Educational Writers Group

Our Educational Writers Group (EWG) was set up in 1964 to:

  • Protect the interests of educational authors in professional matters, especially contracts, rates of pay, digitalisation and copyright;
  • Keep its members informed about developments in education, curriculum, TEFL, digital media and government policy;
  • Lobby for adequate funding for books in schools, colleges and libraries, and for well-stocked public libraries and professionally-staffed libraries in all educational institutions;
  • Encourage publishers in all media to respect the highest professional standards in educational writing, see our guidelines;
  • Enable educational writers to get together in congenial surroundings.

Members of the SoA who work in the education sector writers automatically join EWG and receive all emailings when they join the SoA.

The EWG is run by an elected committee and a professional secretary from the SoA, Bryony Hall.

We welcome feedback from members about professional issues and we ensure that relevant information is passed on to other EWG members. We also welcome feedback about EWG events and/or suggestions for future meetings. Get in touch.


The Future of EWG

Posted: 14 September 2017

The Educational Writers Group: For writers of materials for learners and teachers

Times are tough for educational writers. Digitisation has transformed the way in which educational materials are sold. Publishing contracts are more draconian, with poorer payment terms and less scope for negotiation. Courses are increasingly template-driven, with publishers conducting more of the development process in-house.

The Educational Writers Group is here to help, offering support and guidance for your professional concerns. In this challenging climate, the Group Committee has met to consider how best to do that. We have a number of propositions (details below) and a very short survey for members to help inform the direction the Group takes.

Complete the survey.

  • The Group was set up to serve those who write materials for learners and teachers. In recent years, the market for schools and libraries books written by the children’s non-fiction writers in our group has all but disappeared. As many of those writers are now focussing on the general children’s non-fiction market, it is felt that they are better served by the Children’s Writers and Illustrators Group, where it is already policy to include at least one member who works in this sector on its committee. The Educational Writers Group will continue to focus on those working on educational materials: textbooks, workbooks and digital resources for both the UK curriculum and higher/further education, and language teaching materials for English and other languages.
  • By catering to those writers who produce materials for teaching and learning at any stage, it is hoped that the Educational Writers Group will be of interest to many members of the (largely dormant) Academic Writers and Medical Writers Groups. These groups have overlapping concerns, notably with regards to the sorts of contractual terms offered by publishers.
  • We recognise that the UK curriculum and the ELT markets are very different, and acknowledge the challenges involved in meeting the diverse needs and interests of the Group members when holding events. To address this, we propose that there will be a single Group meeting a year but that it will be in the form of a full day of talks, including a topic that appeals across the board (e.g. negotiating your contracts), and a selection of parallel sessions of more specialist appeal (e.g. the commissioning process for materials for the UK curriculum, and the role of digital resources in language teaching). We hope that putting a number of events into a single day will make it more appealing, and better value for money for members travelling any distance.
  • Even so, we appreciate that members (especially those living abroad as many ELT writers do) may not be willing or able to come to events, so we plan to bring you more by way of online resources. We hope to be able to live-stream events, and to offer follow-up content. We will let you know how this develops, but do also look out for discussions on the online forum following our self-publishing panel on the 11th October.  
  •  The Committee will continue to meet throughout the year to ensure that the SoA is fully informed of any concerns which are particular to this sector, and to allow the SoA to canvass views and gather information on specific issues. The SoA will continue to raise general concerns with publishers and to lobby on issues important to the sector.

On all these points, the EWG Committee would welcome your feedback – please fill out the survey.

The refocusing of the Group will be discussed fully at the AGM on the 11th October, and we hope to see many of you there.

The EWG Committee

Spring Seminar 2016

Posted: 17 February 2017

Watch our 2016 Spring Seminar below:

A textbook case An open letter from the EWG chair on the importance of textbooks, February 2015
ALCS Award for Educational Writing Outstanding contributions to English Language Teaching and Educational Writing.
Author Publisher Guidelines Principles to help guide the author-publisher working relationship.
British Council Award for ELT Writing Outstanding contributions by an English Language Teaching author(s)
NAWE The National Association of Writers in Education.
Nibweb The network of non-fiction writers and editors in Britain.
Tackling the torrent An event hand-out from 2010 on how to tackle the online piracy of books.