Laura Roberts

Laura Roberts - Editor

London

Editor-at-Large with over 15 years of experience in illustrated children's publishing and a portfolio of bestselling, award-winning books.

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Overview

Freelance editor-at-large and writer for children's books with over 15 years of experience in illustrated publishing working for leading publishing houses including Bloomsbury and Macmillan. I've developed, commissioned and edited over 100 illustrated books for children, focussing on picture books and also incorporating branded, licensed books, non-fiction, young fiction and chapter books.

I've been privileged to commission and publish a wealth of fantastic picture books, such as the UK edition of the #1 New York Times bestseller 'All Are Welcome' and 'Cake' by picture book superstars Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet. I've also worked on some of the biggest brands in illustrated children's books including The Gruffalo, Dinosaur Roar and The Macmillan Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

I provide a wide range of editorial services to new and established authors and illustrators, including story critique and development, writing and illustration direction, text editing and proofreading, series strategy, and advice on seeking agent representation and getting published. I've helped a number of new writers to secure an agent and go on to have their work published, including Karl Newson, author of 'I Am A Tiger' (that I also had the pleasure of publishing) which has achieved huge international sales and won a number of UK book awards and nominations before growing into a successful picture book series.

My working style is friendly, honest and very approachable. The feedback I provide is thorough, detailed, and rooted in sound market knowledge and strong industry experience. I will always offer clear ideas and creative solutions in order to help give an idea or a text its strongest chance of publication. I take pride in ensuring that authors and illustrators feel they can trust my judgement and direction on their work - after all, it is their art and I want them to feel assured that together we will create a great book.

“Laura is without doubt one of the best people I’ve met in the publishing world. I’m certain I would not be where I am today had I not met her by chance at a book launch party . . . She was instrumental in shaping my confidence back then . . . I’ve learnt so much from our discussions. Her feedback is always brilliant and delivered in the most encouraging and uplifting way; she knows how to get the best out of one’s writing.” - Karl Newson, Author


“Laura has been instrumental in supporting and shaping my writing career and championing my stories . . . I always really enjoy the editing process with Laura. Her feedback is honest, thorough, thoughtful and constructive, and she has a wonderful way of molding stories to bring out the best in them.” - Lucy Rowland, Author

Languages
English (UK)
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Children’s Non-Fiction
Fiction
Picture Books

Work experience

Editor-at-Large

Self-employed
August, 2018 – Present (almost 3 years)

Publishing consultancy, story critique and development, text editing, writing and illustration advice and proofreading for new, aspiring and established writers and illustrators.

List planning, project management, scouting, author/illustrator care, concept and story development, writing and contract negotiation for a number of publishing houses.

Clients include:
Farshore/Egmont
Hachette Children's Group
Oxford University Press
Flying Eye Books
Nosy Crow
Bloomsbury

Executive Editor

Bloomsbury Children's Books
August, 2017 – July, 2018 (11 months)

Deputising for the Publishing Director, I was the key contact with agents and authors for new publishing opportunities and I devised publishing strategy for the list. I composed some major pitches to agents and licensors, made book signings and negotiated those acquisitions, while at the same time working closely and openly with authors and illustrators both established and new in the creative development of their work.

With a strong company emphasis on collaboration between the UK and US arms of the business, publishing for cross-Atlantic audiences played a key part in my role.

Commissioning Editor

Macmillan Children's Books
October, 2010 – July, 2017 (over 6 years)

I built a new commercial strand within the picture book list with a focus on making books that were accessible and child-friendly. I enticed some leading authors and illustrators to the list including Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet, Kes Gray and Claire Freedman, and I was fortunate enough to work with many of the other best names in picture books as well as nurture and grow exciting new writing and illustrating talents.

I also worked on some key illustrated children's properties including The Gruffalo, Dinosaur Roar and The Macmillan Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, creating new books to grow each brand's market presence. And I had the honour of working on Commander Chris Hadfield's semi-autobiographical picture book 'The Darkest Dark' and the illustrated children's edition of Nelson Mandela's autobiography 'The Long Walk to Freedom'.

Portfolio (8 selected works)

I am a Tiger

Karl Newson

Winner of the Leicester Our Best Picture Book Award, and the West Sussex Picture Book Award. A witty and clever story about a little mouse with very big ideas – she believes she is a tiger!She manages to convince a raccoon, a fox, a snake and a bird that she is a tiger, and that they are not what they think they are! But when a real tiger turns up, can the persuasive little rodent manage to pe... read more

Winner of the Leicester Our Best Picture Book Award, and the West Sussex Picture Book Award. A witty and clever story about a little mouse with very big ideas – she believes she is a tiger!She manages to convince a raccoon, a fox, a snake and a bird that she is a tiger, and that they are not what they think they are! But when a real tiger turns up, can the persuasive little rodent manage to pe... read more

You're Called What?

