Set up a local group

© Dedraw Studio

Our network of local groups is expanding, run by our volunteer local group organisers. We want to help connect more members in their area and create local author communities to learn from and support one another. If there isn’t a local group in your area, we can help you get started.

Why set up a local group?

Connect. Get to know your local member community 

Get together. Regularly meet and talk with fellow Society of Authors members online or in person 

Support. Share your knowledge and experiences in writing, publishing and self-publishing 

Listen. Discuss members’ professional queries and possible solutions – a problem shared is a problem halved! 

Learn. Share your skills and learn new ones from fellow authors and industry professionals 

Getting started

First, email [email protected] to let us know where you’d like to set up a group, including any postcode areas you’d like the new group to cover.

We will let you know the number of members living in your area and email them to gauge initial interest in being part of a local group. We’ll let you know how many members are interested.

If there’s enough interest, it’s time to arrange the first meet-up. This can either be in person or online. We have a pro Zoom account for local groups to use for their online meet-ups – as the local group organiser, you will be provided with the login details to schedule and host your online sessions. If you’d prefer to meet in person, you’ll need to choose a place to meet. A cafe or a pub works well.

Let us know the date, time, address if meeting in person or the Zoom joining details (link, meeting ID and password) and any other details, such as the structure and format for the first meet-up. We’ll notify members in the area by email, through our newsletters and on our website. We’ll also set up a registration form and reminders so members are automatically emailed the details so you don’t need to reply to RSVPs.

We’ll direct members to contact you, as the organiser, for further information about the group and meet-up. There’s no need for you to keep your own mailing list as we handle all local group communications about future meet-ups and events from our central mailing list. That means the contact list for your area is always up to date as new authors join.

All that’s left to do is have a great time with your fellow authors! Keep in touch with us to let us know how your first meet-up went and we can talk through plans for future sessions.

During the first or second meet-up of your new group, it’s a good idea to find out more about your local members to see what skills and knowledge they would be willing to share with the group in the future. This can form the basis of a knowledge exchange session. Members can give a talk or lead a discussion on a topic which they have in-depth experience of, in exchange for learning something new from a fellow member at a future meet-up. 

Sessions might include members sharing their paths to publication, learning about marketing and self-promotion from an experienced member, or sharing tips and advice about speaking at literary festivals. Using your group’s knowledge and learning from your peers is a great way to boost your skill set, make new connections, and hone your approach to making the profession work for you. 

The local group organiser role

As a local group organiser, you’re part of a growing network of Society of Authors members organising in person and online meet-ups which provide valuable opportunities for writers, illustrators and literary translators to build connections in their local area.

Local group organisers discussion group
Join our Facebook group to connect with fellow organisers, ask questions, share what’s worked well for your group and ideas for events that could be replicated by other local groups.

Monthly Zoom chat
We host a monthly Zoom session with Society of Authors staff and fellow local group organisers. Ask questions, share what’s worked well and chat through your ideas or issues.

Buddy scheme
If you’ve just started a local group, we can pair you with a more experienced local group organiser to discuss ideas and find out what’s worked well for them.

Get in touch

Ready to take the plunge and set up a local group in your area? Contact [email protected] and we’ll help get your new group up and running!