About Us

We are a team of experienced children’s publishing and creative writing professionals providing inspiration, industry-led direction and networking opportunities to talented writers for children.

Led by Imogen Cooper, formerly Editorial Director for The Chicken House, Golden Egg provides talks, workshops, and one2one editorial support. We cater for writers who wish to submit their work to agents and publishers. Golden Egg works closely with Barry Cunningham at The Chicken House and has strong links with other publishing houses and literary agents.

I think your set up is brilliant and original … I am very happy to join in and help Golden Egg as much as I can.

David Fickling, Publisher, David Fickling Books

Writing is a brave but also lonely path to walk. Thank you, Imogen, for setting up such a wonderful initiative.

Tessa Strickland, Publisher, Barefoot Books


  • “I might never have been published if it wasn’t for the support and expertise of The Golden Egg Academy.

    M. G. Leonard, author of Beetle Boy, winner of the Branford Boase Prize, longlisted for the Carnegie Prize, shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, sold to 36 territories
  • “Equips writers splendidly!

    James Nicol, author of The Apprentice Witch, WHSmith and Asda chart entry, longlisted for the Branford Boase Prize, reviewed in The New York Times, sold to 10 territories including the USA
  • “Golden Egg is genuinely a writer’s ‘journey through the back of the wardrobe’ moment.

    Vashti Hardy, author agented by Kate Shaw
  • “In these challenging times in the children’s publishing industry, publishers require writers to reach a far higher standard ahead of securing their first contract than was expected only a few years ago. Where many others fall short, The Golden Egg Academy succeeds in arming writers with all the requisite tools to blossom as writers and achieve this hallowed state.

    Encouraging, nurturing, teaching, mentoring and gently teasing out a writer’s true potential, the truly inspiring, extremely able and highly approachable minds behind The GEA combine to provide genuine results. I have no hesitation in recommending their services to clients, prospective clients and, in fact, to anyone who is serious about making it in the highly competitive world of writing for younger minds.

    Ben Illis, Literary Agent
  • “So, what’s working on your story with Golden Egg like? It’s like coming home as a writer, to a place where words, stories and writing for children are the shared passions of like-minded people. There are two aspects of this process that are particularly powerful. Firstly, there’s the excellent, if daunting, forensic skill of the editors. They get story, get under the skin of yours and ask deep, incisive questions. Secondly, there’s the opportunity to be part of a genuinely caring writing community. You’ll meet lots of fellow writers, fascinating people who share your obsession and understand the journey you’re on.

    Andrew Wright, Golden Egg Academy Student
  • “I found the report on my novel so helpful and insightful. It was really great to talk through the ideas I’ve had since and the ways in which I’ve been addressing some of the issues raised.

    Rhian Ivory, author of The Boy Who Drew the Future, nominated for the Carnegie Prize, selected for The Telegraph’s Best Young Adult Books of 2015

The Team

Imogen Cooper

Founder and Managing Director

Imogen was previously Editorial Director at The Chicken House where she helped many debut authors achieve their potential. These include international best-selling author, Rachel Ward, author of... Read more

Dr Vanessa Harbour

Head of Academic Relations and Business, Mentor and Workshop Leader

Vanessa is a tutor on the Writing for Children MA and the Creative Writing BA at the University of Winchester. She holds a doctorate in... Read more

Matilda Johnson

Golden Egg North Leader & Mentor

After four years at David Fickling Books, Tilda moved to Penguin Random House Children’s, before joining the Hot Key Books and Piccadilly Press team... Read more

Maurice Lyon

Mentor and Workshop Leader

As a commissioning editor at Penguin Children’s Books, Maurice worked with childhood heroes Leon Garfield and Rosemary Sutcliff, as well as with Philip Pullman, Jill Murphy,... Read more

Abigail Kohlhoff

Managing Editor

After completing a degree in English Literature, Abi pursued her interest in children’s publishing taking placements at Walker, David Fickling Books and The Chicken... Read more

Emma Greenwood

Director of Golden Egg Foundations

Emma is a published author and journalist with both non-fiction and short stories in print. She is a regular speaker at the Society for Children’s Book... Read more

Adamma Okonkwo

GEA Editor

Adamma Okonkwo has recently completed an MA in Publishing along with internships at Little, Brown and OUP Children’s. She has a particular interest in transmedia... Read more

Charlotte Maslen

GEA Editor

Charlotte holds an MA in Creative and Professional Writing and a BA in English Literature. She has written and edited fiction and non-fiction for magazines,... Read more

Sarah Levison


As Senior Commissioning Editor at Orchard Books, Sarah developed the best-selling Rainbow Magic and Beast Quest lists. She began her career working on picture books... Read more

Nicki Marshall

Admission Reports and Mentor

Nicki has worked in publishing since 1994 and has been a reader on the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction competition since its inception. She has worked for... Read more

Jenny Glencross


Jenny worked at Orion Children’s Books for seven years, editing and commissioning fiction from 5+ to YA, and working with hugely talented authors, such... Read more

Tessa Strickland

Picture Book Programme Leader and Mentor

Tessa Strickland is Co-Founder & former Editor-in-Chief of Barefoot Books. Founded in 1993, Barefoot Books opened a US office in 1998 and has published... Read more

Jo Collins

Picture Book Admissions Co-ordinator and Mentor

Jo was previously Senior Editor at Little Tiger Press, where she worked for 7 years, commissioning and developing picture books with a host of... Read more

Beverley Birch

Workshop Leader

For 15 years Beverley commissioned older fiction for Hodder Children’s Books, working with outstanding and award-winning writers – among them David Almond, Catherine Fisher, Rachel... Read more

Bella Pearson

Workshop Leader

Bella is the Publishing Director at David Fickling Books. She joined David Fickling in setting up his eponymous imprint, as part of Random House Children’s... Read more

Guest Speakers

Including: Barry Cunningham, OBE; David Fickling; Sophia Bennett; Kirsty McLachlan; Ben Illis; Elinor Bagenal; Tim O’Rourke; James Mayhew Read more