Remembering Shirley Hughes


The creator of the Alfie books and Dogger was an active member and supporter of the SoA for over half a century.

We were deeply saddened to hear of the death of acclaimed writer and illustrator Shirley Hughes, at the age of 94.

The much-loved author of over 50 books and illustrator of more than two hundred books, Shirley Hughes joined the Society of Authors in May 1971. She joined the committee of the Children’s Writers Group (now the Children’s Writers and Illustrators Group) in the same year. Passionate about young readers and the importance of libraries, she returned to serve on the committee again in 1977 and 1992.

She served on the SoA’s Management Committee from September 1983, and she was formally appointed to the SoA Council in 1994.

She remained an active supporter of the SoA right into her 90s, always attending our Council meetings and prize ceremonies in her wonderful hats.

In 2014 she and Judith Kerr treated our members to an unforgettable intimate “in-conversation" event chaired by Anne Sebba, in which she shared her ways of working and seeing.

Nicola Solomon, Chief Executive of the Society of Authors, said:

We will miss Shirley Hughes enormously. As well as being a fabulous author and illustrator (I still cry when I read Dogger), who enriched the lives of so many children and adults, she and her family have been huge supporters of the Society of Authors, inspiring and supporting so many other children’s authors and campaigning fearlessly to improve the reading environment for young people. It was always lovely to receive her warm and encouraging cards - often with one of her characters on the front. We send our condolences to her family.

Shirley Hughes will be sorely missed.