Holly Tonks

Personal statement

Holly Tonks has worked in children’s publishing for over 10 years – commissioning picture books, gift books, novelty and fiction for some of the UK’s largest publishers, including Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster. She started her career working for literary agent, Hilary Delamere, and this provided her with a solid understanding and grounding of the industry as a whole.

She’s had the pleasure to work on some of the UK’s biggest children’s brands including Peppa Pig, Peter Rabbit and The Very Hungry Caterpillar and with many award-winning authors and illustrators including Michael Bond, Raymond Briggs and Quentin Blake.

With a passion and knowledge for the children’s publishing industry, both in the UK and internationally, she specialises in editorial, commissioning and project management, alongside an interest in publishing strategy, rights and contracts. The wealth of her experience is in picture book editorial, though she has worked on a number of illustrated high-end non-fiction titles for children including Prisoners of Geography – Illustrated Edition by Tim Marshall, Grace Easton & Jessica Smith, which was shortlisted for Waterstones’ Book of the Year 2019.

In addition to her role at Bath Spa University, she is an editorial consultant for the independent picture book publisher, Lantana, who specialise in producing high-quality, diverse and inclusive picture books, and seek to ensure that every child has the opportunity to see themselves in the books on our shelves.

Academic qualifications

  • MA Royal Holloway, University of London
  • BA Royal Holloway, University of London

Areas of expertise

  • Children’s Publishing
  • Editorial and Commissioning Strategy
  • UK Children’s Book Industry

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