We were delighted to receive so many strong applications to our April call-out for five published writers living and working in Scotland who want to advocate for writers on our Writers’ Advisory Group (WAG).
The WAG strengthens the advice to the Board which also comes from our writer members. It aims to develop direct contact with a more diverse and inclusive community and use the knowledge and expertise of all the writers we engage with to help shape our activities in providing what writers need.
The WAG will meet three times, in June, September and November 2021. Along with Projects and Communications Manager Jenny Kumar and LAS Trustee Vikki Reilly, they will discuss their agreed key issues and provide their knowledge and advice to help make sure that writers’ concerns are reflected in LAS activities and advocacy work.
We pay all our writers £175 per two-hour meeting in line with the Live Literature Funding rate and our Access Fund is available to assist with any accessibility requirements.
Meet our Writers’ Advisory Group 2021
AJ Clay is an Edinburgh-based nonbinary author who has been writing fiction and creative nonfiction since 2014. Their work has been published by Scottish Book Trust, Monstrous Regiment, Dangerous Women, and Shoreline Of Infinity Press. Their focus is on marginalised LGBTQ+ and working-class characters and amplifying under-represented voices. They are currently querying an own voices YA urban fantasy set in Edinburgh. In their spare time they engage in LGBTQ+ outreach as part of a global queer drag collective and write reviews of the bad films they watched in lockdown.
Emily Dodd is an author of picture books and non-fiction science books, a screenwriter for CBeebies and a writer of BBC radio plays for children. She also writes and performs comedy and spoken word for adults. Emily loves being outside, drawing, playing football and wild swimming and travels widely, taking her interactive science events to schools, libraries and festivals. Emily lives on the Isle of Skye, the perfect place for adventures.
Cal Flyn is an award-winning writer from the Highlands of Scotland. She writes literary nonfiction and long-form journalism. Her first book, Thicker Than Water which explored questions of colonialism and intergenerational guilt, was a Times book of the year. Her acclaimed second book, Islands of Abandonment—about the ecology and psychology of abandoned places—is out now. Cal’s journalistic writing has been published in Granta, The Sunday Times Magazine, Telegraph Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and others. She is a columnist for Prospect, deputy editor of literary recommendations site Five Books, and a regular contributor to The Guardian. Cal was made a MacDowell fellow in 2019.
Sonali Misra (she/her) is an Indian author and PhD researcher in Publishing Studies at the University of Stirling. Her debut nonfiction, 21 Fantastic Failures, released in 2020 and her short prose has appeared in Scottish, Canadian and Indian anthologies. Most recently, she was a top-10 winner of the National Library of Scotland’s Fresh Ink programme, and her personal essay will be added to the Library’s archives. Sonali is the Co-founder of The Selkie Publications CIC, which publishes underrepresented voices, and Co-chair of the Society of Young Publishers Scotland. She has previously worked in editorial and product roles in Indian publishing at organisations such as Scholastic and Hachette.
Heather Parry is a Glasgow-based writer and editor. Her short stories and nonfiction have appeared internationally in numerous magazines and books, and she is currently working on her first novel. She is the editorial director of Extra Teeth, a Scottish literary magazine, co-presents the podcast Teenage Scream and with comics artist Maria Stoian, received Creative Scotland funding to create The Illustrated Freelancer’s Guide, a free resource to assist self-employed creatives in understanding their working rights and protections. She also organises for creative freelancers with the IWW.
Following their first meeting June, the WAG will focus on the following issues:
- Increased inclusivity with more opportunities particularly for LGBT+ community, Gaelic learners and writers, the literary community outwith the Central Belt, children’s writers and international residents with fixed-term visas.
- Increased accessibility for events (especially digital) and development opportunities for disabled people and those with a chronic illness, neurodiverse people, people from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
- Creative freelancers /Authors’ Rights, particularly payment and income; contracts Code of Conduct – publishers/ orgs; and inequalities within the arts funding frameworks.
- Global opportunities afforded by digital events and looking at models of intercommunity support, non-competitiveness and Scottish identity to better promote Scotland’s writing across the UK and internationally.