearly based on a wealth of knowledge and experience in this industry and a talent for subtle wordsmithing...
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Amy Arnott, November 2020

Jo Collins
Thank you so much, Amy! It was great to work with you and I wish you the best of luck with getting Penelope published!

Reply from Jo Collins


Stephanie Biggs
This was my second time working with Jo, and it was once again a wonderful experience. She is prompt, has thoughtful comments, and makes collaboration very pleasant. I would highly recommend her services.

Stephanie Biggs, October 2020


Lenata King
I was so happy with Jo’s professionalism and feedback that I plan on continuing to use her services. Her report for my story was clear and enabled me to make the changes needed to make my story better. I look forward to working with her more in the future.

Lenata King, August 2020


marina levy
Great work!

marina levy, July 2020

Jo Collins
Thanks, Marina! It was lovely to work with you!

Reply from Jo Collins

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