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Children’s Writers and Illustrators: Industry Insider – Contractual Terms for Authors Visiting Schools

20 September @ 13:00 - 14:00 BST

Virtual Event Virtual Event

School visits can be mutually rewarding for all participants. Children are inspired to read for pleasure and to write, to make greater use of libraries, and reluctant readers gain confidence. For authors and illustrators, visits provide vital income, promotion, book sales, pleasure, and even inspiration for further books.

However, a poorly organised visit can become a horror story. How can authors protect themselves? What terms should authors agree with schools to ensure the visit is a success?

This panel discussion will follow on from our AGM at 12:00 – 12:30. To register for the AGM, visit here.




  • Welcome, housekeeping and introductions by Sarah Burton, Head of Advisory Team and Senior Contract Advisor, SoA (5 mins)
  • Panel discussion with Jo Clarke, Karen Inglis, Ross Montgomery, Nicola Morgan (30 mins)
  • Questions from the audience (20 mins)
  • Summary and closing comments from Sarah Burton (5 mins)



What will this session cover? 

  • Should authors have a formal contract with schools?
  • Fees for events (both online and in-person) and expenses
  • Online school visits
  • Recording
  • Selling books and engaging teachers with promotion
  • Cancellation policies
  • Admin and legal requirements, including insurance and DBS clearances


Who is this session for? 

Children’s writers and illustrators who are already visiting schools, or those interested in undertaking school visits. School librarians and teachers who arrange school visits.


Send us your questions in advance 

If you would like to send questions in advance, email [email protected] with ‘School Visits Panel’ in the subject header. We will prioritise questions sent in advance and will 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 


Sarah Burton (Chair) – Head of Contracts Advisory Team, SoA

Sarah Burton is Head of the SoA’s Contracts Advisory Team and Co-Coordinator of CWIG.


Jo Clarke

Jo Clarke is an author, award winning book blogger and primary school librarian. She writes The Travelling School Mysteries, which is published by Firefly Press. She is actively involved in the children’s book community and has taken part in judging the British Book Awards, Blue Peter Book Awards and Alligator’s Mouth Book Awards.

Website: Jo Clarke (jo-clarke.co.uk) | Instagram: @booklover_Jo


Karen Inglis

Karen Inglis is a successful self-published children’s author of picture books, chapter books and middle-grade novels. Her time travel adventure The Secret Lake, which has been an international bestseller on Amazon since 2018, has sold almost half a million print copies in the English language and is in translation in nine languages. Karen’s other titles have all sold in their thousands. 

Although most of her sales are now online, Karen still loves going into UK schools where she will often see all classes across a day as her books span from Reception to Year 5/6. She had achieved close to 10,000 sales this way before her online sales took off in 2018. Karen also offers virtual school visits worldwide.

Return to the Secret Lake – the long awaited sequel to her bestseller – came out in March 2022.

Websites: kareninglisauthor.com (for readers); selfpublishingadventures.com (for writers) | Twitter: @kareninglis | Facebook: facebook.com/kareninglisauthor | Instagram: @kareninglis_childrensbooks


Ross Montgomery

Ross Montgomery started writing stories as a teenager, when he should have been doing homework, and hasn’t really stopped since. After working as a primary school teacher, he has written over twenty books for children, including The Midnight Guardians which was shortlisted for the Costa Book Award 2021 and selected as one of The Guardian’s Children’s Books of the Year.  He has now visited over 500 schools around the country, running creative writing workshops and spreading the joy of reading. He lives in London with his girlfriend and their cat, called Fun Bobby.

Website: www.rossmontgomery.co.uk | Instagram: @mossmontmomery | Twitter: @mossmontmomery  


Nicola Morgan

Nicola Morgan, aka The Teenage Brain Woman, is an award-winning author and insightful speaker on teenage wellbeing, how stress impacts performance, sleep, resilience and the effects of screens, social media and reading for pleasure. Her best-selling examination of the teenage brain, Blame My Brain, was shortlisted for the Aventis Prize; the prize-winning Teenage Guide to Stress, along with The Teenage Guide to Friends, Positively Teenage, Life Online, Body Brilliant, The Awesome Power of Sleep and Be Resilient, underline Nicola’s unparalleled expertise. In 2018, she was awarded the SLA’s award for Outstanding Contribution to Information Books. She used to be a novelist and one day will be again.

Website: www.nicolamorgan.com | Twitter: @nicolamorgan



About the Children’s Writers and Illustrators Group

The Children’s Writers and Illustrators Group is the largest of all the Society of Authors’ special interest groups with more than 1,300 members. It was founded in the 1960s to address challenges facing writers and illustrators and advocate for better industry standards. It is run by an elected committee of nine authors who lead campaigns, develop resources and organise events. Every Group member can give up to three Reading for Pleasure Awards a year to hard-working and imaginative schools for their promotion of reading for pleasure. Find out more here.


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; you will not be visible on screen but will be able ask questions via the Q&A function or interact via the chat box
  • This event will be recorded but you won’t be 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 using the registration form below.

All SoA @ Home industry insider events are free but, if you can afford it, we recommend a minimum £5 donation to the Authors’ Contingency Fund to help us support authors facing financial hardship during the health crisis. 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.


Accordion Content

Financial support for authors in need through the health crisis and beyond

Since March 2020, the Authors’ Contingency Fund has distributed over £1 million in small grants to authors facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

With at least 57% of authors facing financial losses during the pandemic, we have helped people struggling financially due to contractual, employment and event cancellations, others who have lost income due to illness, and others prevented from working because of caring responsibilities.

As the health crisis continues, applications for grants continue to come in, and our emergency funds are running low.

So, if you are in a position to help, please donate via the link below. If you are an author facing financial hardship, please click here to see if we can help.



Accordion Content

20% off your first year with discount code SOAFESTIVAL20

The Society of Authors is the UK’s biggest trade union for authors – representing more than 11,300 writers, illustrators, translators and other creative practitioners.

Our standard subscription rate is just £26.25 per quarter (£18.50 for students).

As an SoA member, you’ll get:

  • Access to all our SoA @ Home Festival events for free
  • Unlimited one-to-one professional advice
  • Membership of our online and real-world professional networks
  • A range of member-only discounts, including books, insurance and travel
  • And much more.




20 September
13:00 - 14:00 BST
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