The eagle-eyed among you (assuming that anyone actually still reads this) may have noticed something new in the sidebar of this site. It is a little badge saying that I am a member of the Society of Authors. This is a UK organisation, and unlike SFWA it caters to authors of all sorts. I note that Joanne Harris and Juliet McKenna are both members of the elected Management Committee, and Joanne is currently the chair of that group, so I’m well connected.
Some of you are doubtless scratching your heads and wondering why a professional association of writers would let in someone whose fiction is as poor as mine, but that’s not why I joined, and presumably not why I was accepted. I’m doing a lot of history writing these days, some of it for books from mainstream publishers. The academic stuff tends to be unpaid, but it does lead to speaking gigs and those are often paid. Talks have to be written.
The main reason I wanted to join is because the Society provides good value professional indemnity insurance which is geared specifically towards writers, and writers who do public appearances. Given that some of the people I do talks for now have contracts asking me to indemnify them against a whole range of risks, and given the ever increasing litigious nature of the anti-trans lobby, insurance is essential.
Anyway, I now a professional writer of a sort. Which is nice. Even if it doesn’t make me a lot of money.