management committee

About the Society

Management Committee

Tracy Chevalier (Chair)

Tracy Chevalier grew up in Washington, DC and after university moved to London, where she lives with her husband and son. She was a reference book editor for several years before quitting to do an MA in creative writing at the University of East Anglia, under the tutelage of Malcolm Bradbury and Rose Tremain.

Her novels include The Lady and the Unicorn, Falling Angels, The Virgin Blue, and the international bestseller Girl with a Pearl Earring, which was made into a film starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth. Her fifth novel, Burning Bright, on the painter and poet William Blake, was published in March 2007. She has been a member of the Society of Authors Management Committee since 2004.


Russell Ash

Biography to follow.


Candida Clark

Biography to follow.


Nicholas de Lange

Nicholas de Lange is Professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the University of Cambridge, where he has taught since 1971. His academic publications, mostly in English and French, are about Hebrew language and literature and Jewish history and religion, with special emphasis on Greek-speaking Judaism and on Jewish–Christian relations.

Nicholas has written or edited a number of general books on Judaism, including Judaism (OUP), An Introduction to Judaism (CUP), Atlas of the Jewish World (Facts On File) and An Illustrated History of the Jewish People (Aurum). He is currently writing a dictionary of Judaism (for Penguin). He also translates contemporary Hebrew literature.

Margaret Drabble  

Biography to follow.


Bernadine Evaristo

Biography to follow.


Jamila Gavin

Because of her Anglo-Indian background, dual heritage is the main inspiration behind Jamila’s writing. Since her first book, The Magic Orange Tree was published in 1979, she has been writing steadily, producing collections of short stories and several novels for children aged from six to sixteen.

Her titles include the Grandpa Chatterji series, The Surya Trilogy, Coram Boy (which won the Children’s Whitbread Award in 2000) and The Blood Stone. Her main publisher is Egmont, although she is also published by various other publishers. Jamila is currently working on a novel set in contemporary London, called The Robber Baron’s Daughter, and also a new version of stories from the ancient Indian collection known as The Panchatantra. Jamila also writes for radio, stage and television.


Tom Holland

Tom Holland lives in London with his wife and two daughters. He is the author of four horror novels and two works of history, one of which, Rubicon, was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize, and the other, Persian Fire, won the Runciman Prize. He is a regular adaptor of classic texts for BBC Radio, from the Iliad to Hiawatha. His new book,  Millennium: The End of the World and the Forging of Christendom, will be published in September. He is currently translating Herodotus for Penguin Classics.


Robert Irwin

Robert Irwin was formerly lecturer in the Department of Mediaeval History at the University of St Andrews. He is the author of six novels, as well as various works of non-fiction, including The Arabian Nights: A Companion, Islamic Art, The Penguin Anthology of Classical Arabic Literature, The Alhambra and For Lust of Knowing: The Orientalists and Their Enemies.  He is a consultant editor at the Times Literary Supplement.


Peter James

Brighton born Peter James is the author of 17 novels, as well as a film and TV screen writer and producer of 26 films the most recent of which, the BAFTA nominated The Merchant Of Venice starred Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons. His series of crime novels, set in and around Brighton and Hove, starring Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, are published in 30 languages and have been top ten bestsellers in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Holland. 

In 2005 Peter was awarded the accolade of Crime Writer of The Year in Germany, and his novel Dead Simple won both the 2006 Le Prix Polar Noir and the 2007 Prix Coeur Noir awards in France.  His novel Looking Good Dead was runner-up in the UK in 2007 for the Galaxy British Book Awards Crime Thriller Of The Year, and is currently a finalist entrant for the 2007 French SNCF Prix du Polar.


Blake Morrison

Biography to follow.


Lawrence Sail

Lawrence Sail is a freelance writer who lives in Exeter. He has published nine collections of poems, most recently Eye-Baby (Bloodaxe Books, 2006), The World Returning (Bloodaxe Books, 2002), and Building into Air (Bloodaxe Books, 1995).

