We welcome the introduction of the first steering committee for the Society of Authors in Wales (SoAiW) to expand the role and reach of the group by representing and supporting Welsh writers, illustrators and literary translators at all stages of their careers.
The group represents a range of genres, interests and areas – with award-winning authors Helen Docherty, Philip Gross, Alison Layland and Christopher Meredith coming on board with founding chair Paula Brackston as part of the first SoAiW steering committee.
SoAiW was set up with the intention of representing and supporting Welsh authors living in, or with an interest in, Wales. The group aims to:
- Offer general support and individual advice to Welsh authors or authors living in Wales
- Lobby for improved policy and legislation
- Provide community support, events and networking opportunities
On joining the committee, Christopher Meredith said:
"I'm delighted to be in on the start of the Welsh steering group for SoA. I've been a member and fan of the SoA for many years and it's good to be able to contribute to its work. I'm interested to help promote and develop SoA in Wales, make it better known to our authors, and help tailor its work to the unique circumstances of this small but complicated country."
Alison Layland also commented:
"I’m looking forward to being actively involved in arranging a wide variety of social and training events, and promoting the interests of Welsh authors both within Wales and beyond the border."
"Edrychaf ymlaen at gefnogi awduron Cymru ym mhob ffordd posibl"
All SoA members who live or have an interest in Wales are welcome to join the group for free. Those with Welsh postcodes will automatically receive mailings. Click here to find out more about the group or get in touch if you have an idea for an event, want to address an issue, or would like to host a meeting in your town.
Meet the steering committee
Paula Brackston (Chair) is the New York Times bestselling author of The Witch's Daughter and other historical fantasy and crime mystery novels under her own name and pseudonyms P. J. Davy and P. J. Brackston. She is a Visiting Lecturer for the University of Wales, Newport.
Helen Docherty has written several rhyming picture books, including The Snatchabook, which has been translated into 20 languages. Her books have been staged as plays (and even as an opera for school children). She is a Welsh speaker.
Philip Gross has published some twenty collections of poetry winning the T.S.Eliot Prize, a Cholmondeley Award and his latest science-based collection for young people, Dark Sky Park (Otter-Barry Books, 2018) was shortlisted for the CLPE Poetry Award. From 2004 to 2017 he was Professor of Creative Writing at the University of South Wales.
Alison Layland is a writer and literary translator from French and German. She first started writing when she moved to the Tanat Valley and took Welsh language classes in 1997, winning a short story competition at the National Eisteddfod in 2002. Her latest English-language novel, Riverflow, is published by Honno. Her translations include The Colour of Dawn by award-winning Haitian author Yanick Lahens.
Christopher Meredith is an award-winning novelist, poet and translator in English and Welsh. His debut novel, Shifts, is regarded as a Welsh modern classic, topping the English language selection of Wales Arts Review’s 'Greatest Welsh Novel of All Time', and coming second to the overall winner Un Nos Ola Leuad by Caradog Prichard.