Life on the Educational Writers Group committee

04 March 2020 Life

After three fascinating, constructive and rewarding years, it’s nearly time for Mark Griffiths to step down from being on the Educational Writers Group (EWG) committee. Here, he talks about his experience and why you might be interested in serving on the committee too.

Stimulating and rewarding

My three years on the EWG committee have indeed been stimulating and rewarding. As part of the committee, you help to develop the content and organisation of the annual Seminar Days, drawing on experience of writers from across the SoA and industry representatives, creating a diverse day with something for everyone.

The regular EWG committee meetings have included positive debates around the SoA’s responses to such issues as the government’s controversial ideas for quality assurance for textbooks and how to respond to publishers’ attempts to squeeze authors’ fees to the minimum, all accompanied by a range and quality of biscuits that I had hitherto only dreamt of.*

Everyone has something to offer

When a friend suggested back in 2017 that I stand to serve on the EWG, I, like most of us I guess, assumed that joining a committee within the SoA would require an extensive and diverse record of publications, and previous experience of serving on similar committees. But the last three years have shown how much this is not the case!

I came in with a modest publication record in my own name and without any experience of any of the work of the EWG. But that did not matter. What the group needs is energy, creativity and the ability to develop ideas – qualities that as authors we all possess. And I found that the real-world experience and professional skills accrued through my working life all complimented those of others on the committee and added to the overall dynamic and strengths of the EWG.


From a personal perspective, I’m pleased to have been able to represent the experience of authors whose work is often not under their own name, but who anonymously create content for inclusion in larger pieces of work or write for educational institutions in an uncredited capacity.

Also, as education is a devolved matter in the UK, I’ve had the opportunity in the EWG committee discussions to put forward the perspective of someone not only based outside of London and the South East, but outside of England (I’m based in Wales). This is important for ensuring that the activities of EWG and the SoA as a whole represent the interests of their members across the UK.

Who next for the committee?

It could be you! The EWG committee is the sum of the diverse experience and skills of the EWG group members – our creativity and enthusiasm for developing ideas and for helping each other. No two committee members are the same, and a range of experience, interests and professional skills brings great value to the EWG committee and its activities. Why not have a go at serving on the committee yourself? It’s a hoot!

*Quality of biscuits may go up and down. Your waistline may be at risk of too many biscuits.

Find out more about the Educational Writers Group (EWG) here

Want to join the EWG committee? Get in touch with group secretary Bryony Hall.