Meet the Team

Debbie Taylor
Editorial Director
Debbie Taylor is Editorial Director of Mslexia, which she founded in 1999. She has written for Oxfam, UNICEF, Anti-Slavery, WHO and others about women and social issues and worked as an editor for New Internationalist and Writing Women magazines. Her books include My Children, My Gold (Virago), a nonfiction travelogue about single mothers, and The Fourth Queen (Penguin), a novel set in a harem in 18th Century Morocco. Her latest novel, Herring Girl (Oneworld), a paranormal historical thriller set on the banks of the Tyne, came out in 2014.
Mad passion: getting down and dirty on her allotment
Secret indulgence: a Manhattan cocktail with fish and chips
Maxine Davies
Administrative Assistant
Maxine joined the Mslexia team in 2018. She was born and bred in Newcastle, and graduated with a degree in History and an MA in Modern and Contemporary Literature, both from Newcastle University. She is the founder of Maybe Later Press and received a grant from New Writing North’s Northern Rock Talent Fund in 2016.
Mad passion: musicals, French films and fairy tales
Secret indulgence: vegetarian bacon (which she has been know to buy 15 boxes of at once)
Kay Hadden
Administrative Coordinator
Kay began life at Mslexia as a volunteer in 2014 and now oversees the admin (Subscriptions, Submissions & Competitions). She has an English BA from the University of Lincoln and is a Co. Durham native. Outside of work, it’s the usual reading, writing and binge-watching Netflix, with the occasional comedy gig thrown in and seemingly endless trips to IKEA.
Mad passion: Music (she’s always got headphones in and Spotify on), podcasts and Twitter.
Secret indulgence: Mojitos in the summer. Mulled wine in the winter.
Françoise Harvey
Production Editor
Françoise joined Mslexia in 2015 after several years working in legal publishing where she developed a love of working in Indesign and wrestling with code. She writes short stories, with some publishing success. She received a Northern Writers' Award in 2017. Outside work she likes to go walking by herself in the Highlands, or else closer to home, with her two huskies. She's also a singer-songwriter, releasing music under a pseudonym.
Mad passion: live music, photography (looking at the photos, not taking them), weird facts
Secret indulgence: movies with dancing in them
Isabel Smales
Finance Director
Isabel started with Mslexia in 1999, just after the publication of the first issue, when the Mslexia office was a garret flat in Jesmond (yes, really). Mslexia has moved three times since, occupying a top-floor garret office near the city wall, with cinders for insulation underneath the floor boards, and rooms in a building with a prison tower which dates back to 1291 and which had been a Friary, an ancient almshouse, a soup kitchen, and a museum in its former lives – before settling, for the moment, in its current home in a Georgian Terrace, the birth place of Cardinal Basil Hume.
Mad passion: Perhaps from the above, Iso has come to realise that history and architecture are passions, but she would have to add sailing and music
Secret indulgence: a long lie-in until 8.30am
'Loving the little ms. Great creative pick-me-up between issues, packed with inspiration'
Rebecca Jones