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SoA in Scotland: Industry Insider – Rates, Rights and Contracts

7 June @ 18:30 - 20:00 BST

Virtual Event Virtual Event

Join our chair Heather Parry for the second of our SoAiS Industry Insider events, with a panel discussion with author Alycia Pirmohamed, rights expert and literary agent at Portobello Literary, Caro Clarke and Society of Authors Chief Executive, Nicola Solomon.

This series is designed for new and emerging authors based in Scotland to learn more about the publishing industry and the process of being published.



  • Welcome, housekeeping and introductions byHeather Parry (5 mins)
  • Panel discussion, chaired by Heather Parry, with Nicola Solomon, SoA, Alycia Pirmohamed and Caro Clarke (40 mins)
  • Questions from the audience (40 mins)
  • Summary and closing comments from Heather Parry (5 mins)


Who is this session for?

This session is aimed at new and emerging writers who are looking for a way to learn about the publishing industry and about how to approach writing as a career.


What will this session cover?

  • How do we place value on our work and how do we set our rates?
  • What are rights, and how do we understand what rights we are selling when our work is selected for publication?
  • What does ‘exploitation’ of rights mean, and how should we think about it?
  • How do we read contracts?
  • How do we know when a competition is fair and worth the price of entry?
  • What do we look out for in the terms of a contest or publishing opportunity?
  • How do we understand when a clause in a contract isn’t good for us, and how to we negotiate this?
  • What do we do when no contract is offered for a piece of work or performance?
  • How do we respond when asked to work for free?
  • Where can we get free legal advice or contract appraisal?
  • Where can we find out what other people are being paid?


Send us your questions in advance

If you would like to send questions in advance, email HParry@societyofauthors.org with ‘Finding Help and Getting Started’ 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


Alycia Pirmohamed – Author

Alycia is the author of Another Way to Split Water, forthcoming with YesYes Books and Polygon Books in 2022. Her chapbooks include Hinge (ignitionpress), Faces that Fled the Wind (BOAAT Press), and the collaborative essay Second Memory, co-authored by Pratyusha (Guillemot Press and Baseline Press). Alycia studied creative writing at the University of Oregon and the University of Edinburgh, and she is the co-founder of the Scottish BPOC Writers Network and a co-organiser of the Ledbury Poetry Critics Programme. In 2020, she won the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award.

Website: alycia-pirmohamed.com | Twitter: @a_pirmohamed.


Caro Clarke – literary agent at Portobello Literary, senior rights manager and co-founder of the Nan Shepherd Prize

Caro Clarke is a literary agent at Portobello Literary which was created in 2022. They have over ten years’ experience in publishing – at Transworld (PRH) and at Canongate Books as a Senior Rights Manager – and they were named Rights Professional of the Year at the British Book Awards in 2021. In 2019, they co-founded the Nan Shepherd Prize for underrepresented nature writers, which kickstarted a passion to demystify the publishing industry and help emerging writers to develop their craft and build their writing careers.

 Website: www.portobelloliterary.co.uk | Twitter: @portyliterary


Nicola Solomon

As well as being the Chief Executive of the Society of Authors, Nicola Solomon is a solicitor with over 30 years’ experience in intellectual property and media law. She has an in-depth knowledge of the publishing industry and the many associated legal areas, from copyright and defamation, to privacy, data protection and contract. She is a Deputy District Judge and sits on the board of the International Authors’ Forum and the British Copyright Council and the European Writers Council.


Heather Parry

Heather Parry (she/her) is a Glasgow-based writer, editor and publisher. She is the co-founder and Editorial Director of Extra Teeth magazine, co-host of the Teenage Scream podcast and the Scottish Senior Policy & Liaison Manager for the Society of Authors. In 2021 she created the free-access Illustrated Freelancer’s Guide with artist Maria Stoian. Her short stories and nonfiction have been published internationally, and her debut novel, Orpheus Builds a Girl, will be out in October 2022 with Gallic Books.

Website:  www.heatherparry.co.uk | Twitter: @heatherparryuk



About Society of Authors in Scotland (SoAis)

The SoA in Scotland (SoAiS) is a nation group of the Society of Authors. Members with a Scottish postcode are added to the group when they join the SoA. If you have not been added but would like to join this group, please contact us.

We offer a varied calendar of activities organised by a committee of volunteers and a staff coordinator. Group activities are reported in the SoA’s quarterly magazine, The Author.

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 events@societyofauthors.org 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 90 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 events are free, 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

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.



7 June
18:30 - 20:00 BST
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Heather Parry