Alumni - Gillian McLay (nee Henderson), BA Publishing

After graduating in 1996 from the BA in Publishing I went straight to London for my first job. The degree had shown me all the different aspects of the industry and I quickly knew that marketing books was exactly where I wanted to be.  After a few years in general publishing I realised that the world of Children’s books was the one for me and moved to Barefoot Books to work on their marketing and sales. Working with beautiful books in a small, independent publisher gave me the opportunity to be involved in the whole process and ensured that by the time I left four years later I was ready to take on the next challenge.

That challenge came when I started working for Egmont UK, home of many household names from Lemony Snicket to Winnie The Pooh! After three years at Egmont, I decided the time was right to take the plunge and start working for myself. As of December 2006, I have worked with my husband as a children’s literary scout reading manuscripts from around the world and looking for the next big thing! It’s a great field to be in and allows you to work with the industry as a whole rather than one publisher. In the current market it’s also a very exciting field to be in. The standard of children’s writing ensures that, for me,  adult fiction books are almost a thing of the past. . .

Since working together with John , we have also set up The Daily Telegraph Bath Festival of Children’s Literature. As the biggest independent children’s literature festival in the UK we are hugely proud of the festival and hope that it will ensure that more kids can share our excitement about the industry that I am lucky enough to work in.

Posted on 11 Apr 2008 around 7am