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Birthday, Brownies and Books – One Year at Hot Key

Today’s blog post is by Emma Matthewson, Editor-at-Large, who just celebrated her first ‘birthday’ at Hot Key.

IMG_7250 It was with quite a shock that I woke up one morning last week and realised that I had been at Hot Key Books for a whole year. Where did all that time go? Hadn’t I really just arrived? But either way, the one year anniversary seemed like a good time to reflect on all that has happened …

I very clearly remember coming in to the Hot Key offices on that first day, travelling over Waterloo Bridge. The sky was blue (remember that?) the sun was shining, the water on the Thames was sparkling. Everything seemed fresh, including the newly baked blueberry muffins in the kitchen. And a year on, believe it or not, it still seems that way. The Hot Key offices are light, airy, and have that concentrated creative buzz which is very infectious. The walls of my office when I first arrived were pure white. They aren’t so pure now, as jackets, cover roughs, postcards, are now beginning to bloom upon them. But it is a slow bloom – I am very selective as to what I put on the walls, each piece coming in its own time as the books progress along their route to publication. I felt this was a new turn, a new page and I wanted to be careful what went  on these pristine pages. (Anybody remember the play, Art?)

IMG_7244IMG_7247Each author that I was lucky enough to take on for Hot Key –  Anne Cassidy, Benjamin Zephaniah, Garth Nix, James Dawson for this year, alongside some fantastic new voices – Linda Coggin, Archie Kimpton, Dawn McNiff…had to – and do – feel just ‘right’. More to come next year!

And in coming to Hot Key I was very lucky to be joining some much loved colleagues who I already knew – but also some clearly very clever and talented people I didn’t know personally, but have been spending the last year discovering just how talented they are. In this same year Hot Key celebrated its own first year of some incredible publishing – and a Carnegie Medal…

I was also pointed gently but firmly towards Twitter. I am still a rookie but I get Twitter now!

IMG_7252IMG_7253But possibly the best bit (think blueberry muffins) happens in the kitchen area. Apart from a fine array of coffee and teas and an industrial sized kettle to cope with demand, there are some excellent bakers … who often put their fine wares our way.

So, in the same spirit I baked some brownies last week to say thank you to everybody and to attempt to repay the array of goodies I have chomped my way through this year. Thank you so much everybody for making this first year such fun!