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AGM Week: Industry Insider – How to Create a Sustainable Book

15 November @ 10:00 - 11:00 GMT

Virtual Event Virtual Event

SoA Sustainability Chair and writer Piers Torday will chair this special #SoAatHome industry insider panel discussion as part of Sustainability Week, with sustainable publisher and farmer Daphne Astor (Hazel Press), and sustainable paper maker Mark Cropper (James Cropper Paper) . They will discuss the ethics and economics of producing a truly sustainable book and explore whether recent industry developments are making this possible in reality.


  • Welcome, introductions and housekeeping from Piers Torday (2 mins)
  • Piers Torday chairs a panel discussion with publisher Daphne Astor and paper maker Mark Cropper(40mins)
  • Q&A with audience (15 mins)
  • Summary and closing comments (3 mins)
  • This session will be moderated by Katharine King, SoA’s Head of Finance


What will this industry insider cover?

  • What is meant by a “sustainable book?”
  • What are the key challenges involved in publishing one – from writer to production?
  • Is publishing ready to become sustainable?
  • What do authors and readers need to know to make ethical choices?



Send us your questions

If you would like to send questions in advance, email [email protected] with ‘Sustainable Book’ in the subject header. We will prioritise questions sent in advance and answer as many as we can from the audience on the day.

SoA @ Home Fundraising Bookshop

Browse our virtual Bookshop.org store featuring books by authors and speakers taking part in the SoA @ Home Festival. When you make a purchase using our affiliate links a percentage will go to the Authors’ Contingency Fund, providing hardship grants to authors in financial difficulty.


The Line up


Daphne Astor –  Regenerative farmer, founding editor and director, Hazel Press

Hazel Press is an independent publisher with a focus on the environment, the realities of climate change, feminism and the arts. They publish poetry, essays and interdisciplinary work that is not only intelligent and inspiring, but also engages with a strong sense of place and the important ecological issues of our time.  Their books are printed in the UK with local and regional pioneering environmental printers, using 100% recycled paper and vegetable-based inks. All of their packaging, envelopes and tape are also vegan and 100% recycled.


Mark Cropper – James Cropper Paper

Mark Cropper is a sixth-generation paper-maker, environmentalist and renewable energy entrepreneur.  Based in the ancient mill village of Burneside in the Lake District, Mark is the current custodian of family business James Cropper, makers of advanced materials and specialist papers. Nearby, he leads Ellergreen, which has led a renaissance in hydro power in the area and is now turning its attention (at a very local level) to community energy, zero carbon homes and bio-abundant farming. This year he has commenced the UK’s largest wildflower meadow restoration project and is creating large areas of wood pasture and orchards around Burneside which one day he hopes will become part of a wildlife corridor linking Kendal to Penrith.  Mark is dedicated to making places better and more resilient in holistic ways. He has led ‘Visions for Burneside and Kendal’, a series of local initiatives, and is now building capacity to help deliver these.  Ones such initiative on its way is the Paper Foundation (www.paper.foundation), a new home for handmade paper and paper and book arts.


Piers Torday (chair) –  children’s writer, playwright

Piers’s books for children include The Last Wild series (Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize), There May Be a Castle, and The Lost Magician  (Teach Primary Book Award). Plays include The Box of Delights, Christmas Carol, and The Child in the Snow (Wilton’s Music Hall.) He is co-founder of the Paul Torday Memorial Prize and Chair of the Society of Authors Sustainability Working Group.
Website: www.pierstorday.co.uk | Twitter: @pierstorday Instagram: @piers_torday


Need to know

Before the event

  • Once registered, you will be sent a confirmation email with the Zoom link
  • If the confirmation email doesn’t arrive in your inbox, please check your junk/spam email folder
  • Please add [email protected] to your Safe Senders list so you receive our confirmation and reminder emails

During the event

  • This online event will take place on Zoom Webinar
  • This event will be recorded, but you will not be seen on screen
  • Attendees have the option to turn on the live transcript option
  • This event is 60 minutes

After the event

    • Hashtag for this event: #SoAatHome
    • You’ll be able to catch the recording on our Vimeo channel



Book your place by using the registration below.

All #SoAatHome events are free but if you can afford to, please consider donating to our Authors’ Contingency Fund and we suggest a minimum donation of £5. The fund is to help professional authors experiencing financial hardship. DONATE HERE

If you are unable to book using the registration box below, please email [email protected] with the name and date of the event you’d like to register for and we’ll confirm your place.


15 November
10:00 - 11:00 GMT
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