As a UK trade union representing more thousands authors (including over 850 in Scotland) of every discipline, all ages; from every background, and at every career stage, the Society of Authors works for better terms and greater inclusion, diversity and representation across the publishing industry.
We work closely with partners across the sector to strengthen our influence in the development of Scottish government policy and industry practice for the benefit of all Scottish author communities.
New For 2022
Sitting within the SoA’s policy and campaigns team, Heather Parry joins as Senior Policy and Liaison Manager for Scotland from February 2022. Heather is based in Scotland and will work with our Scottish National Committee to improve the publishing landscape for all authors in Scotland. This crucial pilot role is funded for 12 months by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.
This funding will allow the SoA to provide additional professional support to all authors, illustrators and literary translators across Scotland. The impact and sustainability of this role will be assessed during 2022.
About Heather Parry
Heather is a Glasgow-based writer, editor and publisher. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared internationally in numerous magazines and books. Heather has extensive experience herself of accessing Creative Scotland funding. In 2021, she created the free-access Illustrated Freelancer’s Guide, an accessible resource about creative freelancing, with illustrator Maria Stoian. This is a remarkable free resource.
In addition, Heather is the co-founder and Editorial Director of Extra Teeth magazine, a Scottish publication bringing together fiction writers, essayists and illustrators in twice-yearly instalments.
The magazine, which offers space for bold, biting and experimental work, considers fair pay for authors a core part of its mission. Extra Teeth used crowdfunding to get the project started, and later secured substantial Creative Scotland funding in recognition of the magazine’s success. Stack Magazines has described Extra Teeth as ‘redefining Scottish literature’, and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is a subscriber.
Advocacy for authors is a major part of this role. Heather brings to the post a host of ideas of how to network into government and industry agencies, and how to reach and help authors. We hope for an exponential improvement in all the SoA and our Scottish National Committee can do for the Scottish author community.
Key aims for the SoA in Scotland (SoAiS)
The Senior Policy and Liaison Manager for Scotland will work with the committee and key partners to:
- Increase author awareness about the publishing industry, Intellectual Property and the core business skills needed to sustain a creative career.
- Strengthen relationships with organisations across the Scottish literature and publishing sectors to improve terms, pay, and support, strengthening professional networks and influencing policy.
- Reach out to authors (established and emerging) to provide resources and strengthen professional networks.
- Promote the value of literature and the creative industries to the wider Scottish public.
- Raise awareness of the paid opportunities for authors in Scotland.
The Senior Policy and Liaison Manager will do this by:
- Coordinating and representing the collective voice of authors in Scotland on policy development.
- Providing strategic advocacy to ensure transparent terms and fair opportunities are offered to authors.
- Influencing Scottish government policy, industry practice and the climate in which authors work, in a way that enables the personalised development of sustainable careers.
- Creating and agreeing, with stakeholders, a practical strategy to support emerging writers and authors from diverse backgrounds, ensuring they have access to specialist knowledge and support that will help to shape their career and earnings.
- Recommending and implementing tactics, within resource constraints, for effective engagement and outreach.
- Raising awareness and strengthen the collective author voice with key industry policy and decision makers.
- Monitoring the political environment and feed back timely intelligence to all relevant stakeholders.
- Maintaining a target list of MSPs, MPs and Peers across political parties to brief and share key messaging.
- Drafting responses to consultations and other legislative developments in Scotland.
- Creating high quality, engaging briefings, best practice advice and other written materials for Scottish audiences.
The SoA in Scotland is represented at meetings of Literature Alliance Scotlandand the Scottish Parliamentary Cross-Party Group on Culture and Media and other cross-party groups on Culture in Scottish government.
Literature Alliance Scotland
The Society of Authors in Scotland (SoAiS) is a member of Literature Alliance Scotland. You can read the latest newsletter from the Literature Alliance Scotland/Caidreabhas Litreachais Alba, here.
Scottish Association of Writers
The Society of Authors in Scotland (SoAiS) works closely with the Scottish Association of Writers. The association serves to bring local writers clubs and their members throughout Scotland together, in order to provide support as well as networking opportunities.
Writers Guild of Great Britain – Scottish branch
The Society of Authors in Scotland (SoAiS) works closely with the Writers Guild of Great Britain – Scottish branch.
The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) is a trade union representing professional writers in TV, film, theatre, radio, books, comedy, poetry, animation and videogames.
The Society of Authors in Scotland (SoAiS) is a network member of Publishing Scotland. Together we have produced a Good Practice Covenant between authors and publishers in Scotland. Read the Voluntary Code.
Scottish Book Trust
The Scottish Book Trust is a national charity that believes books, reading and writing have the power to change lives. The Trust has a range of programmes including Book Bug for young children, Live Literature events for all ages, writing prompts and awards.
Scottish Poetry Library
The Scottish Poetry Library is a unique national resource and advocate for the art of poetry, and Scottish poetry in particular. Physically and virtually, the Scottish Poetry Library’s doors are open.
Scottish Society of Playwrights
The Scottish Society of Playwrights (SSP) is a membership organisation representing the interests of professional playwrights in Scotland.
Scottish BPOC Writers Network
The Scottish BPOC Writers Network provides advocacy, literary events and professional development opportunities for BPOC writers based in or from Scotland.
We work with all Scottish festivals to help improve terms for authors, including Bloody Scotland and Edinburgh International Book Festival (EIBF).
As part of our UK-wide work, the SoA works closely with the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society, the Creative Industries Federation and Creators’ Rights Alliance.