Lawrence has compiled and edited a number of anthologies, including First and Always: Poems for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital (Faber, 1988); and, with Kevin Crossley-Holland, The New Exeter Book of Riddles (Enitharmon, 1999) and Light Unlocked (Enitharmon, 2005). Enitharmon also published Cross-currents, a book of his essays, in 2005.  In 2004 he received a Cholmondeley Award.

Lawrence has been chairman of the Arvon Foundation, programme director of the Cheltenham Festival of Literature, a judge for the Whitbread Book of the Year Awards and British representative on the jury of the European Literature Prize.

Lynne Truss

Biography to follow.


Co-opted Members of the Management Committee


David Doherty represents the Broadcasting Group

David Docherty is a businessman, novelist, academic and columnist for Broadcast and the Guardian. As the Deputy Managing Director of Television, he was responsible for all the UKTV channels, BBC America, BBC Prime and for establishing BBC Three. As the BBC’s first Director of New Media, he ran the team setting up He also served as a Member of the Board of Management.

He left the BBC in 2000 to lead Telewest’s push into broadband media, and he was creatively responsbile for BlueYonder, Telewest’s award-winning broadband portal. He then became chief executive of YooMedia, the UK’s biggest independent interactive media group. He left YooMedia in 2005 to develop a new convergence media company.

He is Chairman of the University of Luton’s Board of Governors, and has served on several government committees on the future of media. His novels include: The Fifth Season, The Killing Jar and The Spirit Death. Non-fiction consists of The Last Picture Show, Running the Show: 21 years of London Weekend Television and Violence in Television Fiction.


Nicola Morgan represents the Society of Authors in Scotland

Nicola Morgan was born and educated in boys’ boarding schools, where she became very good at climbing trees and making weapons. She went to Cambridge University and studied Classics and Philosophy, before becoming an English teacher, later specialising in teaching children with dyslexia; she taught for 16 years and then founded Magic Readers, followed by The Child Literacy Centre, which she still runs.

All this time, she was practising to be a writer. She has had around 90 books published for very young children, including many non-fiction UK best-sellers. But she is happier as a novelist for older children and teenagers and has won awards in this field, including the Scottish Arts Council Children’s Book of the Year. She also has a long-standing fascination with the human brain, and her examination of the teenage brain, Blame My Brain, published in 2005, was short-listed for the Aventis Prize.

Nicola is a regular speaker at festivals, schools  and conferences, and writes for a range of national newspapers. She is Chair of the Society of Authors in Scotland and lives in Edinburgh with her husband, two daughters and spoilt Labrador.


David Orme represents the Educational Writers Group

David Orme lives in Winchester. He is an ex-teacher who has been writing for about twenty years. He has published around 200 books, including fiction, poetry and non fiction for children, a wide range of text books and other school resources in print and on CD ROM. He is increasingly focused on writing fiction for reluctant readers, including the Boffin Boy series of graphic novels.  He visits around 40 schools a year, running writing workshops and talking about his work.


Celia Rees represents the Children’s Writers and Illustrators Group

Celia Rees was born and brought up in Solihull, West Midlands and taught English in city comprehensive schools for seventeen years. She became a full-time writer in 1997 and now divides her time between writing, talking to readers in schools and libraries, acting as a tutor on creative writing courses and reviewing.

Celia writes for older children and teenagers. She began writing in 1989 and her first book was published in 1993. Since then she has written many novels for this age group and a number of short stories. Her novel Witch Child was short listed for the Guardian Children’s Fiction award in 2001 and won the Prix Sorcières in France, 2003; the sequel Sorceress was short listed for The Whitbread Children’s Book Award in 2002; Pirates! was short listed for the W.H. Smith Award, 2004. Her latest book, The Stone Testament was published in October, 2007. Celia Rees lives in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire.