The Management Committee is responsible for the overall running of the Society. The Chief Executive and her staff report to the Management Committee. The authors serving on the Committee are listed below.
Members wanting to raise policy matters with the Society 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.
Anne Sebba (Chair) is a biographer, lecturer and journalist. She is the author of eight non-fiction books for adults, most recently That Woman (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2011), a biography of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor. Anne's biographies mostly focus on iconic women who have forged a place for themselves in history, from Mother Teresa to Lady Randolph Churchill. A former Reuters foreign correspondent, Anne read History at King's College, London University and her first job was at the BBC World Services in the Arabic Department. Being a journalist at heart, she has written for numerous newspapers in addition to two biographies for children, several short stories and introductions to reprinted novels. She has presented documentaries on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4. See: www.annesebba.com
Photo: © John Kerrison
Dr Alison Baverstock is a former publisher, now Course Leader for MA Publishing at Kingston University. She has researched and written widely (for Kogan Page, Bloomsbury, OUP) about the processes of publishing, marketing, author motivation and practice – as well as parenting (Whatever! and It’s not fair! Piatkus) and understanding art (for Prestel). Her most recent research has been into self-publishing (The Naked Author, Bloomsbury, 2011) which she sees as likely to benefit authors in their creative process, often helping them gain objectivity and feedback, and more generally broadening an understanding of how publishing works within wider society. She is passionate about helping to promote a wider enthusiasm for reading, and has been involved in several reader development schemes; she was the founder of Well Worth Reading and www.readingforce.org.uk. In 2007 she received the Pandora Award for services to the publishing industry. See: www.alisonbaverstock.com
Nicola Beauman 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.
Andrew Crofts is a full-time author and ghostwriter. He has published more than 80 titles, a dozen of which have spent many weeks at the top of the Sunday Times best seller charts. As well as using traditional publishers to reach readers, he has also experimented with e-books, publishing The Fabulous Dreams of Maggie de Beer,(a prequel to his traditionally published The Overnight Fame of Steffi McBride), on Kindle, Wattpad and Smashwords, and has guided a number of international clients successfully through the minefield of independent publishing. His books on writing include Ghostwriting (A&C Black), which was extensively quoted by Robert Harris in The Ghost, and The Freelance Writer’s Handbook (Piatkus), which has been reprinted eight times over twenty years. In 2010 he wrote The Change Agent – How to Create a Wonderful World, a biography of James Martin, the futurologist and biggest ever private donor to Oxford University. Andrew lectures at Kingston University and frequently guests at writing workshops, literary festivals and in the media. He blogs regularly on matters pertaining to publishing, self-publishing and writing. See: www.andrewcrofts.com
Gregor Dallas is the author of many critically-acclaimed works of European history. Born in London, he was educated in Britain and the United States, has taught in American universities, and now lives in France where he set up a French section of the Society of Authors (SOAF) in 2006. He is best known for his War and Peace trilogy which traces the conclusion of, and the peace which followed, the Napoleonic Wars, the First World War and the Second World War - 1815, 1918 and 1945. More recently Dallas has developed an interest in the relationship of religion to contemporary politics and he is completing a historical novel on the world of music in Paris during the belle époque.
Juliet Gardiner is a historian and writer. She was editor of History Today in the 1980s and continues to work as the magazine's review editor. She has also been an academic, publisher (at Weidenfeld & Nicolson) and, since 2001, a full time writer. Her books include the Penguin Dictionary of British History (ed.) Wartime: Britain 1939-45, The Children's War and most recently The Thirties: an intimate history and The Blitz: the British under attack. She has been shortlisted for the Orwell Prize and won the Audio Book of the Year Award in 2006 with Fiona Shaw's reading of Wartime. She is also a frequent speaker, reviewer for national newspapers and magazines and broadcaster both on radio and television and is one of the regular presenters of Nightwaves on Radio Three. Her historical consultancy credits include The 1940s House, The Edwardian Country House, Upstairs Downstairs (new series), Turn Back Time: The High Street and the film adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel Atonement. She is currently working on a book about the Home Front in Britain in the First World War - and lives in East London, fortunately fairly close to her three children and several grandchildren. See: www.julietgardiner.com
Philip Gross is a writer of many parts: poet, writer of fiction for young people, haiku and schools opera libretti, plays and radio short stories. His poetry has won a clutch of recent awards - The Water Table (2009) the TS Eliot Prize, I Spy Pinhole Eye, with photographs by Simon Denison (2009) Wales Book of the Year and Off Road To Everywhere the CLPE Award for children's poetry 2011. A new collection, Deep Field, deals with his refugee father's loss of language in old age. He is also the author of ten teenage novels - most recently The Storm Garden. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Glamorgan University, has worked with schools and adult groups for thirty years and brings to the committee an awareness of the needs of learning, aspiring, not-yet-established writers as well as his own experience of solo and collaborative work in many forms. See: www.philipgross.co.uk
Photo: © Stephen Morris
Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor and translator, with some thirty books to his name. He has written several works of non-fiction and one children's picture-book; translated a dozen novels from Portuguese, Spanish and French; 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. Forthcoming books include translations from Angola, Brazil, France, Guatemala and Quebec, and a new reference book, The Oxford Companion to Children's Literature. A former chair of the Translators Association, he is currently programme director of the British Centre for Literary Translation; and on the board or council of a number of organisations including English PEN, Pop Up, Human Right Watch, Shakespeare's Globe and Modern Poetry in Translation.
