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Industry Insider – why your board needs you

6 July @ 14:30 - 15:15 BST

Virtual Event Virtual Event

Could you represent your fellow authors on the SoA board?  If so, the 2023 Management Committee nominations are now open.

With four seats available, this is your opportunity to contribute to the diversity of perspectives and influence the strategic direction of the Society of Authors over the next few years.

The Society of Authors has a diverse membership and we want to see this diversity of language, genre, form, geography, backgrounds and beliefs represented on the SoA board.

We actively encourage applications from under-represented groups, particularly people of colour and those from ethnically diverse communities as well as people who identify as working-class, disabled, LGBTQ+ and their intersections.

We particularly encourage nominations from members with financial governance or legal skills and experience, and those who are actively working to improve inclusivity within the industry.

If this sounds like you and you want to find out more about standing for the Committee or how you can encourage fellow members to stand, join us for this free panel event on Thursday 6 July.

This event is presented by the SoA’s Management Committee.


  • Welcome, housekeeping and introductions by Abie Longstaff (2 mins)

  • Panel discussion with Joanne Harris (Chair of the Management Committee), Anne Rooney (Management Committee member 2020-2023) and Hugh Roberts (Management Committee member re-elected 2021-2024) (30 mins)

  • Questions from the audience (10 mins)

  • Summary and closing comments from Abie Longstaff (3 mins)

  • This event will be moderated by SoA COO, Anna Ganley


What will this session cover? 

  • Why should full members stand for the SoA’s board?
  • Why should full members vote in the annual elections?
  • How can I stand?
  • How do I meet other members?


Who is this session for? 

This session is aimed at all members of the Society of Authors.


Send us your questions in advance 

If you would like to send questions in advance, email [email protected] with ‘Elections event’ 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 

Joanne Harris, Chair of the Management Committee – re-elected as Chair to 2022-2024

Joanne Harris is Chair of the SoA’s Management Committee. She is an author of over twenty novels in varying genres, including Chocolat, two collections of short stories, a Dr. Who novelette, various stage musical projects and three cookbooks. Joanne’s books have been published in over 50 countries and have won a number of British and international awards. [email protected]

Twitter: @Joannechocolat


Abie Longstaff – MC member, re-elected 2022-2025

Abie Longstaff is a children’s writer. Her books range from picture books to middle grade fiction (spanning roughly ages 2 to 11) and she is published by Penguin Random House, Scholastic, Hachette, Templar and others. She also writes school readers for a range of educational publishers. 

Twitter: @abielongstaff


Hugh Roberts – MC member, re-elected 2021-2024

Hugh Roberts is an academic non-fiction author and business director involved in urban infrastructure. He will be serving his second term on the Management Committee after re-election in November 2021. Hugh’s career focused on master planning of new communities and urban infrastructure across more than 30 countries. He was a director of several consultancies but is now retired and engaged in a range of advisory roles for built environment developments in UK and the Middle East. He has published numerous papers for professional journals and international conferences and three books:-

  • An Urban Profile of the Middle East (Croom Helm/Routledge Taylor & Francis, 1979 and 2016)
  • Journeys with Open Eyes; Seeking Empathy with Strangers (i2i Publishing, 2017)
  • Fractured Society; Causes, Effects and Resolutions (i2i Publishing, 2020)


Anne Rooney – MC member, 2020-2023

Anne Rooney writes non-fiction for all ages, from five to adult, on a huge variety of topics and for all markets. She focuses on science and the history of science, with a big soft spot for dinosaurs, evolution and space — which happily overlaps with the interests of many eight-year-olds. She occasionally writes fiction for children, with a strong interest in emergent readers – both very young children and teenagers with reading difficulties who need simple texts with age-appropriate content.

After completing a PhD on a suitably arcane topic in 1985, she has written full time, concentrating on children’s books since the late 90s. She has published more than 250 books with publishers large and small and has a good knowledge of the publishing industry. An enthusiastic advocate of the Royal Literary Fund, she has been an RLF writing fellow at three universities and is keenly interested in supporting writing in universities.  

Website: www.annerooney.com | Occasional blog: www.shipwreckedrhino.com


About the Management Committee

The SoA’s Management Committee is responsible for the direction of the SoA and makes all major policy and strategy decisions. The Management Committee is made up of 12 democratically-elected Full Members who are unpaid volunteers. Voting members are directly elected by the Membership and each serve a term of three years. Read more


Need to know 


  • Attendees will have the option to turn on the live transcript option
  • If you require BSL interpretation for this event, please email [email protected]

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
  • This event is 45 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 #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

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.




6 July
14:30 - 15:15 BST
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Anna Ganley