Welcome to our new SoA Senior Policy & Liaison Manager (Scotland), Heather Parry

26 April 2022 Welcome

Following a successful application by the Society of Authors, a new Creative Scotland-funded role has been established within the Society of Authors in order for the SoA to focus more efforts towards its Scottish membership – and Scottish writers more broadly.

The position of Senior Policy & Liaison Manager (Scotland) came into being on 7 February 2022 and was taken up by writer, editor and publisher Heather Parry, who is based in Glasgow. Heather will report to Chief Executive Nicola Solomon and the Scottish Committee over the coming year.

Heather has over a decade of experience in the publishing industry across several countries. She is the co-founder and Editorial Director of Extra Teeth magazine and in 2021 she created the free-access Illustrated Freelancer’s Guide with artist Maria Stoian, to assist and educate creative freelancers on their working rights and best practices. Her short stories and nonfiction have been published internationally, and her debut novel, Orpheus Builds a Girl, will be out in October 2022 with Gallic Books. Heather has strong ties across the Scottish and wider UK publishing industries and is passionate about helping authors build sustainable careers – and about promoting Scottish literature both within and outwith the country’s borders.

This new role is a pilot project that will run for an initial 12 months, and the goal is to establish a central point of contact for writers across Scotland, so the SoA is able to offer more specific Scottish advice and more effectively advocate for writers across the country. The role’s five main aims are to:

  1. Increase author awareness about the publishing industry, Intellectual Property and the business skills needed to sustain a creative career. 
  2. Strengthen relationships with organisations across the Scottish literature and publishing sectors to improve terms, pay and support, and to strengthen professional networks and influence policy.  
  3. Reach out to authors (established and emerging) to provide resources and create networks. 
  4. Promote the value of literature and the creative industries to the wider public. 
  5. Maximise paid opportunities for authors in Scotland. 

Due to the Creative Scotland funding of this new role and its conditions, the work done will not only benefit Society of Authors members, but will reach out to all Scottish writers, including established and emerging voices. Part of this job will be to spotlight and promote the work already being done by writers and their communities across Scotland, and to support this work wherever possible.

Heather’s immediate plans for the role include a series of six digital, free-access events demystifying the industry, the creation of strategic alliances and conversations around how best to improve the working conditions for all writers in Scotland, and a strong advocacy for changes to funding to remove barriers and get more funding directly to creators. The day-to-day work of the role also involves talking directly with authors, helping them navigate issues of payment, rate-setting and contract negotiation, and pointing them towards the resources they require from the SoA’s huge repository of advice and assistance for writers.

The long-term viability of this role relies on showing how necessary such a position is – so do reach out to Heather with anything she could help with! You can reach Heather directly at hparry@societyofauthors.org. She’ll be happy to hear from you.