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Management Committee

The SoA is run by the Management Committee which consists of 12 elected professional writers. It works as a team to make decisions and has ultimate responsibility for the SoA. It takes all major policy and strategy decisions, while the administration of the SoA and the day-to-day running of the office lie with the Chief Executive, Nicola Solomon, and the staff.

The 12 members serve a term of three years and are unpaid volunteers. Four retire each year at the AGM and candidates are invited to fill the spaces, a ballot of Members being held if more candidates are received than spaces become vacant.

Members wanting to raise policy matters with the SoA are welcome to contact the Chief Executive in the first instance. Members with individual questions or queries on professional matters are encouraged to consult our Advisory Service, headed by Kate Pool, at any time.

If you would be interested in joining the Management Committee or wish to nominate another member as a possible candidate please feel free to contact Nicola Solomon at any time.

Nominations for the 2016 elections have now closed. Ballot papers will be sent out with the Autumn issue of The Author, and election statements will appear on the website in September.



David Donachie, Chair (2016-2018) is immensely pleased to have been elected to the Management Committee of the Society of Authors and he hopes to be effective and with his colleagues improve things for us all.

Born in Edinburgh he left school aged 14 years with not one single qualification but with an abiding love of history. Since then? The blurb on his first book jacket said he had more jobs than birthdays; decorator, salesman, truck driver, ice-cream vendor, cleaner, packer, theatre worker and indifferently successful entrepreneur. Once asked by a radio interviewer why he had become a writer, he could only reply: “Desperation. I’ve tried everything else.” 

His first novel came about by accident; he sat down to write a radio play he ended up six weeks later with a 400-page novel, subsequently offered for, that offer turned down. If in hindsight that seems foolish, it made sense at the time. He can now list some 19 published novels under his own name, mainly naval fiction, the same number again under the pen names of Jack Ludlow and Tom Connery, all still in print and available as eBooks, as well as co-authoring a trio ghosted SAS titles.

David has had novels bought and paid for, sent back, in one case twice, to then finally see daylight through a third publisher. If he had not had the backing of the SoA on one occasion he would have been unable to threaten a publisher trying to cheat him out of £15K. He had and was paid so he feels a personal debt to the organisation as well as a professional one.

Having been with two of the large trade houses he now publishes with a relatively small but highly efficient house and does so without the aid of an agent, negotiating his own contracts.

Nicola Beauman (2013-2016) was brought up in London. After reading English at Cambridge she worked in New York as a journalist and in an art gallery, and in London in publishing and as a fiction reviewer. A Very Great Profession: The Woman’s Novel 1914-39, her first book, was published by Virago in 1983 (reprinted 1989 and 1995); it was reissued in 2008, twenty-five years after first publication, as a Persephone book. Cynthia Asquith appeared in 1987, Morgan: a biography of EM Forster in 1993, and The Other Elizabeth Taylor was published in April 2009 as 'A Persephone Life'. Nicola Beauman founded Persephone Books in 1998. It was set up to reprint women writers primarily, mostly of the inter-war period portrayed in A Very Great Profession, and now has one hundred and two titles in print.
See: www.persephonebooks.co.uk/nicola-beauman

Eric Clark (2015-2018), author and investigative journalist, has been a member of the SoA for over 30 years. After all the generous help and support he has received from the Society, he hopes to give something back.

Times are tough for authors. Eric and his wife (Marcelle Bernstein) brought up three children and paid a mortgage with their writing: he believes few could do this today.

His books include five thrillers as well as documentaries on the devious world of diplomats; a comprehensive account of the machinations of the global advertising industry; and an examination of how American marketing and Chinese sweatshops have combined forces to rule the world toy market.

Before fulltime writing, his newspaper appointments included the Daily Mail, The Guardian and The Observer (where he variously headed the investigative unit and served as Home Affairs Editor). His freelance journalism appears in many of the world’s major newspapers.

He is a Fellow of English PEN, and a member of the National Union of Journalists, the Authors Guild and the Mystery Writers Association (both USA) and of the International Thriller Writers organisation.

As a member of the Management Committee, he is always happy to hear from fellow members at: ericclark@clarkwrite.com. See also: ericclark.net

Peter Groves (2014-2017) is a solicitor by profession and the author of a dozen books and many articles on legal subjects, especially copyright. His legal background and his experience of political activism, together with a wish to see the Society made more democratic, responsive and accountable, led him to become a member of the Society's constitution task force and then to stand for election to the Management Committee. His own experience, and that of many of his clients, has demonstrated to him the importance of the writing profession having effective representation. While the Society has served its members well over many years, he believes that the interests of authors must be defended with greater vigour now than was necessary in the past. The pace of change in the publishing world and the problems it creates for writers require a robust and professional response. As a member of the Management Committee, Peter will work to rise to the challenge, but while the MC must provide leadership he believes that the Society must also be open and alert to the needs and concerns of authors, including the many who are not yet members.

