Home of the Very Best Genre Fiction

At Severn House we are dedicated to publishing unputdownable genre fiction: from gritty procedurals to cosy mysteries and tense thrillers, as well as sci-fi, horror, romance, historical fiction, and more.

We’re proud to publish some of the most brilliant and compelling authors working today, including Simon Brett, Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, Candace Robb, David Hewson, Stella Cameron, Simon R. Green, Caro Ramsay and Qiu Xiaolong. And with over 100 addictive Severn House books published every year, there’s always something new for our readers to discover.

Founded in 1974, Severn House began life as a publisher of hardback fiction for libraries – and even as we’ve grown and developed, we still love working with libraries. In 2017 we were acquired by Canongate Books, the British Book Awards’ Independent Publisher of the Year, 2021. Working with Canongate, we’ve been able to get our books into more bookshops and to more readers than before, while keeping our identity and independence.

Our small (but mighty) team are passionate about producing the best books we can for our authors and for our readers. We work closely with our authors at all stages – editorial, production, cover design, marketing, distribution – to ensure we continue to produce books that readers (just like you!) will love.

I have always felt lucky to be a Severn House author

Sally Spencer

Meet the severn house Team


Joanne Grant


Joanne joined Severn House as Publisher in October 2021. She previously spent 16 years working at Harlequin, and despite her background in Romance, she is a keen Crime, Thriller and Horror reader which makes her a perfect match for Severn House’s broad genre list! Joanne is proud to be at the helm of Severn House as they celebrate 50 years of publishing in 2024.

Joanne is originally from Leicester, where she met her husband, but they now live in the leafy suburbs of Surrey with their young son.

Rachel Slatter

Editorial Director

Rachel is Severn House’s Editorial Director. She joined Severn House in 2019 as Senior Commissioning Editor – her second time in the company, having joined back in 2008 as a Junior Editor. She edits and acquires a wide range of genre fiction, from cosies and historical mysteries to urban fantasy and thrillers. If it’s page-turning, she wants to read it! Authors she works with include New York Times-bestsellers Lee Goldberg, Wendy Corsi Staub, Simon R. Green, Barbara Hambly, and Sunday Times bestseller David Mark. She lives just outside London and enjoys cryptic crosswords, cake, and cats.

Vic Britton

Senior Commissioning Editor

Vic is Severn House’s Commissioning Editor. She joined the team in October 2022 with 16 years’ editorial experience, previously working as a Commissioning Editor for Harlequin. Vic edits and acquires a wide range of genre fiction, from historical mysteries and contemporary thrillers to Romance. She is actively searching for more genre fiction authors to join Severn House’s stellar list. A proud Yorkshire lass, she lives in Skipton with her husband, two small people and two troublesome cats. A keen long distance and fell runner, if you can’t find her, she’s probably running up a hill (cue Kate Bush…)

Sara Porter


Sara started her career in publishing with editorial and sales roles at Hachette and Penguin before moving to Severn House. She manages the editorial critical path for the Severn House list, and works closely with freelancers and cover designers, as well as authors and the whole team to project-manage titles from final edit through to print. Sara also oversees and edits her own list, including acclaimed and bestselling authors such as Lucy Burdette, Amy Patricia Meade, Graham Hurley, Priscilla Masters and Chris Nickson. A Yorkshire lass, she loves football, discovering new bands and trying to design and make her own clothes – often with disastrous consequences.

Shayna Holmes

Managing Editor

Shayna is Severn House’s Managing Editor. She began her publishing career with editorial roles for John Wiley & Sons in the US. She manages Severn Houses’ editorial workflow processes and works directly with production to ensure our books are published on time. She lives in London with her partner and enjoys painting, fantasy novels, and attempting to find the best cup of coffee in the city.

Tina Pietron

Assistant Editor

Tina joined the Severn House team as an Assistant Editor after spending three years as a Content Editor at Collins Learning. Covering a broad range of subjects and levels, she developed numerous educational books and authored a small number of children’s phonics books. At Severn House, she is part of the editorial team, covering the genre fiction list from exciting mysteries to skin-crawling thrillers and more.

Mary Karayel

Editorial Assistant

Mary joined the Severn House team in May 2022 as an Editorial Assistant. She previously completed a publishing internship at Profile Books, but this is her first full-time publishing role which she is enjoying immensely. Mary supports the smooth running of the editorial department by tracking reviews of our fabulous books, proofreading and creating cover briefs. In her spare time, Mary enjoys baking sweet treats, going to concerts and all things musical theatre.


Michelle Duff

Sales Director

Michelle has been with Severn House since 1998. Over the years, she has been responsible for many of the non-editorial areas of the business, including sub-rights sales, stock control and shipping. She is now Sales Director for Severn House and also heads the newly created Canongate Analytics team. Affectionately known as ‘Shell’ to her friends and colleagues, Michelle – originally from North London – currently lives near Perth, Australia.

Graeme Greenfield

Sales Operations Assistant

Design & Marketing

Piers Tilbury

Head of Design

Piers is head of the Severn House design department, having previously worked at Victor Gollancz and Dorling Kindersley, before joining Severn House in 2000. As Head of Design, Piers is responsible for all of Severn House’s beautiful cover art, ads, and anything visual. During his time here, he’s worked with many respected and high-profile authors including Simon Brett, Fern Michaels, and Sally Spencer. Piers lives with his family in London and loves playing piano whenever there’s time.

Martin Brown

Senior Brand Manager

Martin joined the Severn House team as Senior Brand Manager in the summer of 2021. He works closely with our authors on marketing their books and manages Severn House’s online presence, advertising, and general publicity. Originally from Glasgow, he started working in publishing with independent presses such as Cargo Publishing. After 6 years living in the US and working with a large book distributor, he returned to Scotland to join Severn House. He lives in Edinburgh with his partner and their cat.