Fine, Gross, Kerr and Sissay join SoA council

Fine, Gross, Kerr and Sissay join SoA council

Anne Fine, Philip Gross, Judith Kerr and Lemn Sissay have all joined the Society of Authors as new council members. 

The four authors join other top writing talent on the council including the SoA's president Philip Pullman, as well as Malorie Blackman, Anthony Beevor, Neil Gaiman and J K Rowling.

The council is an honorary body made up of authors who, in the SoA's words, are "of high standing" and "have been exceptional in their support". 

Fine, who has won both the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread (now Costa) Children's Novel Award twice, praised SoA for its advice to writers, for whom the profession can be "a lonely business". 

"Writing is a lonely business and publishers can make the most egregious requests and demands, leading to the inevitable worry, 'Am I being unreasonable?' The Society of Authors has never failed to advise me well, and I bless them for it," she said.

Gross, 2009's winner of the TS Eliot Prize, said he was pleased to be invited to join the body at a time of friction and change in the wider world. "It’s a privilege to be invited to serve the Society of Authors as a council member, and particularly at a time like this," he said. "In an age of friction, change and complication, who better than authors, such a famously diverse and individual bunch (we are the cats who won’t be herded) to show that we can meet and represent our common interests… especially when that common interest is to be as gloriously different as we, and all our readers, truly are - to be that different for the culture’s sake?"

A spokesperson for the SoA said: “We are delighted to welcome four distinguished authors, who have all generously agreed to join the Society of Authors Council.”