Daniel Hahn (2015-2018) is a writer, editor and translator, with forty-something books to his name. He has written several works of non-fiction and one children's picture-book; translated about twenty novels from Portuguese, Spanish and French (plus some children's books and a little poetry); and edited reference books for adults and reading guides for children and teenagers. His work has won him the Blue Peter Book Award and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. He has most recently written the new Oxford Companion to Children's Literature. A former chair of the Translators Association, he is currently national programme director of the British Centre for Literary Translation, and has lately been on the board or council of a number of organisations including English PEN, Pop Up, Human Rights Watch, Shakespeare's Globe, the  Children's Bookshow and Modern Poetry in Translation.

Lucinda Hawksley (2014-2017) is an author & biographer who has written or contributed to more than 20 books. Lucinda started her career in publishing as a book editor, before moving into magazines and online journalism; she is also an award-winning travel writer. Her titles include Lizzie Siddal, The Tragedy of a Pre-Raphaelite Supermodel; Katey: The Life & Loves of Dickens’s Artist Daughter; Charles Dickens: A Bicentenary Celebration (1812-2012); 50 British Artists You Should Know; March, Women, March: Voices of the Women’s Movement; The Mystery of Princess Louise: Queen Victoria’s Rebellious Daughter and (despite being pogonophobic) Moustaches, Whiskers & Beards, Facial Hair in Portraits. Lucinda is a regular lecturer at the National Portrait Gallery and a Patron of the Charles Dickens Museum in London. She has appeared on a number of TV and radio programmes.

Website: www.lucindahawksley.com

Twitter: @lucindahawksley

Alex Klaushofer (2015-2018) is a journalist and author who has written extensively on social and religious affairs and politics in Britain and Middle East, but has realised that this really just boils down to writing about people and places. Working loosely in the genre of the travelogue, she is increasingly interested in the possibilities of narrative non-fiction to extend and blur genre boundaries. A committed trade unionist, she is well acquainted with the gamut of issues facing those who earn their living through words: the need for fair and prompt pay, the protection of copyright and the ongoing necessity for writers to acquire new skills and professional knowledge. Having recently ventured into self-publishing for the first time, she is acutely aware that the digital revolution brings unprecedented challenges and opportunities for authors. She blogs at www.thesecretlifeofgod.net and tweets at @alexklaushofer. Her personal website is at www.alexklaushofer.com.

Janet Laurence (2015-2018)

I was on the Management Committee some fifteen years ago and realised then that membership of The Society of Authors is the best insurance a writer can have. With the advent of the internet and Amazon.com, I have seen the publishing industry lose its cool but I believe that writers now have new opportunities for bringing their work to readers. That can bring its own problems. The Society of Authors has exciting challenges and I feel privileged to be on the MC. I originally entered publishing through food, I was The Daily Telegraph’s cookery correspondent in the eighties, after running residential courses from our house in Somerset, and have published a number of cookery books. However, I am mainly a crime writer and am currently on my third series. I also run crime writing workshops and carry out editorial assessments. Over the last ten years I have paid three visits to Australia as a Writer in Residence at one of the colleges of the University of Tasmania.


Nell Leyshon’s (2013-2016) first novel, Black Dirt, was long-listed for the Orange prize. Her recent novel, The Colour of Milk, was published worldwide. Her plays include Comfort me with apples, which won an Evening Standard Award, and Bedlam, which was the first play written by a woman for Shakespeare’s Globe. She is currently writing a play for the National Theatre and Bristol Old Vic. She also writes drama for BBC Radio 3 and 4, and won the Richard Imison Award for her first radio play. Follow Nell on Twitter.

Andrew Lycett (2013-2016) is an English biographer and journalist. After studying history at Oxford University, he worked for two decades as a foreign correspondent, specialising in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Since the mid-1990s he has concentrated on writing books. The subjects of his biographies include Colonel Gadaffi, Ian Fleming, Rudyard Kipling, Dylan Thomas, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and, most recently, Wilkie Collins, a former Vice President of the Society. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

See: www.andrewlycett.co.uk

Charles Palliser (2013-2016) has published five works of fiction including the historical novels The Quincunx (1989), The Unburied (1999) and Rustication (2014). He has written plays for BBC radio and the stage. Before becoming a full-time writer in 1990 he taught literature and creative writing in universities in the UK and the USA. The Quincunx was awarded the Sue Kaufman Prize by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.



Linda Strachan (The Society of Authors in Scotland) is the award winning author of over 60 books. She writes for all ages from gritty crime novels for young adults, including the award winning Spider, to her best selling Hamish McHaggis series of picture books. Her book Writing for Children has encouraged many aspiring and newly published children's writers.

