Coronavirus

Last updated: 25 March 2020

Like all organisations, our response to the COVID-19 outbreak is evolving continually as we monitor advice from the Government and Public Health England.

While our priority is the health and safety of SoA staff, members and partners, we are working to minimise the impact on our core services, including:

  • Advice
  • Membership services
  • Grant giving and awards
  • Estates management
  • Campaigns
  • Community engagement

This page is designed to keep you updated on what any changes might mean for you. We will revise this information regularly to explain how we are adapting our working practices. See below to read about how the SoA staff team is adapting, and about our approach to running and supporting events around the UK.

We realise that you may face financial difficulties as a result of event cancellations, illness and other issues caused directly or indirectly by the health crisis. We’ve compiled a list of funding, professional and other resources that we hope will be useful to you.

Regardless of how we all have to adapt in the weeks and months ahead, you will still be able to stay in touch with us via the usual methods:

In the meantime, stay safe and stay well.

SoA staff team

Our HQ in Bedford Row is now closed, with staff working from home.

We are working to minimise the impact on the service we provide to you. Our technical setup means that we can continue to provide a full advice and membership service, via email and phone, regardless of where individual members of staff are based. We are conducting meetings online or by phone, not face to face.

Some of our work areas will continue with minimal change, while others (such as our events programme – see below) are being radically redesigned to suit the new landscape.

Keep in mind that, like you, we have all experienced an overwhelming transformation, not only in the way we need to work but in every aspect of our lives. This has been sudden, confusing and on many levels traumatic. While we are working to create a sense of ‘business as usual’ for you, these aren’t usual times, so do bear with us if this means some things take a little longer for us to deliver, or need to be delivered to you in a different way.

Local & national events

We have cancelled all upcoming events – whether centrally organised or member-led local group meetings.

While we realise there is no ideal replacement for face to face contact, we are working on initiatives to keep the SoA community active, supported, and supportive of each other.

We hope to be able to offer online versions of some of our cancelled real-world events. We envisage that these will be free to all members.

We are also exploring ways to allow an online SoA community to flourish, not just over the next few months but for the future too.

We’ll publish more details soon.

Resources

With the rapidly changing nature of the coronovirus outbreak, information and advice from Government is constantly being updated.

You can find the current Government advice at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

And there is clear, regularly updated information on the Citizens Advice website.

You can find more specific information via the links below.

Funding

  • Authors’ Emergency Fund
    £330,000 in grants for writers in need from the SoA, ALCS, RLF, English PEN in Partnership with the T S Eliot Foundation, and Amazon UK
  • Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund
    The Film and TV Charity is partnering with BFI to develop a short term system of grants for workers and freelancers who have been directly affected by the closure of productions across the UK. More information available soon.
  • Royal Literary Fund
    Grants and pensions for writers in financial difficulty

Professional guidance

Wellbeing

General guidance