Maria Tunney

Maria Tunney - Editor

London, UK

Senior Commissioning Picture Book Editor with 10 years experience of editing all kinds of funny, sleepy and love-filled books for children.

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Overview

I am a Senior Commissioning Editor at Walker Books, with ten years of editing experience in nurturing and supporting picture book makers. I have worked with many internationally successful authors and illustrators such as Jarvis, Polly Dunbar, Timothy Knapman, Sean Taylor, Jean Jullien, Emily Hughes and Kate Hindley.

I love to help new and emerging authors find their voice, discover the very heart of their story and how to tell it truly and well. I will enable you to successfully capture the right emotion in your work, to capture the rhythm and the music in your words, and then build that up into a well-structured, strongly paced picture book story that will ignite the imagination of an illustrator and, of course, a publisher. I also have extensive experience in working with authorial illustrators who do not feel so confident with their writing and am very happy to provide support and guidance to hone in your story telling and language skills.

My style is not at all didactic but rather, I like to think of myself as a nurturing, compassionate, but also very practical editor who will guide you toward the right solution so that, hopefully, you can learn a lot in the process. I want to give you the key skills that will carry you forward to write many … MANY … more books with confidence.

I have a sharp eye for the picture book market and for what will appeal to a children's book publisher and will help you craft the pitch to position your book effectively and strike just the right note.

My areas of expertise is in making books for very young children, aged from 0-5. I have also worked on baby board books, developed first concept books and written and developed licensing projects.
Languages
English (UK)
Non-Fiction
Children's - Non-fiction
Fiction
Picture Books

Certifications

  • University College London, MA in Publishing
  • Trinity College Dublin, BA English Literature and French
  • Copy-Editing and Proofreading, The Publishing Training Centre

Work experience

Senior Commissioning Picture Book Editor

Walker Books Ltd
September, 2009 – Present (almost 11 years)

In my role as Senior Commissioning Editor, I help shape the picture book list at Walker Books — discovering and nurturing new and established writing and illustration talent and commissioning, creating and editing front list titles.

I have an excellent sense of the picture book market in the UK and, working on such an internationally focused list, means that I also have a keen sense of what will fare well in co-edition markets and in the US.

I have worked at Walker Books for almost the years now, working my way up from an editorial assistant role being mentored by some of the most experienced and well-respected creative editors in the industry. Under their tutelage, I have come into my own as an editor and have established my own stable of very commercially successful authors and illustrators — both in the UK and internationally — including Sean Taylor, Timothy Knapman, Michelle Robinson, Jean Jullien, Emily Hughes, Polly Dunbar and Jarvis.

I have strong, lasting creative relationships with well-established authors but also particularly love to develop new authorial voices in my role.

Proof Reader

Hodder & Stoughton
August, 2009 – September, 2009 (about 1 month)

I worked full time on Hodder's eBook Programme where I undertook the following tasks:

• Proofreading eBooks on screen
• Checking corrections
• Liaising with Production houses to get further files
• Uploading finished titles to Overdrive (the company who host the Epub files).

Portfolio (22 selected works)

Alan's Big, Scary Teeth

Jarvis

Meet Alan, an alligator with a secret. Famed for his big, scary teeth, he sneaks into the jungle every day to scare the jungle animals ..."I'm big, scary Alan! Fear my razor-sharp teeth!" But after a long day of scaring, Alan likes nothing better than to run a warm mud bath and take out his false teeth, which nobody knows about! That is, until his teeth go missing. What will Alan do now? Scari... read more

Meet Alan, an alligator with a secret. Famed for his big, scary teeth, he sneaks into the jungle every day to scare the jungle animals ..."I'm big, scary Alan! Fear my razor-sharp teeth!" But after a long day of scaring, Alan likes nothing better than to run a warm mud bath and take out his false teeth, which nobody knows about! That is, until his teeth go missing. What will Alan do now? Scari... read more

Can't Catch Me!

Timothy Knapman

That Fruit Is Mine!

Anuska Allepuz

Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise

Sean Taylor

From masterful storyteller Sean Taylor and exciting, celebrated graphic artist Jean Jullien, comes the laugh-out-loud tale of Hoot Owl. Hoot Owl is no ordinary owl - oh no! - he's a master of disguise! And he will use his expert camouflage powers to trick his unsuspecting prey into succumbing to him! Tiny animals of the night ...beware! But, somehow, Hoot Owl's prey keeps escaping...Hmmm, perh... read more

From masterful storyteller Sean Taylor and exciting, celebrated graphic artist Jean Jullien, comes the laugh-out-loud tale of Hoot Owl. Hoot Owl is no ordinary owl - oh no! - he's a master of disguise! And he will use his expert camouflage powers to trick his unsuspecting prey into succumbing to him! Tiny animals of the night ...beware! But, somehow, Hoot Owl's prey keeps escaping...Hmmm, perh... read more

A Brave Bear

Sean Taylor

Migloo's Day

William Bee

From the iconic creator of Whatever, William Bee, comes a brand new series and the ultimate search-and-find story book experience. Meet Migloo - everyone's favourite dog - and follow him on his adventures through Sunnytown as he follows his nose for delicious treats, meets all his friends along the way and even saves the day! Jam-packed town scenes illustrate the adventures of Sunnytown's resi... read more

From the iconic creator of Whatever, William Bee, comes a brand new series and the ultimate search-and-find story book experience. Meet Migloo - everyone's favourite dog - and follow him on his adventures through Sunnytown as he follows his nose for delicious treats, meets all his friends along the way and even saves the day! Jam-packed town scenes illustrate the adventures of Sunnytown's resi... read more

A Lion Is a Lion

Polly Dunbar

Maisy Learns to Swim

Lucy Cousins

Too Many Toys!

Heidi Deedman

Too Many Toys!

Too Many Toys!

No, Nancy, No!

Alice Tait

Time Now to Dream

Timothy Knapman

Maria has 10 reviews

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

Audrey Harrell
Maria is truly remarkable and is very skilled in her craft!! I am so happy to have had her level of experience coupled with her ability to bring any story to life!! She is phenomenal!!

Audrey Harrell, March 2020


Caroline Clark
This is the second picture book text I've worked on with Maria. This was a story I'd been struggling with -- but no more! I love it now and can't wait to start sending it out. She has taught me so much about story structure, plot and phrasing. I really couldn't have hoped for more. It's been a wonderful experience and I really feel very lucky to have found Maria here on Reedsy.

Caroline Clark, March 2020


Caroline Clark
Maria's comments, suggestions and edits of my children's book text are worth their weight in gold. She really helped me take my story to another level. Her comments were highly insightful and I am very grateful to have received such detailed feedback from someone with many year's experience in the area I hope to eventually break through into. I felt comfortable asking her follow up questions an...
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Caroline Clark, February 2020


Yoana Lupu
Maria is simply wonderful. She has great ideas, in-depth knowledge of children books publishing, she gives developmental feedback and I learned a lot from the collaboration with her. She exceeded my expectations. My manuscript is so much better than the initial version. She understood my ideas and helped me take the manuscript forward. Great quality for the money! I recommend her warmly and I ...
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Yoana Lupu, August 2019


Amber Hatch
I was so happy working with Maria first time round that I ended up extending the project and doing some more work with her on my picture book text. Maria continued to give me excellent editorial advice - despite the numerous iterations she continued to look at it with fresh eyes. I don't know if this text will find a home, but it's certainly in a much better position now than when Maria first s...
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Amber Hatch, July 2019

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