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Literary Estates & Permissions

The Society is privileged to act as literary representative of the estates of a number of distinguished writers including Bernard Shaw, Virginia Woolf, Philip Larkin, E. M. Forster, Rosamond Lehmann, Walter de la Mare, John Masefield and Compton Mackenzie.

The Literary Estates Department handles the negotiation and administration of contracts for the full range of rights from print permissions to major stage productions and feature films. Commissions income from this work helps to support the Society’s day to day work.

The Society licenses amateur and professional stage productions of the plays for a number of dramatists and translators. A full play list with pricing information is available on request.

Licence applications and print permissions

Applications for permissions for anthology or quotation usage or licences for amateur stage productions of works by authors represented by the Society can be made by post, fax or by using the following online application forms.

Click here to apply online for print permissions

Click here to apply online for amateur licences

If you wish to apply in writing please include as much as possible of the following information so that we can process applications as quickly as possible:

  • Name and address of applicant/publisher
  • Full details of material to be reproduced including a word count (or line count for poetry)
  • Details of the work in which the material is to appear (author, title, publisher)
  • Territories for distribution; expected date of publication; size of first printing and format (e.g. hardback, paperback, book club, electronic)

For Amateur stage licences please apply in writing in good time before your production is due to take place with a full postal address letting us know the proposed dates, number of performances and venue address.

All requests should be addressed to Sarah Baxter at the Society of Authors, 84 Drayton Gardens, London, SW10 9SB. 

For enquiries concerning professional rights please contact Sarah Burton.

For all other enquiries please email estates@societyofauthors.org.

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