I am a Brazilian in my early thirties and I write and illustrate for children. One way of settling myself into the publishing industry after moving to the UK was joining the SoA, which has been utterly helpful in many ways.
However, when it came to social events, being surrounded by so many – and more mature – established authors could be a little intimidating. So I was happily surprised by how this year’s SoAiS Spring Social was organised in a dynamic and personal way.
First of all, instead of sitting quietly amongst an ocean of small screens, the hosts broke into small chat rooms. This allowed us to get to know each other and to have a space for an actual conversation.
Secondly, we got to express our present concerns and share thoughts on how the SoA could help us move forward.
Last but not least (at all), we all got to share a little bit of our talent, which I thought was a really nice touch. We were invited to finish some limericks in our ‘own inimitable style’. So I did it, but my own inimitable style was illustrated.
A wee Glasgow dog with a bone
Was frightened of taking it home
For the butcher was missing
A whole free range chicken…
That not only surprised everyone but also appeared to widen the space for creative solutions when it comes to writing and sharing one’s work. That was the high point for me because it showed that my work was taken seriously despite where I am in my career or what genre I write for. I felt included.
In a single afternoon, authors and hosts got to know each other, express issues and ask for help, and also exercise and share our skills in a fun and personal way. This social was an example of everything that I expect, hope and wish from a community like the SoA. I couldn’t be happier and look forward to the next one!