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. www.debbietaylor.co
Mad passion: getting down and dirty on her allotment
Secret indulgence: a Manhattan cocktail with fish and chips
Eliza Clark
Marketing Assistant
Eliza is from Newcastle Upon Tyne and joined the Mslexia team in April of 2018. She graduated with a degree in Fine art from Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2016, and had her first (not very good) novel published in 2012. She occasionally publishes short horror and speculative fiction, and received a grant from New Writing North’s Young Writers’ Talent Fund.
Mad passion: Scary, gory, trashy movies and books, bloody marys and cheese.
Secret indulgence: RPGs – Eliza calculated she has clocked about 3000 hours combined on games like Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Skyrim and Fallout, and she should be ashamed of herself.
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
Editorial and Production
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 and is subbing a children's book to agents at the moment. 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, strawberry Angel Delight and cult TV
Martha Lane
Projects and Marketing
Originally from Chesterfield - a town famous for a very wonky church - Martha moved up to the North East in 2006. She has a degree in English Literature and an MA in Creative Writing, both from Newcastle University. She writes for children and young adults and currently has three unpublished novels in a drawer, plus a handful of picture book ideas. She began life at Mslexia as a volunteer in 2008 and we've struggled to get rid of her ever since! (Her words not ours). She lives in Newcastle with her partner, their daughter and two cats.
Mad passion: films, particularly if they are by Pedro Almodovar or Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Secret indulgence: Zoos. The best one she's been to is Berlin, worst (because the most exotic creature was a goat not because of conditions) Belgrade
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
Casey Spence
Marketing and Advertising Associate (Maternity Cover)
South Shields born and bred, Casey joined Mslexia in late 2017. She has a degree in Film Studies and Creative Writing from Edge Hill University, but took a ten-year break from writing for pleasure when she slid (accidentally) into the world of copywriting and digital. After working in the theatre industry for quite a long time along the way, she recently set up her own digital marketing company which she runs alongside her role at Mslexia.
Mad passion: Motorbikes. She’s been riding pillion for nearly 20 years and hopes that 2018 will bring a bike licence of her own.
Secret indulgence: Prosecco, jelly and ice cream, and Kindle Monthly deals. Sometimes at the same time.
Laura Steven
Advertising & Digital Marketing Associate
After graduating with a first class Journalism degree, Laura wrote for a glossy lifestyle magazine for two years while penning her first novel. She now has an MA in Creative Writing from Northumbria University, dabbles in comedy screenwriting, and her YA debut novel 'The Exact Opposite Of Okay' was published by Egmont in 2018. Laura joined the Mslexia team in 2015 as marketing maternity cover and refused to leave.
Mad passion: Ridiculous challenges. She’s been known to skydive, paraglide, scuba dive, jet ski, play zorb football, run a half-marathon, fly to Serbia, and learn to play professional blackjack – all in the name of a good magazine feature.
Secret indulgence: An impressive array of nerdy interests, like Harry Potter, board games, Pokemon, and playing online chess (very badly).
Yay! Little Ms Day has arrived. Can't think of a better way to procrastinate.
Beatrice Charles