Frequently asked questions

Can I set up a critique group?

The Society of Author’s remit covers the business of writing, rather than the craft and content of work, and we’re unable to set up critique groups for members. An option may be for members to make their own connections with like-minded authors through attending our local group meet-ups and set up a small critique group themselves. This would be self-managed and not associated with the Society of Authors.

I’d like to set up a genre group – can I do that?

As the focus of our local groups is connecting members in their area, we would encourage anyone wanting to meet authors of a similar type of genre to go along to their nearest local group and make connections. Our professional groups and networks also occasionally run social meet-ups.

I already run a writers group – can we join your local groups?

If there’s already a SoA local group in your area, members of your writers group are able to attend up to two local group sessions as non-SoA members. If they want to continue attending, we ask them to join the SoA.

If there isn’t an SoA local group in your area and you’d like to open your writers group up to SoA members and become an SoA local group, please get in touch and we can talk through ways we can support you.

How much time will I need to volunteer as a local group organiser?

Around 3-4 hours per month, including hosting your meet-ups, organising sessions and keeping in touch with local members.

Can I record my online local group meeting?

Yes, you can record the Zoom meeting and it will be accessible for one month. You will need to click the record button once in the meeting as meetings are not set to automatically record. Please remember to ask attendees if they’re happy for the session to be recorded and remind them the can turn their video/audio off if they prefer not to be on the recording. You can share the recording link with everyone who registered for the session if they’d like to catch up.

Can I invite non-SoA members to my local group meeting?

Yes, all our local group meet-ups are open to non-members, so please do share with your networks and contacts. Non-SoA members can attend up to two local group sessions before we ask them to join the SoA to continue attending.

Can you help with speaker suggestions?

Take a look at our event ideas or ask your group members for suggestions – they may have local connections or have contacts in their professional networks.

When do I pay a speaker?

Local groups are encouraged to use their members’ expertise and learn from each other by leading discussions or giving a short, informal talk. This can form the basis of a knowledge exchange session. Members can give a talk or lead a discussion on a topic which they have in-depth experience of, in exchange for learning something new from a fellow member at a future meet-up. This is a great way to boost your skillset, make new connections, and hone your approach to making the profession work for you.

Occasionally, groups may want to invite an external speaker. If there is a gap in the group’s knowledge and members would benefit from hearing from an external speaker on a topic, you can arrange a talk or workshop. If the speaker is employed by an organisation or company, such as a publisher or an agency, we would not expect to pay a fee as they will be able to claim their time back as part of their role. If the speaker is freelance or self-employed, you will need to agree a fee in advance. Please see the recommended rates and fees paid by the SoA. If in doubt about whether to offer a fee, ask the SoA.