Use your platform for Climate Action Week – 20-27 September

19 September 2019

Write, illustrate and translate your way to a better planet.

Inspired by the student climate protests, and spurred by many calls from SoA members and campaigns like Poets for the Planet, we’re urging you to use your unique skills to help raise awareness about the climate crisis, throughout Climate Action Week (20-27 September) and beyond.

Illustration © Henny Beaumont / Poets for the Planet meeting at the Society of Authors' offices

Global Climate Strike – Friday 20 September

Join us tomorrow, Friday 20 September, for the Global Climate Strike. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to down tools for the day, but for authors we’re proposing a strike with a difference. Use your voice. Be louder than ever.

  1. Please speak out about the climate crisis, the environment, and what individuals, governments and corporations must do to address climate change. Words and images can make a difference, and here we need them more than ever. If you’re already involved in activities, please tell us about them so we can share online.
  2. If you can, join one of the thousands of climate protests happening across the UK and around the world. Search the interactive map on this webpage to find one near you. Some SoA staff are gathering at the Nelson Mandela Statue on Parliament Square, London, at 10:15, along with Friends of the Earth. Poets for the Planet members are meeting at the Millicent Fawcett Statue on Parliament Square at midday.
  3. Finally, tell us how you’d like to see the Society of Authors become a more sustainable organisation – in how we operate and in the support we offer to authors.


As author Neil Gaiman said this week:


"It seems unfair that on a day when everyone is coming out on strike to protest against Climate Change, writers need to be louder, wiser and more articulate than ever. But we do. Speak out on September 20th. Use your platform and your words to help change the world for the better."

And in Waterstones Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell's words:

"'It has never been more important to speak out about species extinction and the climate emergency. Often we feel helpless or that change is impossible. But before change can happen, it has to be spoken about, loudly, urgently, and writers and illustrators are in a uniquely good position to do that. We have to amplify the calls for action made so passionately by David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg and scientists across the world."


Climate Action Week – 20-27 September

From 20-27 September we'll be sharing news, interviews and blogs across the week for Climate Action Week – raising awareness about climate change, offering tips about what to do on an individual level, and sharing videos about what writers, illustrators and literary translators are doing to help.

And throughout the week, please keep telling us how you’d like to see us become a more environmentally sound organisation – both practically in the way we work, and in the way we work with members and partners. What could we do better? What could we do more of?

Tweet us, send us snapshots of your own personal protest, or share videos calling on the government to act – and let's make as much noise as possible.



Jude Brown (27/09/2019 12:56)
" I've spent the week tweeting authors who address climate change in their fiction. The profile of clif-fi as a genre needs much more recognition."
James Opie (22/09/2019 06:12)
" Climate change and biodiversity

These are the two linked problems that are likely to cause the human race as a whole the most danger in the immediate future.

Authors are communications experts, and as such it is our job to disseminate easily understood and accurate information that tells every individual how near the danger is, and what we can do about it. At present, information is disparate, often self serving and highly confusing.

Two initial suggestions:

1. The Global Warming Scorecard.

Occasional summary reports from the UN and the Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change are not enough. My one vote suggestion would be that newspapers and magazines compete to devise the best simple double page spread to be included on a regular basis in their publications. Would this help to sell papers and magazines? I suspect it would. I would like something as eagerly awaited as the football results. Advertisements of commercial or political initiatives welcome.

2. Childrens games to interest children in Global warming.

No blame devices to interest children in learning about climate change
e.g. Swop cards, chain emails – add a solution and mail it on to two people, jigsaws, posters, childrens books, quizzes, games, clubs, social interest groups etc."
Sarah Tooze (21/09/2019 07:08)
" I would like to have a public database that would help me make the best decisions. For example Which fabric? Wool? Viscose? Polyester? Cotton?
I want to have a Green Cafe near me where I can get advice and discuss green issues over my coffee. I want answers How must I live now to help save the planet?"
Sussi Louise Smith (20/09/2019 04:28)
" I absolutely applaude this wonderful initiative.
So long so little has been done. Now is the time to make a stand"
Lesley Whittaker (20/09/2019 09:13)
" We need to use every weapon at our disposal, from the keyboard to the ballot box. I have been fighting this cause for well over 50 years and it has been a wearying battle. I'm delighted that the Society is joining in.

I'm just off to my local demo, striking on behalf of my grandson as well as for my myself. That's what grown-ups do!"
Rhiannon Grant (20/09/2019 09:00)
" Really glad to see the Society taking action on this! The climate crisis is a huge issue for our times and we can't continue as if everything can go on as usual. A few initial thoughts on what we could do: Does the SoA buy energy from renewable sources? Can we link climate change to existing campaigns, like the need to remove tax from ebooks? Can we pressure publishers and other organisations we work with to divest from fossil fuels and support staff who refuse to fly? Could we partner with the Woodland Trust or another environmental restoration charity?"
Peter Padfield (19/09/2019 12:15)
" Talk about jumping on a current bandwagon: this is total balls which diverts attention from the real issue of population increase and the habitat and species loss which has already taken place. I am ashamed to belong to a Society which is following so blindly current children. Grow up!"
Reginald Massey (19/09/2019 12:12)
" Writers of the world Unite!
The pen is mightier than the sword."
Jane Serraillier (19/09/2019 12:01)
" Good for you!"

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