The Society aims to encourage literary achievement, to uphold professional standards, to promote social contact with fellow writers and to defend the dignity and prestige of the writing profession in all its aspects.

The SWWJ is the UK's longest-established Society for professional women writers. Founded in 1894 by newspaper proprietor Joseph Snell Wood, the Society has grown to become an international association, and is affiliated to women's associations worldwide. In 2004, the Society took the decision to invite men who are published writers to join us as Associate Members. We also welcome non-writing Friends from across the publishing industry and beyond.

In the words of our current President, Victoria Wood, CBE, “from pen and ink to Twitter, it's one hundred and twenty years of creativity and communication”.

To learn more about the SWWJ, download a copy of our 120th Anniversary Supplement.

120th Anniversary Supplement

 

120 Anniversary

Download October celebration booking details

2014 sees the 120th anniversary of the SWWJ. We are marking the occasion on 14th October with a special service at St Bride's Church, Fleet Street, London, followed by a luncheon at Stationers' Hall to celebrate the important contribution that women writers have made to the world of journalism and literature.
The celebratory service, to be held at 11:30am, includes readings by SWWJ Honorary Life President, Baroness Williams of Crosby, as well as by freelance journalist Libby Purves and SWWJ Patron Simon Brett. Entrance to the service is free of charge. Tickets to the anniversary luncheon (1.00pm at The Stationers’ Hall, Ave Maria Lane) with guest speaker Ann Widdecombe, cost £40 each and must be booked by 28th September.
Members and non-members are welcome to both events. Full booking details are in the downloadable PDF. If you would like to know more about our reasons for celebration – our history, our current activities and our plans for the future – you can download a copy of our 120th Anniversary Supplement.

Membership

SWWJ membership is open to professional workers in literature, drama or journalism anywhere in the world. Full and associate members must be proposed and seconded by two bona fide writing professionals who have personal knowledge of their work.

 

  • There is a one-off Joining Fee of £15 for all new members, apart from Friends.

Download the membership application form

Benefits of membership

 

The Woman Writer

Published five times per year, “The Woman Writer” is the Society’s in-house magazine. Contents include members’ news, articles of interest, genre-specific pages, reviews, market and competition information.

Website

To keep abreast of technological changes, we are updating our website. This current page is a taste of what is to come, but our old site, with existing information can still be visited here.

Press Card

For Full/Associate Members, the press card gives useful access for bona fide copy and research at exhibitions, conferences and events etc. across the country.

Events

Our Spring Festival, Autumn Lunch and Christmas celebration take place in London. They feature guest speakers, prize presentations and networking opportunities.

Workshops

In different genres including journalism, fiction, novels, non-fiction, poetry and drama. Our Drama Coordinator is director, actor, writer and producer, Martin Cort.

Regional Groups

Local meetings are held across the country, often with guest speakers or workshop elements.

Email Information Loop

A facility that provides up­to­date market and other information and allows members to keep in touch and share their news.

Facebook and Twitter

For keeping in touch and publicising news, events and activities to the wider public.

In-house and Open Competitions

In all genres with cash and prestigious trophy prizes.

Manuscript Advice Service

Advice and critiques are available across all genres from specialists among the Society members.

Publishing

Scriptora is the Society’s own mentored self-publishing imprint. Manuscripts submitted for publication are subject to a rigorous selection process before acceptance.

Welfare

The Society has a benevolent fund offering support to members in times of sickness or special need.

Who's who

 

Honorary Life President

Baroness Williams of Crosby

President

Victoria Wood CBE

Patrons

Sir Tim Rice, The Earl of Stockton, Lord Quirk, Simon Brett, Baroness Howard of Lympne (novelist Sandra Howard).

Honorary Members

Anne Fine, Lady Antonia Fraser, Victoria Glendinning, Jacqueline Wilson, Penny Vincenzi, Dr Joyce Morris, Peter Lovesey.

Vice Presidents

Jean Bowden, Joyce Elsden, Jocelyn Glegg, Barbara Haynes, Jennie Lisney, Mary Rensten, Jean Marian Stevens, Valerie Dunmore, Jean McConnell

 

Council Officers & responsibilities 2014/2015

Caretaker Chair: Valerie Dunmore

Vice Chair: Barbara Field-Holmes

Hon. Treasurer: Benita Cullingford

(Acting) Membership Secretary: Jennie Lisney

Editor, The Woman Writer: Barbara Field-Holmes

Press/PR: Doreen Friend

Events: Trudy Lewis

Markets: Jean Morris

Overseas/Regions: Jean Morris

Archives: Sylvia Kent

Welfare: Jennie Lisney

Competitions (pro. tem.): Mary Rensten

Poetry Coordinator: Gwyneth Box

Drama: Benita Cullingford

Book Reviews: Colleen McMath

Chawton House Liaison: Pamela Birley

Overseas trips: Joyce Elsden

 

We are currently updating our website and online presence and this page is just a taste of what is to come. You can still view the old website.

A number of our members' profile pages can be found here.

One of the services we offer to our members is mentored self-publishing through the Scriptora imprint. Details of our Scriptora mentored self-publishing service and the books Scriptora has published can be found here.

Get in touch

 

Contact Info

Room 2, Aileen McHugo Building
Westmore Green, Tatsfield
Westerham, Kent
TN16 2AG

Email: enquiries@swwj.co.uk

Write to us