5 questions for freelance editor and consultant Beth Cox [INTERVIEW]


BookMachine Oxford host Charly Salvesen-Ford talks to Beth Cox, freelance editor and consultant specialising in children’s books, and the star of our event on 6th November.

Grab your tickets for BookMachine Oxford here.


1) What is the best part of your job?

The variety. I love the fact that every day is different – one day I can be copy-editing a manuscript, the next delivering training, the next working on a book layout, the next planning an event, the next plotting how to change the face of children’s books with Inclusive Minds co-founder, Alexandra Strick! And that’s a minor snapshot of the range of things my job involves.


2) You work closely with children’s publishers; what was your favourite book as a child?

As a child I loved The Winter Bear by Ruth Craft and Erik Blegvad. I knew all the words and still have my original copy in my office. Another favourite, which was owned by a friend, was I Thought I Saw by Pam Adams and Ceri Jones, so imagine my surprise when I started working in publishing for Child’s Play to spot it in their warehouse during my first week and discover that they published it!


3) Which book/s would you recommend to get kids hooked on reading?

I couldn’t recommend a specific books, as it depends so much on the child, and every child is different. The best way to get kids hooked on reading is to read to them from birth (or before), enjoy reading to them (so perhaps start with books that you love), and let them see you reading. Select books about things that the child is interested in, but also encourage them to try new things and expand their horizons – after all, books are how we learn about ourselves and the world around us.


4) You’ve long been a supporter of BookMachine, what do you like most about the events?

The first BookMachine event I attended was held only a couple of weeks after I moved to Oxford. The relaxed and chatty atmosphere was welcoming (helped, no doubt, by the free drinks), and, having moved here not knowing anyone, the event allowed me to make friends as well as business contacts. At BookMachine I always meet someone new and interesting. Oh, and obviously you book great speakers!


5) If you could invite one literary figure (current or historical) to come along to your event, who would it be?

That’s a tricky one. I’ve recently fulfilled an ambition to speak to an audience that included Malorie Blackman, (and even got to have a cup of tea with her beforehand), so other than choosing someone in the future (which would be whoever is the next Children’s Laureate), I’m going to have to go for a personal literary hero of mine, Philip Pullman.


Grab your tickets for BookMachine Oxford here.

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