SoAiS Committee Election

We were delighted to receive three nominations for the two vacancies to join the SoAiS Committee.

Thank you to all the candidates for their commitment to join the SoA in Scotland Committee and to strengthen our work on behalf of all authors based in Scotland.

The candidates standing for nomination are:

  • Susi Briggs
  • Mary Paulson-Ellis
  • Helen Sedgwick

The successful candidates will join the Committee at the AGM on 15 October, alongside Claire Watts, Jane MacKenzie, Ceitidh Hutton, Bill Manley, Sarah Tooze and Tita Berredo.

Voting closes at 5pm on Thursday 29 September.

Vote here

Susi Briggs

Susi-Briggs-book-stove-look-up-centre.jpgI have been a published author since 2017 and have committed myself to writing almost exclusively in Scots for children.

I also write translations, poetry and audio stories for broadcast in Scots. I was involved with the Scots Warks project at the Scots Language Centre. I have also written for Itchy Coo Books and Scots Hoose website.

I co-host and write for the Oor Wee Podcast show. My audio work has featured on BBC Scotland Education website.

I have been shortlisted every year since 2018 for a Scots Language Award with my books or Oor Wee Podcast.  

I have been a storyteller since 2011 and I am registered with the Scottish Storytelling Centre and the Scottish Book Trust.

I have a keen interest in promoting the visibility of Scots and encouraging Scots Literacy. I have developed workshops for children that promote Scots language literacy.

I am also a musician and run Music Matters sessions in Care Homes and Day Centres. Often this work is intergenerational.  

I am also a vocalist with Wave Blues Band as well.

I enjoy performing in everything that I do. This is how I make a living.  One day I could be writing commissioned poetry and the next leading interactive sessions in a local care home and singing the blues at the weekend. Life is never dull.

I'd like to positively represent those who write in Scots language by being on the Society of Authors committee.

Mary Paulson-Ellis


I am standing for the SoAiS committee because I want our concerns as authors in Scotland to be heard. What we do as writers is valuable. We are valuable. Our work deserves respect, recognition and fair reward.

As a committee member I would aim to foster a strong collective voice for our community, working together to share experiences, ideas and, where appropriate, enact change. This could mean campaigning on rates of pay, challenging unfair industry practices or engaging with public funding bodies - whatever represents the members’ interests.

I would lobby to retain the Senior Policy and Liaison Manager as a permanent position in Scotland and work to expand and diversify our membership to ensure it fully reflects the vibrant community to which we belong. Scotland has a distinct literature sector and I would like to see authors at all stages of their careers having a seat at that table via the SoA. This our union: in the face of what can be an uncertain career, we can make it speak and work for us.

I’ve been a full-time writer for seven years now. I’m the author of three published novels and my short stories and non-fiction have appeared in various anthologies and on BBC R4. In 2019 Val McDermid selected me as one of ten compelling LGBTQ+ writers working today. I’ve previously been a Board Member for two arts charities, an advisor to the Scottish Arts Council and a member of the Scottish Charity Appeals Panel.

Thank you.

Helen Sedgwick

Helen-Sedgwick-(copyright-Michael-Gallacher)-(1).jpgAuthors can have a powerful voice when we work together towards fair treatment for all. I’ve come to believe this after feeling increasingly powerless as an author within the industry – a feeling I’m passionate about changing for all of us.

As a chronically ill author in the highlands, I care deeply about increasing accessibility across our industry so that we’re all heard and included, and I believe this will be of lifelong benefit to everyone. And if authors are going to be valued as an essential part of our industry, then we need fair payment. Authors are severely underpaid, and this particularly impacts underrepresented groups.

Finally, I want to create a space that will empower authors to speak about discrimination, lack of diversity, and lack of payment, without fear of negative consequences. We need a literary community that is inclusive and open-minded, that’s working to open doors with fresh perspectives, and I want to be part of that movement.

I’m a cross-genre author of five novels, an editor and mentor, and have worked with universities, councils, and communities across Scotland. I’ve been part of the Maryhill Integration Network and Scottish PEN, managing editor of Gutter, co-host of Words Per Minute, MD of Cargo Publishing, and retreats coordinator for HighlandLIT.

I’m currently a judge for HISSAC and on the committee for the St Duthac Book & Arts Festival. I want to bring energy, inclusivity, and new ideas to shape our literary sector into the best place for authors it can be.c

Vote here


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