Nell Leyshon’s 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 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.
Charles Palliser 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.
James Runcie is The Artistic Director of the Bath Literature Festival, which runs for ten days each Spring and features over 200 writers. He is the author of four novels (published by Harper Collins and Bloomsbury) and his six-part crime series, The Grantchester Mysteries, will be published by Bloomsbury beginning in May 2012. He also makes documentary films that have featured writers as diverse as J.K. Rowling, Hilary Mantel, J.G Ballard and Umberto Eco; as well as arts series with well known presenters across all the main television networks. He served on the Arts Council Literature Panel from 1991-1995 and is also a regular contributor to Saturday Review on Radio 4. See: jamesruncie.com
Photo: © Tim Cragg
Co-opted Members of the Management Committee
Lin Anderson (The Society of Authors in Scotland) has published eight novels and one novella featuring forensic expert Dr Rhona MacLeod, which have been translated into several languages. The latest, Picture Her Dead, is currently out in paperback. Her short stories have appeared in a number of collections. Dead Close was chosen for the Best of British Crime 2011 and is currently being developed as a film. Also a screenwriter, her film River Child won a student BAFTA and the Celtic Film Festival best fiction award. The Rhona MacLeod novels have been optioned by ITV as a crime series.
Other literary work includes a collection of short African stories, broadcast on BBC Radio, and featured in the 30th anniversary edtion of New Writing Scotland.
Lin has degrees from Glasgow University, Edinburgh University and The Screen Academy of Scotland. She is co-founder of Scotland's first international crime writing festival, Bloody Scotland. See: www.lin-anderson.com
Chris Barker represents the Educational Writers Group. After teaching English at the University of Belgrade, he worked for twelve years in educational publishing in the UK before becoming a full-time writer of English Language teaching materials. He has been a member of the Society of Authors since 1997 and is currently engaged in developing, with the help of the Society's staff and in consultation with UK educational publishers, a Code of Practice to replace the existing Educational Publishing Guidelines.
Maureen Freely (representing the Translators Association) is the author of six novels and three works of non-fiction. She is perhaps best known for her translations of five books by the Turkish novelist and Nobel Laureate, Orhan Pamuk and for her campaigning journalism after he and many other writers, scholars and activists were prosecuted for insulting Turkishness or the memory of Ataturk. Read more...
John Dougherty (representing the Children's Writers and Illustrators Group) graduated from the Queens University of Belfast with a degree in psychology and absolutely no idea what he wanted to do with his life. Later he became a primary teacher, at which point he rediscovered his love of children's fiction and suddenly remembered that what he really wanted to do was write. His first book, Zeus on the Loose, published in 2004, was shortlisted for the Branford Boase award. Since then he has written fiction, mostly humorous, for both trade and educational publishers, including most recently the Stinkbomb & Ketchup-Face books (Oxford University Press). He has been a Society member since 2003, a member of the CWIG committee since 2010, and CWIG chair since November 2013. He is also an active member of the Scattered Authors’ Society and part of the editorial team on An Awfully Big Blog Adventure, one of the earliest writers’ blog co-operatives and host of the world’s first online children’s literature festival. A frequent visitor to schools, John is particularly keen to help children make the connection between reading and enjoyment. He is a passionate supporter of the library service, and believes that access to a wide range of stories is fundamental to both a healthy childhood and fully-effective education. See: www.visitingauthor.com
Photo: © Michael Dannenberg
John Taylor (representing the Broadcasting Committee) runs Fiction Factory, an independent production company which specialises in drama and whose “landmark” productions include dramatisations of Proust’s In Search of Lost Time novels, and Anthony Powell’s Dance to the Music of Time. Recent productions include the Radio 3 feature Ghost Lines and a Drama on 3 dramatisation of W G Sebald's Austerlitz as well as several Radio 4 afternoon dramas and the returning series Chronicles of Ait. He has written for children’s theatre and his radio plays include A Darker Sister, Love's Executioner, Letters from the Ice Land, Lost Girls, The Villa Madeira, Markheim, and Rage on the Road. He recently wrote A Bottle on the Shore for R4 based on Karen Liebreich's book The Letter in the Bottle.