We were delighted to receive six nominations for the four vacancies to join the CWIG Committee.
Thank you to all the candidates for their commitment to join the Children’s Writers & Illustrators Group and to strengthen our work on behalf of children’s authors.
The candidates standing for nomination are:
Dr Cristina Steliana Mihailovici
The successful candidates will join the Committee at the AGM on 20 September, alongside Ian Billings, AM Dassu and Isabel Thomas. Voting closes Friday 9 September.
Rachel Faturoti is a YA and children’s fiction author, poet and editor committed to broadening the scope of authentic Black representation in YA and children’s fiction. A British Nigerian, she works as a sensitivity reader specialising in race and gender issues. Her novels Sadé and Her Shadow Beasts (Hodder Children’s) and Finding Folkshore (Jacaranda) are out in 2022.
I would love to join the committee because I believe in the important work that the SOA is doing as I have used their valuable services before, including the contract vetting service. I am very passionate about the promotion of reading for pleasure and supporting libraries as they were so important to me growing up. The CWIG Reading for Pleasure Award is an amazing initiative to highlight the efforts of librarians and schools promoting reading where it would have been previously overlooked. As a committee member, I would be given the chance to contribute to other initiatives such as this one. As a Black British Nigerian woman who grew up in London, I would be able to bring lived experience and diversity to the committee. I want the voices of diverse creatives to be heard and for them to be properly supported. As an avid writer and soon to be published author, one of my goals is to find a way to support creatives from underrepresented groups and to use my resources to do so.
Lisa Fransson is a bilingual writer living in Sussex, with her husband and three children. In her native Swedish, Lisa’s an award-winning children’s author, while in her adopted English she’s a writer of flash fiction, fairytales and novels-in-progress. She’s represented by Intersaga Literary Agency who is working on the foreign rights to her children’s books. By profession, Lisa is a translator, editor and proofreader. Currently she’s using her translation skills to adapt her books into English for a wider market.
I’m a bilingual author with dual nationality, British and Swedish. As well as being a full member of the Society of Authors, I’m also a full member of the equivalent union in Sweden, Författarförbundet. With insight into two separate markets, my hope is to be able cross-pollinate ideas between the two unions, to share and to grow, to widen perspectives and create stronger ties between authors in the two countries, which feels particularly important in the post-Brexit landscape. As a committee member there are three issues that are particularly close to my heart. The first is literacy, how authors can help to encourage literacy, how to make space for learning to read and how to give every child constant access to new books. This brings me to the second issue, which is libraries. In Sweden it’s a legal requirement for all schools to have a library, why can’t that be done here? The third issue is author-focused: nobody writes much about authors and books in the media anymore, and they write even less about children’s authors. I would like to change that by fostering connections between the media and CWIG. These three issues, libraries, literacy, media, are all interconnected. As I see it, they feed into each other and will help create a reading public, now and into the future.
Ioanna Georgiou is a mathematics educator and author who finds story telling a fascinating way to communicate mathematical ideas from the times they were emerging. Turning to stories of the past, with lively characters full of resilience and determination gives a rather comprehensive glimpse of what maths has been doing for us possibly ever since early humans started counting. Ioanna has been using these ideas in her teaching, masterclasses and workshops. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, a Chartered Mathematics Teacher. Her two books for children, “Mathematical Adventures!” (2020) and “Peculiar Deaths of Famous Mathematicians” (2022) are fully illustrated and aim to being mathematical stories to life and show children how mathematics has been helping us along the way and it is much more than just sums and symbols.
