Society of Authors

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Full name The Society of Authors
Founded 1884
Members Over 9,000
Key people

Daniel Hahn, Chair

Philip Pullman, President
Office location London, UK
Country United Kingdom

The Society of Authors (SoA) is a United Kingdom trade union for professional writers that was founded in 1884 to protect the rights and further the interests of authors. As of November 2014 it has over 9,300 members and associates.

The SoA advises members on any queries about the business of writing, as well as providing training, representing authors in collective negotiations with publishers to improve contract terms, lobbying on issues that affect authors such as copyright, UK arts funding and Public Lending Right.[1]

The SoA administers a range of grants and prizes such as the Authors’ Foundation, which is one of the few bodies making grants to help with works in progress for established writers.[2]

The SoA also acts as the literary representative for the estates of a number of writers. This list includes George Bernard Shaw, Virginia Woolf, Philip Larkin, E. M. Forster, Rosamond Lehmann, Walter de la Mare, John Masefield and Compton Mackenzie.[3]

Writers of all kinds are eligible to join as soon as they have been offered a contract from a publisher, broadcaster or agent.[4]


It has counted amongst its members and presidents numerous notable writers and poets including Tennyson (first president), George Bernard Shaw, John Galsworthy, John Edward Masefield, Thomas Hardy, H. G. Wells, J. M. Barrie and E. M. Forster.[5]

Bernard Shaw was an early member who took a prominent part in action and discussions, founding the League of Dramatists in 1931 as part of the Society. The Authors' Licensing and Collection Society was also formed after much action by the Society.

In 1958 the Translators Association (TA) was established as a specialist group within the Society of Authors.

Awards and prizes[edit]

Prizes for fiction and non-fiction administered by the Society include:[6]

The Society also administers a number of literary translation prizes, including:

See also[edit]


External links[edit]