Katharine Reeve

Senior Lecturer Practitioner, Creative Writing and Publishing

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Creative writing , Publishing

Research Supervision:Yes

Courses taught: Creative Writing, Publishing, Creative Writing, Creative Writing and Publishing

Katharine Reeve is an award-winning non-fiction writer and former Oxford University Press Editorial Director and Commissioning Editor. She has decades of experience in academic and trade publishing, and expertise in publishing and writing education.

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A former Editorial Director and Senior Commissioning Editor at Oxford University Press, Katharine managed the bestselling 'Very Short Introductions' and ‘Oxford History of Art’ series. Specialising in history, art and design. her expertise is in working with researchers to create critically and commercially successful books. As an editorial consultant and ‘book doctor’ Katharine has worked with organisations such as Hachette, HarperCollins, English Heritage. She is currently Editor-in-Residence at University College London.

Katharine is passionate about inclusivity in the publishing industry and has developed successful publishing degrees focused on creative innovation and industry collaboration, which have launched hundreds of careers. In 2018 she brought the Society of Young Publishers to the South West and this is now a thriving regional network of publishers and universities. Publications include The Rough Guide to Food (winner of the 2010 Guild of Food Writers Award for Investigative Writing) and a forthcoming book about the editors, artists and writers behind the pioneering WW2 Puffin picturebook series for children.

Research interests

  • Non-fiction writing (nature writing, memoir, art and design)
  • Children’s publishing
  • Norfolk Broads and climate change

Areas of research supervision

  • Non-fiction writing (e.g. nature writing, memoir)
  • Publishing
  • Editorial strategy and editing


  • Introduction to Imaginative Writing
  • Fundamentals of Publishing
  • Careers in Writing: Editing and Copywriting
  • Creative Non-fiction


  • MA Nature & Travel Writing, Bath Spa University
  • BA History of Design, Manchester Metropolitan University

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Founding member, Penguin Researchers Network
  • Elected Fellow, Royal Society of Arts
  • Member, Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading
  • Member, NAWE

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • Editor-in-Residence, UCL 2022–23
  • Researcher, ‘The Role of the Editor: Publisher Perspectives’, 2016–17, commissioned research and report (£5000), The Future of the Academic Book, national AHRC–British Library collaborative project
  • Project Lead and writer: development, sector consultation and presentation of a new ‘Cultural and Creative Strategy for Bath for 2015–2020’, (£10,000 funding). 2014–15, Bath and North-East Somerset Council/Bath Bridge independent consultancy
  • Director, ‘Life of a book’, 2015. video for Publishers Association for national diversity in publishing initiative. Collaboration with fantasy author, HarperCollins and Bath Spa University students and staff
  • Director, ‘Social Media Experiment’, 2012. (£2500). Collaboration with Bath Spa University staff and students to create a series of live and legacy multimedia interview content for international digital media conference X Media Lab, Bath
  • External Examiner, MA Publishing, University of Plymouth 2018–2022
  • Various consultancy work: HarperCollins, Hachette, Quercus, English Heritage, ACE, National Gallery, Le Monde diplomatique, Bath Film
  • Festival, Bath City Council, Forest of Imagination annual arts event Bath, Bath Bridge, Craneworks: Centre for Invention, Bath City Identity Working Party

Selected recent publications

Reeve, K., forthcoming 2023. Puffin Picture-Books in Wartime Britain. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Reeve, K., 2018. ‘The Role of the Editor: Publisher Perspectives’, research report. London: UCL Press, 2018: 

Reeve, K., 2015. Cultural and Creative Strategy 2015–2020, Bath and North-East Somerset Council

Reeve, K., 2006. Jane Austen in Bath: walking tours of the writer’s city. New York: Little Bookroom

Reeve, K. and Miller, G., 2009. Rough Guide to Food. London: Penguin

Reeve, K. 2010–2015, various book reviews. London: Times Higher Education

Recent presentations and conferences

2023: forthcoming, ‘Interference? Editorial decision-making and Puffin picturebooks 1939–1960’, Conference paper, Researching Penguin: A Far from Random House, May 2023, University of Bristol

2022–23: Publishing masterclass series, University College London

2021: Academic book proposal development, Cardiff University

2021: ‘Publishing for everyone’, panel Chair, Society of Young Publishers South-West conference (online)

2019: Panel speaker, ‘How to get into publishing’, London Book Fair

2018: ‘Reimagining the university press commissioning editor for the 21st century’, REDUX18 University Presses Conference, British Library, London

2017: ‘Your career as a researcher and academic author ‘, panel presentation, ‘Academic publishing and the research ecosystem’, National Academic Book Week, South Bank University

2015: ‘What will the academic book of the future look like?, panel presentation, National Academic Book Week, University of Bristol

2015: ‘The future editor: creative producers for a digital age’, conference paper, By the Book: International Symposium, Florence

2015: ‘The real new publishing’, panel Chair, London Book Fair

2013: ‘Gloves off! How are writers, editors and readers feeling about digital?’, panel Chair, London Book Fair

2012: ‘The future editorial product and digital publishing’, conference paper, FutureBook Conference, London

2012: ‘The Social Media Experiment’, Higher Education Entrepreneurship Group, University of Surrey

2012: ‘Jane Austen goes digital: new fictions, new technologies’, conference paper, University of Sussex

Media experience

Book promotion: Radio, TV: BBC Travel Show; writing: BBC Food, The Times, Times Higher