London EC1V 0HB
Holly Tonks is a Lecturer in Publishing across the MA Publishing and BA English programmes. Before joining academia, Holly worked in children’s publishing commissioning picturebooks, 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 a literary agent which 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.
At City, Holly teaches modules including The Role of Editorial and Production, Publishing in a Digital Age, How to Make a Book and The Power of Publishing.
Her areas of interest include the importance of inclusion and representation within the children's picture book space, and she has worked to support The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education to produce their annual Reflecting Realities report since 2020.
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Bath Spa University, Nov 2021
- MA Victorian Art, Literature and Culture, Royal Holloway University of London, United Kingdom, 2010 – 2011
- BA English and Drama, Royal Holloway University of London, United Kingdom, 2007 – 2010
- Lecturer in Publishing, City University, 2021 – present
- Lecturer in Publishing, Bath Spa University, 2020 – 2021
- Senior Commissioning Editor, Simon & Schuster, 2018 – 2019
- Visiting Lecturer in Publishing, City, University of London, 2018 – present
- Commissioning Editor, Tate, 2016 – 2018
- Editor, Penguin Random House, 2014 – 2016