Authors with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses

Penny Batchelor announces the ADCI Literary Prize at the SoA Awards on 1 June 2022 at Southwark Cathedral (photograph © Adrian Pope)
Penny Batchelor announces the ADCI Literary Prize at the SoA Awards on 1 June 2022 at Southwark Cathedral (photograph © Adrian Pope)
A peer support network for authors living and working with health challenges

Being an author can be a lonely and isolating experience. Being an author with a disability or chronic illness is doubly isolating.

Claire Wade – founding member

This member-led peer support network aims to break feelings of isolation by connecting authors facing common experiences, in an online community that offers continuing professional and personal support.

The network’s primary aim is to offer a friendly and supportive space where you can feel safe to ask questions, share experiences, offer advice, and make new connections.

To join or to take part in the specific activities below email us

How it works

The network is run entirely online, using a range of setups and platforms, with the aim of making it as accessible as possible.

We run a private Facebook discussion group where you can share tips and advice, as well as updates about your work, or simply to reflect on your day in a safe space.

We are currently looking into alternative discussion platforms to help members stay in touch outside Facebook.

Monthly Zoom get-togethers

We run monthly get-togethers using Zoom, where you can chat informally online with others. Depending on your computer or device, you can take part either using audio or video. Please let us know if you have any specific needs that will help you take part.


In the future, we hope to run regular online webinars and workshops to help you navigate various areas of the creative industries. If you have any suggestions, or wish to lead a discussion topic, please get in touch.

Our aims

For some of us life is a daily challenge and it’s always good to have someone to talk to or to ask for advice when you get stuck. If you’re disabled or health-challenged then join ADCI. It’s all about helping other writers and letting them help you.

Patrick Walsh – founding member

This group offers a fantastic opportunity to connect authors and help them navigate a complex industry. Sharing experiences, making friends, supporting each other and promoting our work will lead to happier and more confident authors, who can go on to produce better, more successful work. It’s time for disabled authors to take their rightful place in the creative industries. With our unique voices and experiences, just think of the work we are going to create.

Claire Wade – founding member
  • Enable disabled members to support each other through the exchange of practical advice around the writing process and disability issues.
  • Encourage and enable more disabled characters in books, on screen, on the radio and online. We believe the best way of doing this is by raising the profile of disabled authors, building confidence, and helping more creative practitioners with disabilities to progress their careers.
  • This network can also serve as a platform to better communicate with industry representatives, to raise awareness of the needs of disabled authors to encourage more inclusivity and to highlight the value of these writers to the industry.

Further reading

    AbilityNet supports people living with any disability or impairment to use technology to achieve their goals at home, at work and in education
  • Disability Arts Online
    This organisation support disabled artists, as much as anything by getting the word out about the fantastic art being produced by artists within the sector
  • Disability Rights UK
    DR UK is itself led by people with diverse experiences of disability and health conditions, from different communities. They work with allies committed to equal participation for all
  • GOV.UK / Disabilities
    Useful links to government information
  • Scope
    Scope provides practical information and emotional support when it’s most needed and campaign relentlessly to create a fairer society

To find out more about how the ADCI Network was founded, and for additional resources, see: