Frequently Asked Questions

What does the SoA do?

The SoA is a trade union for professional writers. We are a membership organisation representing over 10,000 professional writers from all genres. We campaign and lobby the government on issues that impact all authors, offer detailed advice and contract vetting to our members and produce guides and resources. Read more about us and what we stand for.

How can I join the SoA?

Find out if you are eligible to join the SoA by taking our eligibility quiz and sign up online today.

Why should I join the SoA?

Being a member of our community of professional authors has a huge number of benefits from advice to discounts, guides to boardroom hire. Find out how you can make the most out of your membership.

How do I get an agent? How can I get published?

As a trade union we must stay neutral and so we are unable to recommend or endorse any particular agent or publishers, however a useful resource is the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook. This book has full listings of all agents and publishers in the UK and contains some useful articles on all aspects of publication. It’s available to buy or you can pick a copy up at many local libraries. To find out more about agents you can download our guide to authors’ agents or contact the Association of Authors Agents.

Can you recommend a publisher to me?

Due to competition law we are unable to recommend authors to a specific publisher. A useful resource for authors at any stage of their career is the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook which provides a guide to all publishers in the UK, contact details and specialities.

Do you have a standard contract?

We aren’t able to provide our members with a standard contract but we have a team of experienced advisors who are happy to vet your contracts and ensure that you are getting a fair deal. You can also check our Guide to Publishing Contracts for an idea of the clauses that might be included and the rights you should consider.

How do I copyright my own work?

If you write something, the copyright is normally automatically yours (unless for example you are writing for an employer). An old fashioned way to 'prove' copyright is to post yourself a copy of the document in question, so it is postmarked, and then not open the envelope. But that is more symbolic these days. For further guidelines on copyright see our resources pages.

How can I renew or cancel my subscription?

For further information on how you can manage your subscription online, see our membership section. You can also manage your subscription over the phone by getting in touch at 020 7373 6642.

Who can give me advice about a contract and how can do I contact them?

Our team of six experienced contract advisors are able to give advice to authors on all aspects of your contract. To talk to a member of the advisory team email or get in touch at 020 7373 6642. For more information on the advice we offer, take a look through our advice pages.

Where can I find out about rates and guidelines?

We think it is crucially important that writers and authors of all genres are paid for their work. That’s why we have put together a helpful table on rates and guidelines to help authors’ professional careers.