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SoA in Scotland: Industry Insider – Working with Agents

5 July @ 18:30 - 20:00 BST

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Panellists Jenny Brown, Hannah Lavery and Johanna Clarke join our chair Heather Parry for the third of our SoAis Industry Insider events. 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.

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 Jenny Brown, Hannah Lavery and Johanna Clarke, SoA (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?

  • Does a writer need an agent?
  • How does this differ across artforms, and when is the right time to make that leap?
  • How does a writer find an agent?
  • What’s the right way – and the wrong way – to approach agents to represent you?
  • What happens when an agent wants to work with you?
  • Who can look over agency agreements for you?
  • What does an agent expect from their writers, and what can writers expect from their agents?
  • How do you know which agent is right for you?
  • What do you do when several agents want to represent you?
  • Do you need different agents for different parts of your career?
  • How do you know when an author-agent relationship is – and isn’t – working?


Send us your questions in advance

If you would like to send questions in advance, email HParry@societyofauthors.org with ‘Working with Agents’ 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

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


Jenny Brown – Literary agent at Jenny Brown Associates

Jenny Brown established Jenny Brown Associates literary agency in 2002.  She represents 50 mainly Scottish-based writers of fiction and narrative non-fiction. She was previously Head of Literature at the Scottish Arts Council, presenter of book programmes for Scottish Television, and founder Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival (of which she is now a Board member). She was shortlisted in 2014 and 2020 for Agent of the Year Award. She was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2021.

Website: www.jennybrownassociates.com| Twitter: @agentjenny


Hannah Lavery – Poet, playwright, performer, director, and Edinburgh’s current Makar

Hannah Lavery is an award-winning poet and playwright. Her pamphlet, Finding Seaglass was published by Stewed Rhubarb and her poem, Scotland You’re No Mine was selected as one Scotland’s Best Poems for 2019. The Drift, her highly acclaimed autobiographical lyric play, toured Scotland as part of the National Theatre of Scotland’s Season 2019 and in 2020, she was selected by Owen Sheers’ as one of his Ten Writers Asking Questions That Will Shape Our Future for the International Literature Showcase, a project from the National Writing Centre and the British Council. Her second lyric play Lament for Sheku Bayoh premiered at Edinburgh International Festival in 2021. She was appointed Edinburgh Makar in November 2021 for a three year term. She is also an associate artist with the National Theatre of Scotland and one of the winners of the Peggy Ramsay/Film4 Award 2022.

Website: www.hannahlavery.com | Twitter: @hanlavery

Johanna Clarke – Publishing Contracts Advisor, SoA

Johanna joined the SoA in October 2021. She advises members on publishing contracts and issues, and works closely on the SoA’s outreach programme. Before working at the Society of Authors, she worked as an agency assistant, and at an agency as a contracts executive, so she knows the agent-author relationship inside out.

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.



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5 July
18:30 - 20:00 BST
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Heather Parry