The Crime Writers’ Association

Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin Named New SOA Chair

Congratulations to Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin, who has been elected new Chair of the Society of Authors.

The novelist and founder of takes over from Joanne Harris to begin two-year term as Chair of the SoA’s board of directors

Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin, who writes crime as Irish bestseller Sam Blake, has been unanimously elected Chair of the Society of Authors’ Management Committee – the SoA’s member-elected board of directors and charity trustees – at their January 2024 meeting. The position has been held since 2020 by Joanne Harris, who has now come to the end of her second two-year term.

The Management Committee meet six times a year to govern the direction of the SoA. Twelve elected members, alongside the chairs of professional and nation groups – including the Translators Association, the Children’s Writers & Illustrators Group, and the Society of Authors in Scotland – are responsible for setting the strategy and policies of the organisation.

Vanessa is founder of the Inkwell Group publishing consultancy, Europe’s biggest online writing resources magazine,, and Murder One, Ireland’s International Crime Writing Festival. She has served on the Management Committee since 2019 and was previously the Chair of Irish PEN.

Commenting on her appointment, Vanessa said, ‘This will be a year of change for the SoA, as we welcome a new Chief Executive in April and a new Honorary President later in 2024. But change is exciting and having worked with the staff team over the past few years I know their strength is adapting to the issues that impact members – their support and advocacy is at the forefront of everything they do. It is a great privilege to take on this role from Joanne, and I look forward to working with board members and the staff team on the challenges ahead. We are seeing many already – from AI to falling incomes, not to mention cyber-attacks on the institutions that pay authors. I can’t wait to get started.’

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