Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books announced today that its Board of Directors has appointed Mairi Kidd as Chief Executive Officer.

Mairi will take up leadership of Seven Stories early in 2021. She will bring considerable experience from her previous roles at Creative Scotland providing strategic leadership for literature, languages and publishing and at children’s book publisher Barrington Stoke where she was Managing Director.  

Mairi Kidd said: “I'm tremendously excited to join Seven Stories in the New Year, at a time when the imaginative escape, challenge and joy offered by books and reading are more vital than ever for children and young people. I've known the organisation for many years and look forward to helping shape its future programmes, reaching across Newcastle and beyond, and informed and inspired by the world class collection at Seven Stories' heart.”

Mairi was Head of Literature, Languages and Publishing at Creative Scotland, the development body for the arts and creative industries in Scotland. Providing strategic leadership and championing arts sector provision, Mairi supported a network of Regularly Funded Organisations and worked within a network of partnerships across the arts, creative industries and government to develop Scottish literature.

Mairi was formerly Managing Director of Barrington Stoke, a prize-winning independent publisher specialising in accessible fiction titles for children and young people.  Here Mairi worked with an impressive roster of authors and illustrators which included UK Children’s Laureates Michael Morpurgo, Julia Donaldson, Michael Rosen, Quentin Blake, Malorie Blackman, Anne Fine and Chris Riddell. She has a particular commitment to breaking down barriers to reading and promoting equalities in publishing and has spoken and written on publishing philosophy, inclusive design and editorial approaches in the media and at festivals including Hay, Cheltenham and Edinburgh. She has lectured in publishing at the University of Stirling and has provided consultancy on children’s publishing, equalities, interpretation and education to a range of clients including Amnesty International UKThe Forestry Commission and the National Trust for Scotland.  

Mairi is an author of published fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. Her latest book Feisty and Fiery and Fierce: Badass Celtic Women to Live Your Life by from Scotland, Ireland and Wales was published by Black & White Publishing in September 2020.  She is also a stage and screenwriter with credits including BAFTA-nominated drama ‘Elvis.  

Mairi is a fluent Gaelic speaker with an MA Honours degree in Celtic Studies from Edinburgh University