The Society of Authors has been serving the interests of professional writers for more than a century. Today it has more than 9,000 Members and Associates writing in all areas of the profession (from novelists to doctors, textbook writers to ghost writers, broadcasters to academics, illustrators to translators). Whatever your specialisation, you are eligible to join as soon as you have been offered a contract.
This quote is taken from the SoA's Briefing note on PLR and Royalties from Library elending, May 2013.
The staff are ready to help members with any query, however trivial or obscure, relating to the business of writing. Services include the confidential, individual vetting of contracts, and help with professional disputes. In addition, the SoA holds meetings and seminars, publishes a quarterly journal, The Author, and maintains a database of members’ specialisations.
A year’s subscription costs £95 (£68 for those aged 35 and under). The annual subscription includes the cost of specialist contract appraisals, and is tax deductible under Schedule D. Join now
The Management Committee
The SoA is run by the Management Committee which consists of 12 elected professional writers (who serve for three years). The current Chair is Daniel Hahn (pictured), and the SoA’s President is Philip Pullman. The Management Committee is overseen by a Council of eminent writers.
While all major policy decisions are taken by the Management Committee, the administration of the SoA and the day-to-day running of the office lie with the Chief Executive, Nicola Solomon, and her staff. The staff have experience in all areas of the profession and strive to advise members individually on all aspects of the profession. The SoA also has access to solicitors, accountants and insurance consultants.
The SoA also represents the writing profession by campaigning for improved terms and changes in legislation, such as copyright and libel laws. It was instrumental in the establishment of ALCS (whereby authors receive fees from photocopying and other uses of copyright material which can best be handled collectively), and is represented on the British Copyright Council and the European Writers Council. We are also in regular communication with our sister-organisations overseas including those in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The SoA is recognised by the BBC for the purpose of negotiating rates for writers’ contributions to radio drama and for the broadcasting of published material.
Throughout the writing profession, we continue to negotiate for improved terms and conditions.