An inspirational speaker, Linda has appeared at events and festivals speaking to children and adults about her books and writing. She frequently visits schools and libraries all over the UK and internationally, including a tour of schools with the New Zealand Book Council. A Patron of Reading, she has helped to inspire thousands of young people through her author visits and writing workshops.

Linda has had a long association with the Society of Authors in Scotland, having previously represented SoAiS as vice-chair of the Literature Forum for Scotland (now the Literature Alliance). 

Anne Rooney (representing the Educational Writers Group) writes non-fiction for all ages from 5 to adult on a huge variety of topics and for all markets, from academic to mass-market paperback publishers. She also writes fiction for children, with a strong interest in emergent readers – both very young children, and teenagers with reading difficulties who need simple texts with age-appropriate content. After completing a PhD on a suitably arcane topic in 1985, she has written full time, concentrating on children’s books since the late 90s. She has an active online presence and excellent knowledge of technology and new publishing methods. www.annerooney.co.uk or www.stroppyauthor.blogspot.com

Nicky Harman (Co-Chair of the Translators' Association) translates fiction, non-fiction and poetry, from Chinese. In addition to translating, she writes occasional blogs, mentors new translators, teaches summers schools and reviews translated books for Tribune magazine. She is active on the Chinese translation website Paper-Republic.org and is currently working with the Writing Chinese project 2014-2016 at Leeds University. She won first prize in the 2013 China International Translation Contest, Chinese-to-English section, with Jia Pingwa’s ‘Backflow River’. She tweets, with Helen Wang, @cfbcuk, China Fiction Book Club.

Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Co-Chair of the Translators' Association) is a full-time translator of Polish literature, and twice winner of the Found in Translation award. She has translated works by several of Poland’s leading contemporary novelists including Paweł Huelle and Jacek Dehnel, and authors of reportage including Mariusz Szczygieł and Wojciech Jagielski. She also translates crime fiction by Zygmunt Miłoszewski, poetry by Tadeusz Dąbrowski, biographies, essays, and books for children, including rhymes by Julian Tuwim and fiction by Janusz Korczak. She is a mentor for the BCLT’s Emerging Translators’ Mentorship Programme.

Nicola Morgan (representing the Children's Writers and Illustrators Group) is an award-winning author for young people, with around 90 books. Her latest teenage novel, Wasted, was shortlisted for or won many awards. Blame My Brain – The Amazing Teenage Brain Revealed, an internationally acclaimed non-fiction work, was short-listed for the Aventis Prize and is widely used by teenagers and the adults living and working with them. After graduating from Cambridge University with a degree in Classics and Philosophy, she became an English teacher, later specialising in dyslexia; she is one of Sir Jackie Stewart’s Ambassadors for Dyslexia Scotland. Nicola is a former Chair of the Society of Authors in Scotland.

Nicola also helps adult writers. Her blog, Help! I Need a Publisher!, established her reputation for exceptionally honest advice. Her highly-acclaimed book, Write to be Published, led to three ebooks, Tweet Right – The Sensible Person’s Guide to TwitterWrite a Great Synopsis and Dear Agent. She also runs the consultancy, Pen2Publication.

Find Nicola on Facebook and Twitter, @NicolaMorgan, and on www.nicolamorgan.com.

Elizabeth-Anne Wheal (representing the Broadcasting Group) started her career in journalism and business communications before being commissioned to write a number of non-fiction reference works, including The Macmillan Dictionary of the Second World WarThe Macmillan Dictionary of the First World War, The Penguin Dictionary of the Third Reich and The Green Book, a survey of environmental facts and fictions for the non-scientist.  She was one of the first women to write regularly for British television, and has since accumulated a long list of credits on some of the UK's most popular series, including The Bill, Dalziel and PascoeMidsomer Murders and Spooks.  She has also worked extensively in series and script development for all the main broadcasters and some of our best known independent production companies, including World Productions, Tiger Aspect, Company Pictures and Kudos.  She’s currently working on a multiplatform faction project and writing her first crime novel.

2015 Management Committee Elections

Four members were elected to serve on the Management Committee from 2015-18, following a ballot of Members: Eric Clark, Daniel Hahn, Alex Klaushofer and Janet Laurence. They took their positions immediately after the 2015 Annual General Meeting.

The members on the Committee for 2015/16 are Nicola Beauman, Eric Clark, David Donachie, Peter Groves, Daniel Hahn, Lucinda Hawksley, Alex Klaushofer, Janet Laurence, Andrew Lycett, Nell Leyshon and Charles Palliser.

See the Independent Scrutineer’s Report of the 2015 elections here.



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