Fiona Kenshole

representing children’s authors

Fiona brings a lifetime of passion and experience of children’s and YA books: she was still just a teen when she started working in a children’s bookshop. After graduating with a Masters in English Literature from Cambridge University, she went on to spend 20 years as a senior publisher holding key positions in the UK, as Publishing Director at Oxford University Press Children’s Books, Deputy Managing Director of Hodder Children’s Books and Editorial Director at HarperCollins. Her authors have won or been nominated for every major British children’s literary award. Several have become million copy bestsellers. Fiona was nominated for “Editor of the Year” at the British Book Awards.

Fiona has lectured widely on children’s books including at Oxford and Cambridge Universities and taught publishing to Masters degree students at Oxford Brookes University. She is herself a published author. She has organized children’s events for the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival. In 2004 she became Vice President of Development Acquisition at Laika Inc. She moved to the USA and spent several years creating a development slate of new projects for the animation studio. Fiona has worked with major directors and screenwriters, acquiring and adapting children’s books and original scripts into movies, including the Academy nominated “Coraline” and “Paranorman”.

Fiona’s list is currently open to queries from middle grade and YA writers. She will consider anything with a powerful voice. Her wish list is quirky contemporary, humor, unreliable narrators, immigrant stories, stories by diverse writers, sister stories, real children in magical worlds, thrillers, mysteries and ghost stories. Fiona has a soft spot for a great detective story. Her dream is a submission so compelling she’d rather read it than engage with real life! She is also looking for excellent food writers, including bloggers.

Not looking for high sword and sorcery fantasy (unless funny), faith based texts, or anything in rhyme. Picture books and illustrators by referral only.

Submission Guidelines:

If you believe you have something that fits my list, please send the first three chapters plus a synopsis and bio pasted into the body of the email to Please do not send attachments, they will not be opened. If your manuscript is over 100,000 words, it is too long for my list.
If you do not hear from me within eight weeks, please assume I am not able to consider your project.

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