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
Rosie Catcheside
Customer Services Assistant
Rosie began working at Mslexia in 2020. Before joining the team, she spent a year in Durham completing her MA in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature and sampling every coffee shop in the city. She also studied English at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. She can usually be found enjoying a good book with a cup of tea, a blanket and a dog.
Mad passion: poetry, drawing and the beach
Secret indulgence: cappuccinos with extra foam
Maxine Davies
Production Editor
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: salted caramel hot chocolate
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
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
Laura Steven
Marketing and Sales Manager
Laura started with Mslexia in 2015 as maternity cover and they’ve struggled to get rid of her since. Born and raised in Berwick-upon-Tweed, she graduated from Northumbria University with a BA in Journalism and an MA in Creative Writing. She’s the author of seven books for kids and young adults, some of which have been optioned for film and television, and she won the inaugural Comedy Women in Print Prize in 2019. She is exactly as Type A as this bio makes her sound.
Mad passion: running, chess, and cooking
Secret indulgence: extra hot baths with needlessly fancy bombs
'I particularly enjoyed the quick creative exercises, the book suggestions and the job adverts'
Sophie Livall