literary estates

Literary Estates

Virginia Woolf’s estate is represented by the Society of Authors

The Society is privileged to act as literary representative of the estates of a number of distinguished writers including Bernard Shaw, Virginia Woolf, Philip Larkin, E. M. Forster, Rosamond Lehmann, Walter de la Mare, John Masefield and Compton Mackenzie.

The Literary Estates Department handles the negotiation and administration of contracts for the full range of rights from print permissions to major stage productions and feature films. Commissions income from this work helps to support the Society’s day to day work.

View full list of literary estates

Additionally, the Society licenses amateur and professional stage productions of the plays for the dramatists and translators in the playwrights list, in addition to those indicated in the main list with an asterisk. A full play list with pricing information is available on request.

View list of playwrights

Licence Applications

Applications for permissions for anthology or quotation usage or licences for amateur stage productions of works by authors represented by the Society should be addressed to Lisa Dowdeswell at the Society by post, fax or by using the following online application forms.

Click here to apply online for print permissions

Click here to apply online for amateur licenses

For permissions in writing, so that we can process applications as quickly as possible, please include as much as possible of the following information:

Print Permissions

Name and address of applicant/publisher

Full details of material to be reproduced including a word count (or line count for poetry)

Details of work in which the material is to appear:

Author & title


Territories for distribution; expected date of publication; size of first printing and format (e.g. hardback, paperback, book club, electronic)

Amateur stage licences

Please apply in writing in good time before your production is due to take place with a full postal address letting us know the proposed dates, number of performances and venue address.

For enquiries concerning other rights please contact:

Jeremy Crow (Bernard Shaw estate; Screen, Stage and other dramatic rights)

Elizabeth Haylett (Publication and translation rights).

See also

Literary estates (full list)