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, most recently as Editorial Director of Harlequin’s Global Series business, managing a team of 38 editors and overseeing the publication of almost 800 romance titles a year. She left Harlequin in Summer 2019 to run her own business, coaching writers of all genres.

Kate Lyall Grant


Kate has been the Publisher at Severn House since 2011. She began her publishing career in 1988, and has previously worked at David Higham Associates, Hodder & Stoughton and Simon & Schuster UK.

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.

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.

Rachel Slatter

Senior Commissioning Editor

Rachel is Severn House’s 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 Wendy Corsi Staub, Simon R. Green and Barbara Hambly, and Sunday Times bestseller David Mark. She lives just outside London and enjoys cryptic crosswords, cake, and cats.

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.

Carl Smith

Commissioning Editor

Carl is Commissioning Editor at Severn House where he acquires genre fiction – mysteries, thrillers, cosies, SFF. Carl lives and works in London, England, but his list comprises primarily US-based authors. During his time with Severn House, Carl has acquired Agatha and Anthony Award-winning authors. His list includes G.M. Malliet, Catriona McPherson, Qiu Xiaolong, Elaine Viets, and more.

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 recently returned to Scotland to join Severn House. He lives in Edinburgh with his partner and their two cats.

Natasha Bell

Publishing Assistant

Natasha is the Publishing Assistant at Severn House, where she helps to make the books and keep everything running smoothly. She lives by the river in London and can usually be found playing a game of some kind in her spare time.

Aneesha Batavia

Sales & Operations Assistant

Aneesha joined the Severn House team as Sales & Operations Assistant in October 2021. Working with Severn House is Aneesha’s first job in publishing and we’re excited to have her on board. In her spare time, Aneesha enjoys adding to her ever-growing personal library, listening to music, going on long walks and exploring new places.