The Panel of Judges
John is the agency assistant at Bell Lomax Moreton, where he is starting to build his own list of science fiction and fantasy writers while supporting other agents in their work. Prior to joining the agency, John worked in editorial and rights departments at various publishing houses and agencies, also completing an MA in Publishing from Kingston University. One plastic card gave him access to an entire world of stories as a child. This greatly impacted the person he grew to be, and he wholeheartedly believes that every child should be afforded the same opportunity.
UCL alumna Jane is the author of nine Sunday Times Top 10 Bestsellers including Tell Me a Secret and Faking Friends. Prior to becoming an author, Jane was an award-winning television producer, working on This Life, Teachers and 20 Things to Do Before You're 30. In recognition of her outstanding career she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from UCL in February 2020. Her tenth book, Queen Bee, is due to be released this July.
Janet has dedicated the last twenty-five years to promoting the importance of books and reading as a children’s librarian in London. She became a qualified librarian in 2007 and has been a committee member of CILIP for the Youth Libraries Group since 2017. Janet has also been a Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Award judge for the last two years. She believes practitioners within the children’s book industry need to be more proactive in breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes to ensure that every child can access books that are representative of our wonderfully diverse society.
Simran is the Assistant Editor for Macmillan Children's Books, focusing on YA fiction and poetry. She was the Student Liaison Officer and Inclusivity Officer for the London branch of The Society of Young Publishers. Simran is a proud Creative Access Alumna and is the first Literature Coordinator for the Asian Woman Festival. A lover of spoken word poetry, supporter of diverse children's literature and an advocate for fat acceptance, Simran spends her free time practising self-love through her Instagram as a plus-size model and dancing at the Curve Catwalk.