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THE TEAM

Arabella Pike
Publishing Director

History, biography, politics, current affairs, psychology, science, nature, books about the sea and poetry. I publish in all these areas but, like all true magpies, anything bright, shiny, quirky, unexpected is likely to attract my eye. During many years at William Collins I have published great books by many writers including (but not limited to): Christina Lamb, Adam Nicolson, Paula Byrne, Maya Jasanoff, Kathryn Mannix, Max Hastings, Catherine Belton, Samantha Power, Sally Bayley, Patrick Radden Keefe, Marina Warner, Saul David, Richard Holmes, Sue Stuart-Smith, Daniel Gilbert and Jonathan Bate. And to lift lockdown gloom, new books in 2021 include the biography of Francis Bacon by Annalyn Swan and Mark Stevens, Value(s) from Mark Carney, Noise by Daniel Kahneman, Cass Sunstein and Olivier Sibony, Beyond by Stephen Walker and the Adventures of Miss Barbara Pym by Paula Byrne.

Myles Archibald
Publishing Director

I am really interested in informed, inciteful and intriguing books on pretty much any area of non-fiction. In the past 8 years this has resulted in my developing for William Collins an eclectic mix of books on nature, science, history, racism and ecology by authors such as David Attenborough, Brian Cox, Ben Fogle, Bernard Cornwell, Peter Wohlleben and Peter Godfrey-Smith, plus the world renowned Collins New Naturalist series and the associated field guides. We also started our association with the TLS in 2019, TLS Books, publishing Lee Child’s brilliant The Hero, with David Baddiel’s Jews Don’t Count publishing in 2021.

Shoaib Rokadiya
Editorial Director

I’m led by sparkling, voice-driven non-fiction across politics, history, science and smart thinking. Since joining William Collins in March 2020, I’ve acquired projects including The Last Slaves, a narrative history of the last five survivors of the transatlantic slave trade by Hannah Durkin; America on Fire, an account of Black rebellion since the 1960s by Elizabeth Hinton; The Virus Hunters, a scientific detective story about the global search for bat-borne viruses by Jane Qiu; and No Escape, a memoir about the plight of the Uighur people by Nury Turkel. In the past, I’ve worked with bestselling and prizewinning authors such as Grayson Perry, Harriet Harman, Kim Ghattas, Matt Parker and Adam Weymouth.

Grace Pengelly
Commissioning Editor

I’m a Commissioning Editor and joined the editorial team in 2019. I’m always drawn to books that consider how we might navigate some of the biggest challenges of our times, but also love working with authors on memoir and nature writing. Prior to my publishing life, I worked in political communications, so you’ll regularly find me in debating other members of the team on the issues of the day. My authors include Anna Hope, Baroness Ruth Hunt, Katrine Marcal, Quiara Alegria Hudes, Emmanuel Iduma, Samuel Miller McDonald and Julia Baird. Outside of work I can be found on long walks and eating Japanese food (although not at the same time).  

Bengono Bessala
Commissioning Editor

Bengono Bessala is a non-fiction commissioning editor within William Collins at HarperCollins Publishers UK. Her publishing list seeks to reflect engaging and interesting commercial non-fiction. Having also worked within publicity and marketing during her time in publishing, she is committed to showcasing new talent and underrepresented voices, as well as established names and ideas. She has published We Were Dreamers by actor and Hollywood A-Lister Simu Liu alongside successful social media entrepreneurs We Are Feel Good Club and she is looking to publish in the following areas; Entertainment (comedy, tv, radio etc…), celebrity, Mind, Body and Spirit, health and fitness, lifestyle, relationships (friendship, marriage, divorce etc…) and music.

Bengono also holds a Masters degree in Music Business Management, having organised and hosted live music nights across London and collaborated with a variety of independent music promoters. Her first passions are books and music.

Jo Thompson
Commissioning Editor

I am interested in intelligent books that bring the biggest issues of the day to the general reader, whether via punchy polemic, big-picture analysis or a brilliant personal narrative. If that seems impossibly vague, I’d add that I’m always whipped up by books that investigate social injustice, always seduced by anyone with a funny or playful way of spinning a story and always curious about forgotten histories or the more overlooked parts of our world.

Books I’ve published this year include Simon Mundy’s Race for Tomorrow (on climate crisis), Sally Hayden’s Orwell prize-winning My Fourth Time, We Drowned (on migration) and Harriet Johnson’s Enough (unpacking violence against women from a legal perspective).

Special interests include: women in sport, climbing and mountaineering, anything to do with animals (please, somebody write me a great book on bats), insights into unusual or fascinating careers, books that help young women in particular navigate the world and – slightly incongruously – medieval and early modern history.  

In the past I am proud to have worked with our publishing director Arabella Pike on her incredible range of political, scholarly and literary writers.

Hazel Eriksson
Senior Editor

I’m new to commissioning for William Collins, and am excited to work with authors exploring the world around them. Primarily I’m looking at narrative writing about nature, science, medicine and culture. I also love a memoir with a strong sense of place or a journey of discovery, and I’m delighted to read books that challenge the status quo, break new ground or offer fresh perspectives. I’ve worked in nonfiction publishing for nearly ten years, editing books on topics ranging from natural history, art and reference, to cookery, fashion and photography.