Firefly Press co-founder Janet Thomas is stepping back from her voluntary role as Editor and management after nearly ten years. In that time the Wales-based publisher has grown from a standing start to a respected indie children’s publisher with a string of award successes.
Authors and staff have queued up to thank Janet for her inspirational editing and unwavering dedication to the press, which has been vital to Firefly’s launch and its subsequent success. Janet, who is also a long-term voluntary committee member with Honno Welsh Women’s Press, will now
join the Firefly board and remain as a shareholder.
‘Janet is one of a kind. She is a first-class children’s editor who is deeply empathetic, selfless and endlessly hard-working for the authors, staff and publishers she supports,’ said co-founder and Firefly publisher, Penny Thomas (no relation!)
‘It was a huge stroke of luck to have met Janet and start Firefly with her back in 2013. There’s no way Firefly would exist without her dedication, good sense, talent and sheer hard work.
‘When we started out, we wanted to publish quality children’s fiction and establish a fun, successful, Wales-based children’s publisher. The reality has been exhilarating, exhausting, and, thanks to the support of so many wonderful people, has outstripped our wildest expectations and still goes from
strength to strength!
‘We will miss Janet immensely as an editor and colleague, but we are so grateful that she will remain a part of Firefly at board level.’
Authors edited by Janet Thomas at Firefly include former Children’s Laureate Wales Eloise Williams, Jo Clarke, Rhian Ivory, Sharon Marie Jones, Kate Mallinder and Vanessa Harbour among many others.
Eloise Williams (Elen’s Island, Gaslight, Seaglass, Honesty and Lies), who started her children’s writing career with Firefly in 2015 said: ‘Janet has inspired us all! Thank you so much. We love you!’
And Vanessa Harbour (Flight, Safe) added: ‘Working with you has been a pure joy because you always get what I am trying to do.’
Firefly Publicity Manager and long-time colleague Megan Farr said: ‘I have learned so much from you, Janet, always calm and with a clear vision, keeping us all on track and we will all miss you hugely.’
And Helgard Krause, chief executive of the Books Council of Wales, said: ‘Thank you Janet, for the expertise, enthusiasm and commitment that you’ve given so generously to the publishing sector over so many years.’
Janet’s editorial role is being taken over by author and publisher Rebecca F. John, who has started with Firefly this week.
‘We’re delighted to welcome Rebecca to Firefly as Senior Editor,’ said Penny. ‘We couldn’t ask for a better person to join the company at this time!’