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No Wallflowers Here! Behind the Scenes at The Official Book Launch of Fiona Woodcock’s debut; Hiding Heidi

Hiding Heidi party

We celebrated with our esteemed colleagues from Simon and Schuster on Tuesday evening at the official book launch of Hiding Heidi — the debut author/illustrated picture book by Bright artist, Fiona Woodcock.

Held at The Bright Emporium on THE hottest day so far this summer and apparently in the last 20 or so years of British summers, we are proud to say that this was the busiest event we’ve held here since our gallery opened back in November last year.


The Marketing team at Simon and Schuster won a special award from the Book Marketing Society this year, during The Bookseller’s Marketing and Publicity conferencefor best children’s book marketing, and it is no wonder — with such a talented, organised and creative team. We had great fun collaborating on ideas for the launch and the end result was stand out stuff.

We’d like to thank Simon and Schuster for such a special collaboration and it is a genuine pleasure to be working with them. It’s great to see a publisher making such good use of the space and the Emporium was built exactly for this reason. We look forward to many more events in the future!

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Speech time! Fiona Woodcock talking to US Creative agent Anne Moore Armstrong(bottom left) Lara Hancock, Editorial Director for children’s picture books at Simon and Schuster and Vicki Willden-Lebrecht, Bright Founder and MD (top & bottom right)


Simon and Schuster are known for launching debut talent and we share their values and thinking when it comes to this: as an agency we know that it’s well worth nurturing our talented seeds, who grow into the most incredible author/illustrators and household names on a global scale. It takes vision and forward thinking and that’s what they have in bucketfuls.

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Fiona Woodcock is a brilliant example of talent who has grown within Bright, following in the footsteps of artists like Benji Davies and his debut, The Storm Whale (also Simon and Schuster)


Award winning Bright author/illustrator, Benji Davies describes Fiona’s debut as “Beautifully Crafted” —  as quoted on the cover of Hiding Heidi.

 Beginning by working across Art Licensing, Fiona developed her artwork towards trade as both author and illustrator with her debut picture book Hiding Heidi now out and well and truly launched. Having the Emporium’s gallery space available for the launch was a brilliant opportunity for Fiona to show her stunning artwork with extracts from the books as prints and cards for sale, alongside the lovely hardback copies of Hiding Heidiwhich flew off the shelves and sold out in no time. You can see more details about how to buy Fiona’s printed, framed artwork here. 


Furthermore The Bright Emporium has become a place for our artists to truly call home: Fiona will be back in two weeks time for her Storytime Sunday event with local families attending her reading and craft session, based on the book and with the opportunity to meet the author and get a signed copy of their own! You can buy tickets to see Fiona at our next storytime here.


Vicki Willden-Lebrect with her team, agents Nicky Lander, Alex Gehringer and James Burns from the US team (right)

We were also very excited to have our US team here for the launch, who flew over the weekend before to be here for the celebrations. Fiona is currently working with US Managing Agent, Alli Brydon on her next picture book, which will be due out in Summer 2018 and published by Harpercollins US.

On such a successful launch party, Vicki Wilden-Lebrect, Founder and MD of Bright said this:

“It is wonderful to see the The Bright Emporium being used for what is was built for — to discover, celebrate and launch amazing new books! Amazing work by publisher Simon and Schuster and the Bright team to ensure the wonderful Fiona Woodcock’s debut title was launched spectacularly!! Thanks to all that came and the team effort that went into the launch — it was a knock out !!!”

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Strike a pose! Clockwise from top left: Elisa Offord, Marketing and Publicity Director at Simon and Schuster: Vicki Willden-Lebrect: Hannah Cooper, Publicity Manager at S&S and Harriet Steger, Global Marketing Manager at Bright: Author/Illustrator Steven Lenton.

The Bright Emporium was indeed made for events like this and we look forward to many more. You only need to take a look at our website to see all the activity: from Yoga, to mini yoga, to creative writing workshops, story time on Sundaysbook themed children’s partieslaunches and parties galore— the possibilities are endless!

We have a wonderful space here  — a fun and creative combined retail outlet, gallery and event space: a design studio and licensing agency with beautiful lighting and walls dressed in the finest illustration by Bright artists. It has a genuinely warm atmosphere and a team who work around the clock to make it the success it has become.

If you would like to hold a launch or event at The Bright Emporium, you can get in touchhere.

We look forward to hearing from you!


The teams behind the book: Simon and Schuster: Bright Group International, and Fiona Woodcock (centre)

Fiona Woodcock is represented by the Bright Group

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