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Open Right

Jessica Walton: Introducing Teddy!

Session Info:

In 2015, Jess Walton wrote a picture book to explain gender identity to her young son, and to ensure that the diversity in his family was represented in the books on his shelf. A year later Jess had teamed up with a talented illustrator, published a Kickstarted book, worked with an agent and editor from New York, signed a book deal with Bloomsbury, and spoken to media outlets from around the world.

Jess will read her book Introducing Teddy, a story about a teddy bear who knows in her heart that she is a girl teddy, not a boy teddy, and then talk about her family and the reasons for writing this book. She’ll discuss her search for an illustrator, the importance of consultation and research when writing outside of your own experience, and the journey from grassroots crowdfunded project to internationally published Bloomsbury book translated into nine different languages. She will bring a range of translated editions of Introducing Teddy for the audience to look at.

Jess will encourage her audience to find time in their lives for ‘passion projects’ – you never know where they’ll lead!

There will be a question and answer session for the audience at the end of this presentation.


  • Creating, writing and editing a story, finding collaborators
  • Writing outside of your experience, the importance of research and consultation
  • Crowdfunding vs traditional publishing, and translating picture books
  • The story of Introducing Teddy

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