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
Sarah Foyle
Projects Manager (Competitions)
Sarah got on a train going north from London in 2007 and hasn’t found her way back yet. She has a BA in English Literature from Royal Holloway and an MLitt from Newcastle University. Her Masters research (on the feminine in Agatha Christie’s novels) led to an impressive knowledge of various poisons which she has so far resisted putting into practice, much to the relief of everyone else at Mslexia Towers. She loves cake, coffee, pandas and hot baths, and writes the occasional book review at She lives in Durham with her husband and their cat, Marple. 
Mad passion: 1930s detective fiction and finding the perfect dark red nail polish
Secret indulgence: Gin martinis (no olive) and Midsomer Murders
Kay Hadden
Administration & Subscriptions
Kay began life at Mslexia as a volunteer in 2013 and is now working as part of the admin team providing maternity cover. She has an English BA from the University of Lincoln and is a Co. Durham native. When she's not stuck behind tractors or herds of sheep on the roads (that's happened a few times) she enjoys travelling, her kindle and cups of tea. 
Mad passion: Music and Mojitos 
Secret indulgence: Trash TV
Francoise Harvey
Assistant Editor
Francoise joined Mslexia in February 2015 after several years working in legal publishing. She has a BA in creative writing and an MA in English literature. She writes poetry and short stories, and is chipping away at a novel. Outside work she likes to read, write, go walking or running with her two huskies, attempt the occasional triathlon, and sing and play piano and guitar.
Secret indulgence: strawberry Angel Delight and cult TV (not that secret, really)
Mad passion: short fiction and live music
Martha Lane
Subscriptions & Projects Manager
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
Emily Owens
Originally from a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, known for its carbonated beverage and zombie-infested TV show, Emily first came to Newcastle on an exchange programme with Northumbria University in 2009. She has a degree in English from Georgia State University and an MA in Creative Writing from Northumbria. She mainly writes short fiction, but has a novel that’s been in the works for a while, and a few ideas for other ones in the future. She loves travelling, tea, gardening, and binge-watching Netflix.
Mad passion: Literary journals and any food involving potatoes
Secret indulgence: Bad disaster movies and wine
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
Anna Snell
Business Development Manager
Anna joined Mslexia in January 2015 as Business Development Manager. Anna’s background working in the arts ranges from project management, marketing and fundraising for a number of arts organisations in the North East, but this is her first experience of working in the literary sector.
Mad passion: Theatre, and she regularly acts in and directs amateur productions in Sunderland and Durham
Secret indulgence: playing Candy Crush, but is making very slow progress
Laura Steven
Advertising & Marketing Associate
Hailing from the sleepy border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, Laura joined the Mslexia team in 2015 to tackle all things advertising. After graduating with a first class Journalism degree, she wrote for a lifestyle magazine for two years while penning her first novel. She’s now published by HarperCollins (under a not-so-secret pseudonym) and working on her second, third and fourth books—as well as studying for a Creative Writing MA. Needless to say, she likes words. And being extremely busy.
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: Beer gardens with friends, playing Guitar Hero or curling up with a good book (and a giant bar of chocolate). 
'Brilliant – a great way for us to stay informed and motivated'
Pat Temple