Being involved with mathematics communication for my entire career, I started writing more as it emerged through my activities; my teaching and workshops have allowed me to explore mathematics from a story-telling perspective which I found completely fascinating. With my second book being published this summer, I would like to focus further on writing in the years to come. I am active in a range of areas focused on communication and promoting enjoyment of learning. My main job is teaching; I am Head of Mathematics, Head of Academic Enrichment and Senior Teacher (Academic). I am the EPQ coordinator, a qualification for Sixth Form students that focuses on research, developing suitable questions, identifying quality resources, and discussing a variety of viewpoints. In my roles in school, I work in teams where we need to support one another to achieve our goals and equip our students for the future. Outside of school, I deliver Maths Storytelling workshops and presentations for the Royal Institution and independently (more recently at the Greenwich Maths Time). I am a volunteer Maths Gallery tour guide at the Science Museum where I have the opportunity to interact with audiences of wider age range than my job. I am a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, and I sit on its “Schools and Further Education Committee” since 2018. Joining the CWIG committee, I can bring a wealth of experience and skills and become more involved with the Society of Authors, which offers such valuable support to its members.
Josh Lacey has written about 40 books for children and one for adults. In the past, he worked as a journalist, a teacher, and a screenwriter. He has written for various age groups, and his books range from The Pet Potato, a picture book illustrated by Momoko Abe, to middle-grade novels like The Island of Thieves. He has worked with different illustrators, including Jim Field, Beatrice Castro, and Garry Parsons, who illustrated the ten books in the Dragonsitter series. His books have been translated into twenty languages and published in the USA by Little Brown, Penguin Random House, and Macmillan.
The Society of Authors has been helpful and supportive to me throughout my career, not only checking contracts and offering advice, but also making me feel part of a community who are struggling with similar problems and issues. I would like to give something back by offering my time and energy to the CWIG committee, along with the expertise that I have acquired over many years of writing and publishing.
I have written about forty books for children; worked with a wide range of editors, designers, publicists, illustrators, etc; experienced the best (and worst) of school visits; and generally got to know the workings of our business. I’m always energised and inspired when I have the chance to meet other writers and artists, and share experiences.
As children’s authors and illustrators, we occupy an unusual place in the literary world. Our books comprise a large chunk of the market, but we are often undervalued by the industry (witness the paucity of reviews). CWIG should be standing up for the rights of children’s writers and illustrators in the industry, while also reminding the wider world of the crucial role that we play in the lives of future citizens.
CWIG speaks for all children’s writers and illustrators, allowing us to negotiate collectively in an industry which is often eager to divide us. I’d like a chance to help with this vital work.
Born in 1979, in Romania, Cristina Steliana Mihailovici is a Doctor in Nautical Science and Engineering, passionate about shipping, nature and marine environment since her childhood. She is also an economist, a lecturer, a writer and a researcher, and she is activating for education, culture, climate change and equality rights for everyone. Cristina has published over 20 international academic papers dedicated to all maritime domain and focused on the sustainability, safety, marine environment, human factor and seafarer’s rights and well-being.
I was publishing many poems and essays since I was 12 years old and in the last ten years I was working on an educational project for children which is based on educational story books with my character named Little Globy. (our planet)
In my last educational story book “Little Globy, the Recycling Superhero and the Plastic Ogre” I have as co-author my daughter Nicole Noelia Mihailovici. This story is dedicated to climate change, sustainability and protection of the environment.
Holly Webb started writing eighteen years ago while working as an editor at a children’s publisher. She now writes full-time, and has written over a hundred and fifty books, which have been translated into thirty-three languages. Her most recent titles are The Homesick Kitten and the Museum Kittens books (Little Tiger) and The Story of Greenriver (Orion Children’s Books, publishing September 2022). Holly is currently working on a sequel to The Story of Greenriver. Holly lives in Reading with her husband, three teenage children, and three demanding cats. Her website is www.holly-webb.com, and you can find her on Twitter @hollykatewebb and Instagram @hollywebbauthor
I would love to become more involved with the Society of Authors. Particularly over the last couple of years, I’ve become very conscious that I’m part of a community of children’s authors and illustrators, and that I’d like to play a stronger role in that community. In the current political climate it feels more important than ever to represented by a union, and to take some responsibility for the union’s stance.
As a member of CWIG, I would particularly want to focus on promoting the mainstream accessibility of a wider range of books – particularly with the recent demise of the Costa Children’s Book Award and the Blue Peter Book Awards. I would also like to discuss the importance of author visits for a wider variety of schools – while also protecting authors, many of whom are struggling with late payments and unexpected cancellation of events.