Hello, I’m Catherine Ward, I specialise in publicity and events for children’s books and have more than fourteen years experience in the publishing industry. I offer services to publishers and authors including full PR campaigns, author tours, event and media training, long-term PR strategy and PA support. 

Clients include: Pavilion Children's Books, Canongate, Nosy Crow, Simon & Schuster Children's Books, the Barnes Children's Literature Festival, Hot Key Books, Piccadilly Press, Pikku Publishing, Five Quills, Penguin Random House.

I have been lucky enough to work with a wonderful range of authors, illustrators and brands including Darren Shan, Matt Haig, Philip Ardagh, Anna Wilson, Sophie McKenzie, Michael Bond, Diana Wynne Jones, Darcey Bussell, Jo Nesbø and Dr. Seuss. My campaign work includes launching debut authors, re-establishing well-known writers and taking bestsellers to the next level, across fiction, picture books and licensed brands.

I know that the promotional side of things can be hard work and time-consuming for authors and illustrators, but pride myself on forging strong relationships with everyone I work with to make best use of their time, talents and behind-the-scenes stories. I aim to fully support clients through the whole PR process, from interviews to social media, writing features to taking part in events, and hopefully make it an enjoyable part of being published!  

Please get in touch for an informal chat about your upcoming projects. 


I plan each campaign case-by-case and take a reactive and proactive approach in order to encourage a fluid, wide-reaching conversation between publishers/authors and readers. As a publicist I keep up-to-date with news stories, social media trends and reader comments on blogs and forums, seeking new PR opportunities and ready to respond quickly.



Full publicity campaigns or parts thereof, including: 

  • Pre-publication activity including planning, author/agent meetings, pitching, creating press releases and other sell-in materials, mailing lists
  • Creating a strategic timeline of activity to generate buzz and awareness in the build-up to publication as well as on-launch and beyond
  • Trade and consumer media coverage across print and online including reviews, blog tours, features, profile pieces and interviews
  • Events including author tours, launch parties, one-off events, panels and festival appearances
  • Post-campaign reporting and analysis


As well as individual book campaigns, I can offer work on long-term PR strategy for authors, book series and publishers’ lists as a whole. 



I am available to manage or offer consultancy advice on other related projects such as brainstorming & strategy sessions, author media & events coaching, literary festivals, reading initiatives and literary awards.



Individual PR strategy and media training for authors as well as support with diary management, correspondence, event bookings and social media. 


I am flexible in my approach and offer competitive rates. Please get in touch to discuss your upcoming projects. 




“Catherine is incredibly organised and always remains calm under pressure - both a necessity in this line of work! She's been a key contact at S&S for Sophie McKenzie and Darren Shan, and has built strong relationships with all the authors she's worked with, wherever in the world they are based. She helped to launch the Children's division's social media presence, steered Becca Fitzpatrick through her first UK tour, and has achieved high-profile coverage for some of our debuts with her creative ideas. I look forward to working with her more in the future." 

Elisa Offord, Marketing & Publicity Director, Simon & Schuster Children's Books


“I’ve worked with Catherine for several years now, at HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and freelance. She’s always impeccably organised, on top of the situation at all times, making sure that everything goes smoothly. Her communication skills are excellent, and she ensures we know exactly what we can expect before we commit to any event. She’s also great company on the road, helping those long car and train journeys pass a little bit quicker. I’d recommend her without any reservations.” 

Darren Shan, author


“Catherine is one of the most reliable and efficient people I have ever had the pleasure of working with – lots of fun and easy to talk to, but also capable of getting things done fast and in the face of (often unpredictable) obstacles. She has organized many book tours for me as well as successfully placing me on lots of author panels and festivals. She’s always available, even though I know she is very busy, and great at putting together a complete marketing and publicity strategy.”   

Sophie McKenzie, author


“Catherine Ward is everything a PR person should be - efficient, resourceful, professional and engaging. Without a doubt, one of my favourites."   

Derek Landy, author


“Catherine is brilliant at her job. Calm, organised, good company, and never without a packet of hot cross buns.” 

Jenny Valentine, author


“When I travel to promote my books, I have to have complete trust in my publicist. I've worked with Catherine for years and trust her to organize my book tours with outstanding and professional service. She handles the behind-the-scenes work; everything from drafting press releases, to scheduling events and interviews, to keeping me company when I'm on the road. It's a huge reassurance knowing she'll be at my side, ready to help in any way.”   