Kes Gray

Ice Cream Cone Worm. Monkeyface Prickleback. Pink Fairy Armadillo. You're called WHAT?!Welcome to the Ministry of Silly Animal Names where all the creatures have one thing in common: they want to change their names. A unique and rip-roaringly funny, tongue-twisting story full of weird and wonderful real creatures and facts at the end that will amaze. Written by Kes Gray, the bestselling, award... read more

Ice Cream Cone Worm. Monkeyface Prickleback. Pink Fairy Armadillo. You're called WHAT?!Welcome to the Ministry of Silly Animal Names where all the creatures have one thing in common: they want to change their names. A unique and rip-roaringly funny, tongue-twisting story full of weird and wonderful real creatures and facts at the end that will amaze. Written by Kes Gray, the bestselling, award... read more

All Are Welcome

Alexandra Penfold

The #1 New York Times bestselling picture book, celebrating diversity and inclusivity.No matter how you start your day,What you wear when you play,Or if you come from far away,All are welcome here. Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcome. A school where children in patkas, hijabs, baseball caps and yarmulkes play side by side. A school where students... read more

The #1 New York Times bestselling picture book, celebrating diversity and inclusivity.No matter how you start your day,What you wear when you play,Or if you come from far away,All are welcome here. Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcome. A school where children in patkas, hijabs, baseball caps and yarmulkes play side by side. A school where students... read more

Cake

Sue Hendra, Paul Linnet

A party isn't a party without cake!Cake has been invited to a party. He's very excited! He's never been to a birthday party before and he doesn't know what to expect. But as the candles on his party hat begin to burn and the other guests start to sing, Cake starts to think that this is one party he'd rather not be at . . .Introducing an irresistibly loveable character, Cake is a brilliantly fu... read more

A party isn't a party without cake!Cake has been invited to a party. He's very excited! He's never been to a birthday party before and he doesn't know what to expect. But as the candles on his party hat begin to burn and the other guests start to sing, Cake starts to think that this is one party he'd rather not be at . . .Introducing an irresistibly loveable character, Cake is a brilliantly fu... read more

Little Red Reading Hood

Lucy Rowland

Whilst leaving footpaths should never be done, Straying from stories is all sorts of fun!Little Red Reading Hood loves reading books and making up stories of her own. When she meets a cunning wolf while on her way to the library, he convinces her to stray from the path and read for a little while. But hasn’t she read this in a story before? Perhaps it’s time she came up with a new ending . . .... read more

Whilst leaving footpaths should never be done, Straying from stories is all sorts of fun!Little Red Reading Hood loves reading books and making up stories of her own. When she meets a cunning wolf while on her way to the library, he convinces her to stray from the path and read for a little while. But hasn’t she read this in a story before? Perhaps it’s time she came up with a new ending . . .... read more

The Darkest Dark

Chris Hadfield

Young Chris is an astronaut. A very busy astronaut. Saving the planet from aliens is much more important than taking baths or going to bed. Because at bedtime the worst sort of alien appears - darkness. But when Chris watches the first moon landing on TV, he discovers that there is a dark out in Space that is much darker than he's used to. It's the darkest dark ever, and he realizes that the u... read more

Young Chris is an astronaut. A very busy astronaut. Saving the planet from aliens is much more important than taking baths or going to bed. Because at bedtime the worst sort of alien appears - darkness. But when Chris watches the first moon landing on TV, he discovers that there is a dark out in Space that is much darker than he's used to. It's the darkest dark ever, and he realizes that the u... read more

Long Walk to Freedom

Chris Van Wyk, Nelson Mandela

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela is the amazing story of a true hero of our times; his famous biography has been specially adapted for children in a beautiful illustrated picture book format. Discover how a little boy whose father called him "troublemaker" grew up to fight apartheid, become South Africa's first black president and campaign for freedom and justice throughout the world.Ada... read more

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela is the amazing story of a true hero of our times; his famous biography has been specially adapted for children in a beautiful illustrated picture book format. Discover how a little boy whose father called him "troublemaker" grew up to fight apartheid, become South Africa's first black president and campaign for freedom and justice throughout the world.Ada... read more

Sproutzilla vs. Christmas

Tom Jamieson

Jack loves everything about Christmas. Except for one thing: he does not like Brussels sprouts. When Jack's parents bring home the largest sprout he has ever seen, things are about to get out of control. Sproutzilla is the meanest, greenest Christmas ruining vegetable ever and now he's heading straight towards Santa! It's up to Jack to save Christmas, and there's only one way to do it . . . He... read more

Jack loves everything about Christmas. Except for one thing: he does not like Brussels sprouts. When Jack's parents bring home the largest sprout he has ever seen, things are about to get out of control. Sproutzilla is the meanest, greenest Christmas ruining vegetable ever and now he's heading straight towards Santa! It's up to Jack to save Christmas, and there's only one way to do it . . . He... read more

Laura has 11 reviews

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

Charlotte Frohwitter
Laura is beyond amazing!!! Her notes and feedback will really make you go the extra mile and lift your manuscript to a whole other dimension! Best choice!!!

Charlotte Frohwitter, July 2021


David M
Laura has been really helpful in developing my text. I feel like she has really given the project her full care and attention. She has not been afraid to be honest where something is not working so well but has also been kind and complimentary. I highly recommend her for your text and I personally look forward to hopefully working with her again in the future.

David M, June 2021


Jonathan Horden
Laura has been fantastic and I can highly recommend her services. As a first time author, I have learned a lot by working with her and my story has benefitted greatly from following her expert guidance and advice. She is very responsive and her written feedback is always professional, clear and on the money. It has been a great experience and I wouldn't hesitate in reaching out to Laura first ...
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Jonathan Horden, June 2021


Aaron Frost
I am so glad to have worked with Laura. Her insight and expertise made my manuscript the best it could be, while her approachable support and detailed comments have further developed my writing skills . I wholeheartedly recommend and will certainly be working with Laura again in the future.

Aaron Frost, June 2021


John Maulhardt
Laura was the most professional, detailed, and timely editor I have ever encountered. Highly recommend her for any editorial project, and will definitely use her again when the need arises.

John Maulhardt, March 2021

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