Following a vote of children’s authors, we welcome Alice Harman to the SoA Children’s Writers & Illustrators Group (CWIG) committee.
In her new role, Alice will work with existing committee members – Dawn Finch (chair), Steve Antony, Ian Billings, A M Dassu, Ross Montgomery, S F Said, Chitra Soundar, Robin Stevens and Isabel Thomas – on future campaigning, advocacy and guidance for children’s authors.
Alice is an author, editor and slightly obsessive reader of children’s books. In her words, she loves writing fun, thoughtful books that make big ideas feel exciting and easy to understand. She has written 43 of them so far, about everything from art to outer space. Alice’s psychology quiz book, Who Do You Think You Are? was longlisted for the 2021 Blue Peter Book Awards, and her book Modern Art Explorer has been featured in The New York Times amongst others. It was a lovely article that called Alice a ‘bright light’ and made her mum cry. She also has a monthly kids’ books newsletter, What Book Now?, which gives her a great excuse to slink off and read ‘for work’. Alice grew up in London, studied in Brighton and Paris, and spent several years working for children’s publishers and charities. She now lives in a village near Oxford with her husband, young daughter and cat.
Commenting, Alice said:
I’m so happy to be joining the CWIG Committee and feel so honoured to have received the support of my fellow Society of Authors members. I’m looking forward to supporting the work of the Children’s Writers and Illustrators Group and doing my absolute best to make the Group feel really helpful and welcoming for all members.
Being an author (and illustrator, if you have talents that I sadly don’t possess!) is amazing but it can also feel really overwhelming at times, and it’s vital for us to have a safe, inclusive place dedicated to learning, confidence-building and community. Not just for our own benefit, but because the stronger and happier we are as a Group, the better we can use our collective power to inspire young readers and take meaningful action to protect their right to read.
CWIG was formed to address the issues faced by authors working in children’s publishing and bring those members together professionally and socially. The committee advise on industry standards, terms and fees, and hold a wide range of meetings and events.
The group campaigns for better contract terms, such as those offered for special sales; to support libraries; and for the promotion of literacy, including a Reading for Pleasure Award that members can give to schools.