Becca Fitzpatrick, author  


“I was grateful to have Catherine involved in the early days of the launch of the Magic Ballerina series for HarperCollins. The PR campaign was handled in a thoroughly professional way.”

Darcey Bussell, ex Royal Ballet Principal Dancer and co-author of the Magic Ballerina series


“I’ve run events with Catherine as part of the Bath Children’s Literature Festival over several years, and always found her efficient, focused and flexible. Author events she is involved in tend to run very smoothly as they are so well organised!”

John McLay, Artistic Director, Bath Children’s Literature Festival


“I have always enjoyed working with Catherine over the many years; she is always professional, friendly and communicative. She has not only supported me in my role but also many of our booksellers, by providing them with opportunities to host engaging events with top authors such as Darren Shan and Sophie McKenzie and by sending them resource materials to run their own activity days. I would be happy to work with her again and will look forward to doing so.”

Gary Deane, Waterstones Children's Events Coordinator




PPC Children’s Campaign of the Year, shortlisted: Milo and the Restart Button (2011)

PPC Children’s Campaign of the Year, shortlisted: How to Talk to Girls (2009)

Harpers Award for Innovation: Spill the Ink (2010) 

OBE (Order of the Bloody Entrails) from author Darren Shan, in his book Blood Beast (pub. 2007)



Freelance publicist

July 2015 - present

Working with a variety of children’s publishers, from big corporations to small independent houses, adapting to different publisher needs, strategies, timescales and budgets, and working creatively with news angles and available resource to get the most from each campaign.   

Clients: Pavilion Children’s Books, Nosy Crow, Canongate, Simon & Schuster Children's Books, the Barnes Children's Literature Festival, Hot Key Books, Piccadilly Press, Pikku Publishing, Five Quills, Penguin Random House.


Children’s Publicity & Marketing Manager – Simon & Schuster UK                   

July 2010 – July 2015

Worked in a small publicity & marketing team across the list of fiction, picture books and licensed brands, from debut authors to bestsellers including Sophie McKenzie, Darren Shan, Jo Nesbo, Anna Kemp & Sara Ogilvie, Becca Fitzpatrick, Claire Freedman & Ben Cort, CJ Flood, Paige Toon, Steve Cole and Sue Hendra. 


Specific responsibilities included long-term campaign strategy for bestsellers Darren Shan and Sophie McKenzie; marketing strategy; digital innovation including launching S&S’ first picture ebooks and S&S Kids on Facebook; main contact for literary festivals; main contact for trade press coverage and announcements; charity partnership with Starlight Storytellers, taking authors into children’s hospital wards; people management of publicity assistant and work experience interns; best practise – streamlining systems and processes to keep the department running smoothly. 


Senior Press Officer – HarperCollins Children’s Books                     

July 2006 – July 2010

Promoted from Press Officer to Senior Press Officer during my time at HC. Worked across the list of fiction, picture books and licensed brands including Paddington, Dr. Seuss, Garth Nix, Diana Wynne Jones, Jenny Valentine, Darcey Bussell and Conn Iggulden. 


Specific responsibilities included high-profile 50th anniversary campaigns for Paddington and The Cat in the Hat; developing a generic fiction campaign with printed, online and events strands; events management across author tours, festivals, launch parties and bespoke events; managing invoicing for the department and keeping budget up-to-date; mentoring work experience interns; reading volunteer at a local primary school; Green Ambassador for the children’s division. 


Press Officer – New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd                     

October 2002 – July 2006

Started my publishing career working on a list of illustrated non-fiction across craft, cookery, humour, lifestyle and travel; implementing full publicity campaigns and bespoke events, and selling serial rights. Promoted from Publicity Assistant to Press Officer during my time at NHP and spent three months as Acting Publicity Manager.



Publishers Publicity Circle (PPC)



Aside from books, I love making stained and fused glass. I play the piano, enjoy yoga and meditation for time out, visit galleries and exhibitions with my Art Pass whenever I can, and aim for a regular dose of #wildtime in one of south London’s many green spaces with my two young children.




I am flexible in my approach and offer competitive rates. Please get in touch to discuss your upcoming projects. 


Phone: +44 (0) 7748 620051  


Twitter: @Caff_Ward 

Skype: Catherine.ward2010