about us


About the Society

Tom Holland

Society Chair

The Society has been serving the interests of professional writers for more than a century. Today it has more than 8,900 members writing in all areas of the profession (from novelists to doctors, textbook writers to ghost writers, broadcasters to academics, illustrators to translators). Whatever your specialisation, you are eligible to join as soon as you have been offered a contract.

The staff are ready to help members with any query, however trivial or obscure, relating to the business of writing. Services include the confidential, individual vetting of contracts, and help with professional disputes. In addition, the Society holds meetings and seminars, publishes a quarterly journal, The Author, and maintains a database of members’ specializations.

The Society administers a wide range of prizes, as well as the Authors’ Foundation, which is one of the very few bodies making grants to help with work in progress for established writers. 

A year’s membership costs £90 (£64 for those aged 35 and under). The annual subscription includes the cost of specialist contract appraisals, and is tax deductible under Schedule D. Join now


The Management Committee

The Society is run by the Management Committee which consists of 12 elected professional writers (who serve for three years). The current Chair is Tom Holland, and the Society’s President is P. D. James. The Management Committee is overseen by a Council of eminent writers.

While all major policy decisions are taken by the Management Committee, the administration of the Society and the day-to-day running of the office lie with the General Secretary, Nicola Solomon, and her staff. The staff have experience in all areas of the profession and strive to advise members individually on all aspects of the profession. The Society also has access to solicitors, accountants and insurance consultants.

The Society also represents the writing profession by campaigning for improved terms and changes in legislation, such as copyright and libel laws. It was instrumental in the establishment of ALCS (whereby authors receive fees from photocopying and other uses of copyright material which can best be handled collectively); and is represented on the British Copyright Council and the European Writers Council. We are also in regular communication with our sister-organisations overseas including those in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The Society is recognised by the BBC for the purpose of negotiating rates for writers’ contributions to radio drama and for the broadcasting of published material.

Throughout the writing profession, we continue to negotiate for improved terms and conditions. 


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Annual membership (£90.00 or £64 if you’re under 35) entitles you to unlimited advice on all aspects of the writing profession.


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