Society of Authors

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Full name The Society of Authors
Founded 1884
Members Over 9,000
Key people

David Donachie, 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:

Writers in Oxford[edit]

Writers in Oxford is a society for published authors living or working in the Oxford area of the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1992 by local members of the Society of Authors[7] such as Philip Pullman and is run by its members for the benefit of fellow writers. It holds some joint events with the Society of Authors[8] as well as its own programme of speaker meetings, visits and networking gatherings.[9]

Members range from poets to novelists, playwrights to journalists. The Society supports local events such as the Oxford Literary Festival.[10] It publishes a newsletter, The Oxford Writer.[9]


A selection of members, past and present:

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Society of Authors - history". Archived from the original on 2007-11-11. Retrieved 2007-11-04. 
  6. ^ "Society of Authors -Prizes for fiction and non-fiction". Archived from the original on 2008-06-07. Retrieved 2008-06-21. 
  7. ^ "Writers in Oxford | Society of Authors - Protecting the rights and furthering the interests of authors". Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  8. ^ "Writers in Oxford Party, 22 October | Society of Authors - Protecting the rights and furthering the interests of authors". Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  9. ^ a b "Writers in Oxford - About WiO". Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  10. ^ "Lorna Fergusson and Marcus Ferrar - Writers in Oxford - 6 Apr 2016 - Oxford Literary Festival". Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  11. ^ Hartford, Maggie (20 Nov 2012). "Happy Birthday to writers' group and bookshop". The Oxford Times. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  12. ^ Blackman, Jaine (28 Feb 2014). "Author Janie Hampton - 'Bring on the next chapter'". The Oxford Times. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  13. ^ Bullard, Robert (4 March 2015). "Business Writing Tips: For Easy and Effective Results". Perfect Text. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  14. ^ a b "Richard Webster: Author who got to heart of issues". The Oxford Times. 7 July 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  15. ^ Zacaroli, Mary (25 September 2008). "Steeped in war". The Oxford Times. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  16. ^ Gray, Christopher (18 Dec 2014). "Profile: Ross King - Probing art's great wonders". The Oxford Times. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  17. ^ a b Kearney, Chris (30 Dec 2007). "Extraordinary tales from concert halls". The Oxford Times. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  18. ^ "Frances Farrer". The Oxford Times. 26 Aug 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 

External links[edit]