EWG AGM & discussion: Self-publishing materials for learners and teachers

Location: SoA offices
Address: Society of Authors, 84 Drayton Gardens, London, SW10 9SB
Event time: 5.45-8.30pm
Educational Writers Group Annual General Meeting and panel discussion with Ignaty Dyakov, Anne Rooney and Joanna Stirling

Event details



5.45-6.30pm: AGM - Chair's report and election of new Committee members

6.45-7.45pm: Self-Publishing Materials for Learners and Teachers

7.45-8.30pm: Drinks party



AGM only (members only) - free

AGM + panel discussion (members only) - £10 

Panel discussion only (guest ticket) - £15

The price of the ticket includes drinks, light refreshments and VAT. 


Annual General Meeting

The EWG AGM is open to members only. It is free to attend, but please book your place. (Pricing for the panel discussion and the drinks party can be seen above.) The Chair’s report will be followed by the election of new Committee members.

Please email Bryony Hall with any issues you may like to raise in advance.


Ignaty Dyakov and Sarah Ackroyd have accepted a nomination to join the Committee. Alternative nominations must be supported by two members of the Group and should be sent in writing to the Secretary (Bryony Hall) no later than 30 September, accompanied by a statement from the candidate expressing willingness to serve. 

Sarah Ackroyd qualified as an EFL teacher in 1986 and spent her first years teaching in Germany, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. In 1994, after the division of Czechoslovakia, she was appointed by the British Council to set up their first school in Prague. Upon her return to the UK she worked in a number of schools before moving into full-time writing which she has been doing since 2000. She has worked for the Wall Street Institute, Pearson and Cambridge University Press. She has also devised bespoke materials for clients in Prague including the Czech National Bank and DHL.  Since she started writing, the world of the freelance writer has changed a lot and as writers we have to adapt to these changes (not all of them good it must be said!).

Our thanks to outgoing Committee members Peter Clarke, Zanne Gaynor, and Steve Skidmore. 


Self-Publishing Materials for Learners and Teachers – Panel Discussion

There is a lot of material about for fiction writers interested in self-publishing, but little for non-fiction writers. As publishers’ contracts increasingly write the author out of the picture, self-publishing offers educational writers a way to take back control of their material and their professional persona (‘brand’, if you must). Our two panelists, Ignaty Dyakov and Johanna Stirling, have both successfully produced and marketed self-published materials for learners. They will talk about some of the challenges and rewards of the process and answer your questions. Led by the Chair of EWG, Anne Rooney, we hope this event will provide valuable inspiration and information for anyone thinking about self-publishing – and we welcome your reflections and input if you have tried it yourself.


Ignaty Dyakov has authored a series of unconventional Russian language textbooks, which help students learn grammar and vocabulary through fun-to-read detective stories. The books are available as paperbacks, ebooks and audio-books. They are now used at universities and schools all over the world, US, UK and France being the biggest markets. Ignaty has been teaching languages, and Russian in particular, since 2001 and in 2015 became a finalist of prestigious ‘The best Russian language teacher outside of Russia’ award. Member of the Society of Authors and Chartered Institute of Linguists, he is frequently invited to deliver teacher trainings and talks at schools, universities and language shows.

Johanna Stirling has written and self-published the print book, Teaching Spelling to English Language Learners. This won a special commendation in the British Council Award for ELT Writing and was nominated for a prestigious ELTON award. She has also written English language learning materials for Cambridge University Press and writes online teacher development courses for NILE (Norwich Institute for Language Education) where she is the Online Academic Manager. She has presented at international conferences on how to self-publish ELT materials.


Anne Rooney writes non-fiction for all ages from five to adult on a huge variety of topics and for all markets, from academic to mass-market paperback publishers. 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.