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Society of Authors

society of authors, society of authors and illustrators
Philip Pullman, President

David Donachie, Chair

Nicola Solomon, Chief Executive Office location London, UK Country United Kingdom Website wwwsocietyofauthorsorg

The Society of Authors SoA is a United Kingdom trade union for professional writers, illustrators and literary translators that was founded in 1884 to protect the rights and further the interests of authors As of June 2017, it represents more than 10,000 members and associates

The SoA vets members' contracts and advises on professional issues, 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

The SoA administers a range of grants for writers in need The Authors' Contingency Fund, The Francis Head Bequest and The PD James Memorial Fund and to fund work in progress The Authors’ Foundation and K Blundell Trust, awarding more than £250,000 to writers each year

The SoA also administers prizes for fiction, non-fiction, poetry, translation and drama, including the Betty Trask Award, the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction and The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award

The SoA 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

Authors of all kinds are eligible to join, whether they are already established or at the beginning of their careers


  • 1 History
  • 2 Awards and prizes
  • 3 Writers in Oxford
    • 31 Members
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links


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

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

Well known contemporary members include Philip Pullman SoA president since 2013, Malorie Blackman, Neil Gaiman, Philip Gross, Judith Kerr, Hilary Mantel, JK Rowling and Lemn Sissay

The Society's quarterly journal, The Author was first published in 1890 Its first editor was novelist and historian Walter Besant, the Society's founding Chair He was succeeded by George Herbert, author Denys Kilham Roberts, author CR Hewitt writing as 'CH Rolph', the theatre critic, biographer and newspaper editor Richard Findlater, author Derek Parker, novelist Andrew Taylor, novelist and publisher Fanny Blake and novelist and publisher Andrew Rosenheim Since November 2012 the editor has been the writer and critic James McConnachie

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

Awards and prizes

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

  • The Betty Trask Award
  • The Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction
  • The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award
  • The Cholmondeley Award
  • The Elizabeth Longford Prize
  • The Eric Gregory Award
  • The McKitterick Prize
  • The Imison Award
  • The Tinniswood Award
  • The Somerset Maugham Award
  • The Tom-Gallon Trust Award
  • The Travelling Scholarships

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

  • Scott Moncrieff Prize for French Translation
  • Hellenic Foundation for Culture Award for Greek Translation triennial
  • Schlegel-Tieck Prize for German Translation
  • The German Embassy Award for German Translation
  • Bernard Shaw Prize for Swedish Translation triennial
  • Vondel Prize for Dutch Translation biennial
  • Calouste Gulbenkian Prize for Portuguese Translation triennial
  • Premio Valle Inclan for Spanish Translation
  • John Florio Prize for Italian Translation biennial
  • Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation annual
  • TA First Translation Prize

Writers in Oxford

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 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 as well as its own programme of speaker meetings, visits and networking gatherings

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


A selection of members, past and present:

  • Philip Pullman, founder member
  • Janie Hampton, founder member, Chair from 2003
  • Frank Egerton, Chair 2008-10
  • Robert Bullard, Chair
  • Julie Summers, former Chair
  • Richard Webster
  • Dennis Hamley
  • Nathan Dylan Goodwin
  • Ross King and Melanie King, who met through WiO
  • Brian Levison
  • Frances Farrer
  • Niel Bushnell, Authors North sub-group events committee Chair 2016-2019

See also

  • Organized labour portal
  • Writers' Guild of Great Britain
  • Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society


  1. ^ http://wwwsocietyofauthorsorg/about-us
  2. ^ http://wwwsocietyofauthorsorg/grants
  3. ^ http://wwwsocietyofauthorsorg/Prizes
  4. ^ http://wwwsocietyofauthorsorg/literary-estates-and-permissions
  5. ^ http://wwwsocietyofauthorsorg/Join/Eligibility
  6. ^ "Society of Authors - history" Archived from the original on 2007-11-11 Retrieved 2007-11-04 
  7. ^ http://wwwsocietyofauthorsorg/About-Us/Council
  8. ^ "History" Retrieved 17 November 2016 
  9. ^ "Society of Authors -Prizes for fiction and non-fiction" Archived from the original on 2008-06-07 Retrieved 2008-06-21 
  10. ^ "Writers in Oxford | Society of Authors - Protecting the rights and furthering the interests of authors" wwwsocietyofauthorsorg Retrieved 25 July 2016 
  11. ^ "Writers in Oxford Party, 22 October | Society of Authors - Protecting the rights and furthering the interests of authors" wwwsocietyofauthorsorg Retrieved 25 July 2016 
  12. ^ a b "Writers in Oxford - About WiO" wwwwritersinoxfordorg Retrieved 25 July 2016 
  13. ^ "Lorna Fergusson and Marcus Ferrar - Writers in Oxford - 6 Apr 2016 - Oxford Literary Festival" oxfordliteraryfestivalorg Retrieved 25 July 2016 
  14. ^ Hartford, Maggie 20 Nov 2012 "Happy Birthday to writers' group and bookshop" The Oxford Times Retrieved 25 July 2016 
  15. ^ Blackman, Jaine 28 Feb 2014 "Author Janie Hampton - 'Bring on the next chapter'" The Oxford Times Retrieved 25 July 2016 
  16. ^ Bullard, Robert 4 March 2015 "Business Writing Tips: For Easy and Effective Results" Perfect Text Retrieved 25 July 2016 
  17. ^ a b "Richard Webster: Author who got to heart of issues" The Oxford Times 7 July 2011 Retrieved 25 July 2016 
  18. ^ Zacaroli, Mary 25 September 2008 "Steeped in war" The Oxford Times Retrieved 25 July 2016 
  19. ^ "Society of Authors: Member Details" Retrieved 22 June 2017 
  20. ^ Gray, Christopher 18 Dec 2014 "Profile: Ross King - Probing art's great wonders" The Oxford Times Retrieved 25 July 2016 
  21. ^ a b Kearney, Chris 30 Dec 2007 "Extraordinary tales from concert halls" The Oxford Times Retrieved 25 July 2016 
  22. ^ "Frances Farrer" The Oxford Times 26 Aug 2015 Retrieved 25 July 2016 

External links

  • Official website

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