Simon Mason

Simon Mason - Editor

Oxford, UK

Award-winning editor of fiction for young readers. Have worked with top authors such as Philip Pullman, Jenny Downham and Lisa Williamson.

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Overview

As an editor for Penguin Random House and David Fickling Books, I worked on books by some truly wonderful writers. Titles include:

Daemon Voices: Essays on Storytelling by Philip Pullman (Guardian Best Books 2017; Wall Street Journal Notable Book, winner of the Anne Izard Award in the US).

I was also part of the editorial team working on Philip Pullman's novels La Belle Sauvage and The Secret Commonwealth.

* YA novel Unbecoming by multi-award winning Jenny Downham
('Exceptional.' Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

* The Mysterious Life of Dr Barry by best-selling Lisa Williamson (forthcoming)

* Middle-grade novel Black Arts by Andrew Prentice and Jon Weil
('brilliant, a great blend of action, adventure, magic, horror and humour.' Charlie Higson)
For this I was short-listed for the Branford Boase Award, UK's premier first-children's-novel prize, which jointly honours author and editor.

*Picture book Very Little Red Riding Hood by Teresa Heapy ('fabulous - sure to become a bedtime delight' The Sun).

I'm currently setting up a new series of rollicking adventure stories from world history for middle-grade readers, 'True Adventures', and working with some great authors such as award-winning Catherine Johnson and best-selling Lisa Williamson. They'll be published by Pushkin Press from August onwards.

Earlier in my career, I commissioned and edited trade/academic non-fiction for Oxford University Press (Oxford History of Art series), Thames and Hudson (best-selling Styles, Schools and Movements) and Greenwood (Young British Muslim Voices).

My own YA novels include: Garvie Smith mysteries Kid Got Shot (Crimefest Best Crime Novel for YA - winner) and Running Girl (Costa Children’s Prize – shortlisted). ‘Sixteen-year-old Garvie Smith is one of the best detectives in contemporary fiction . . . fresh, funny and compelling.’ Sunday Times Books of the Year

My middle-grade fiction includes Moon Pie (Guardian Children’s Prize – shortlisted). ‘Outstanding . . . gripping and absorbing . . . deserves prizes as well as praise.’ The Times. And also The Quigleys (Branford Boase Award – special commendation). ‘Huge fun.’ Sunday Times

I also teach Creative Writing.

I love working with authors. Nothing more exciting than seeing an author find their voice and tell their story.
Languages
English (UK)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Children's - Non-fiction
Fiction
Contemporary Fiction
Historical Fiction
Middle Grade
Mystery & Crime
Thriller & Suspense
Young Adult

Awards

  • Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award (top children's first novel award) for editing Black Arts by Andrew Prentice and Jon Weil
  • Costa Award for Best Children's Book - shortlisted for Running Girl
  • Guardian Children's Book Prize - shortlisted for Moon Pie
  • Crimefest Best Crime Novel for Young Adults - Winner for Kid Got Shot
  • Betty Trask Award for Best First Novel - Winner for The Great English Nude
  • Iburger Schlossgeschichten Award (Germany) - Winner for The Quigleys
  • Anne Izard Award for Best Book on Story-telling (US) - Winner for Daemon Voices

Work experience

Editorial Director

Pushkin Press
February, 2019 – January, 2020 (11 months)

I devised, set up, commissioned and edited a new series of middle-grade adventure stories from world history called 'True Adventures'. Launching in August 2020, it contains narrative non-fiction titles intended primarily to thrill: fast-moving historical novels featuring charismatic characters to inspire a new generation of readers - such as Mu Guiying, kung-fu prodigy of Ancient China and bandit's daughter, who saved her country from the northern barbarians, or Sophie Scholl, young Munich University student, who dared to speak out against Hitler at the height of World War Two.

Managing Director

David Fickling Books
January, 2012 – January, 2018 (about 6 years)

With the owner, I set up and ran the company (a leading independent publisher of children's books), doing the usual managing director stuff. But I also worked editorially with a number of our authors, including Jenny Downham, Lisa Williamson and Philip Pullman.

Portfolio (16 selected works)

Black Arts (The Books of Pandemonium)

Prentice, Andrew, Weil, Jonathan

Unbecoming

Downham, Jenny

Furious Thing

Downham, Jenny

A Gay History of Britain: Love and Sex Between Men Since the Middle Ages

Cook, Matt, Mills, Robert, Trumbach, Randolph, Cocks, H.G.

Devil's Blood (The Books of Pandemonium)

Andrew Prentice, Jonathan Weil

Young British Muslim Voices

Mondal, Anshuman A.

Loved to Bits

Heapy, Teresa, Cleminson, Katie

Moon Pie

Mason, Simon

Simon has 3 reviews

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

Gloria Warnick
Simon was a pleasure to work with during my developmental edit. His comments showed his understanding of the whole project and what was trying to be accomplished.

Gloria Warnick, September 2020


David Wilson
Working with Simon was a real pleasure and I got everything from the experience that I hoped for. His communication throughout was first rate. He produced a comprehensive review of my book that went straight to the heart of the issues he identified. Everything in the review was relevant and insightful and focused on trying to help me create a better book. He then offered a Zoom call to discuss...
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David Wilson, September 2020


Dave Coulter
I approached Simon for an editorial assessment. I wasn't looking for help on a granular copy editing level. I couldn't be more pleased with what I got from him. He meticulously inspected my novel page by page, pointing out not only the broad strokes that were positive and those that needed attention, but he identified each point at which the text detracted from the flow and would divert a reade...
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Dave Coulter, September 2020

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