7x Questions with Romilly Morgan
What's a publishing director looking for when they read your submission?
In my humble opinion Romilly Morgan is one of the most exciting minds in publishing and I’m always eager to get her take on things. Starting her career back in 2012 at the independent publisher, Quadrille, she quickly worked her way up from editorial assistant to commissioning editor before moving across to Octopus. Octopus is a division at Hachette, a global publishing house and of course one of ‘The Big 5’. Romilly established herself by commissioning a feminist series by editor in chief of Vice, Zing Tsjeng, closely followed by the Sunday Times bestselling book on mental health, ‘Open: Why Asking for Help Can Save Your Life’ by Frankie Bridge and the internationally bestselling book Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given.
Her unswerving success as an editor led to her founding her own imprint within the division: Brazen Books. Now a publishing director, she commissions ‘books with bite’ for the list. Almost two years old, Brazen publishes bestselling non fiction, poetry and fiction - which means she sees a hefty proportion of the books being sent out on submission from agents. She is also the editor of activist and writer Aja Barber, singer-songwriter Self-Esteem (Rebecca Lucy Taylor) and Scottish comedian, Fern Brady. And keep an eye out for Romilly’s own writing which has been published in the Telegraph, the Evening Standard and Grazia.
I’m always interested to hear what she’s looking for, what she’s been buying and just as importantly, what she hasn’t.
She answers my questions about what excites her when a submission lands on her desk, tells me how one of the biggest misconceptions in the publishing industry is that editors know what they’re doing and explains why a writer breaking form is sometimes more interesting to her than their online following.
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