Sunday, 7 August 2022

Industry Insider Event, by Dawn Finch

The CWIG AGM is scheduled for September and this has given me cause to look at all we have done over the past year. Writing my report for what will be my last AGM for CWIG has certainly been interesting. I was asked to become CWIG Chair back in 2019 and I when I accepted I had no idea how challenging that time would be. We have come through the demanding times as authors and personally I went from being a complete technophobe about being on camera to being quite a dab hand. The last couple of years have turned us into Zoomers and if you have missed any of the incredibly useful (and fun) online events we have done you can always catch up on the SoA Vimeo channel. My personal favourite was the afternoon tea with Dame Jacqueline Wilson and you can hardly see my excitement.... well... I did my best to act professional!

Now the Pandemic conditions are (almost) past and many of us are taking up bookings for school and public events again. This is heartening as I know how much people have missed being out in the "real" world and we all know that the positive impact of author visits in schools is well documented. 

Sadly, times have changed and I have been contacted dozens of times by people who are finding that they are being cancelled at the last minute, or that they are having to cancel themselves. I have also had messages from people who have been cancelled for vague or even unethical reasons, and this raised many conversations at CWIG committee meetings and at the Society of Authors.

One of the pieces of advice we always give people is to get things in writing. I firmly believe that when it comes to bookings it is not enough to rely on a few phone calls or emails when you are committing you time and money to an event. Getting it in writing is often easier said than done and writing your own contract can feel like navigating a legal minefield. At CWIG we were thinking about how we could help to get some advice on contracts to our members and we thought the best way was to put together an online event with some of the most experienced in this field. 

On Sept 20th 2022 join us online at midday for our AGM and hear all about CWIG and find out what we've been up to and what we plan next (and discover who I'm handing over to as the next CWIG Chair for 2023) and sign up for the Industry Insider event at 1pm. This event will focus on contractual terms for authors visiting schools - essential knowledge and guidance for anyone booking their own visits and events.

The panel will be discussing how authors can protect themselves and what terms authors should agree with schools to ensure the visit is a success? The panel will be made up of Sarah Burton (Society of Authors' Head of Advisory Team and Senior Contract Advisor,) and top children's authors Jo Clarke, Karen Inglis, Ross Montgomery, Nicola Morgan.

This promises to be a fascinating and practical event not to be missed, and I'd love the share my last AGM with you!

See you there

Dawn Finch (aka Dawn McLachlan) is a children's author and library activist and the current Chair of the Children's Writers and Illustrators Group (CWIG) at the Society of Authors

Links - Industry Insider - contractual terms for authors visiting schools

            CWIG AGM



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