26 April 2017: ALCS's 40th birthday

Could you help us test our forthcoming new website?


From 15 May we'll be needing member volunteers to test a brand new version of the ALCS website, due to be launched later this year. We've already rigorously tested the site, but we still need to continue testing it with ALCS members.

If you could spare some time between 16 and 24 May and would like to help us, we'd love to hear from you. Please email Jade Zienkiewicz in ALCS's communications team who will be delighted to make an appointment with you.

You don't need to have technical knowledge - you just need to be an ALCS member. It will also be helpful if you haven't yet seen the new site.

Last of all, huge thanks to all those ALCS members who have already helped us out. Your feedback has been really valuable.

Andy McNab opens Ruth Rendell Award nominations for next UK literacy champion


Bestselling author and former SAS soldier Andy McNab has opened nominations for the Ruth Rendell Award to find the author or writer who has done the most to champion literacy in the past year.

The award was launched in 2016 in memory of the novelist Ruth Rendell by the National Literacy Trust and the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS). McNab won the inaugural Ruth Rendell Award for his tireless championing of literacy, travelling the length and breadth of the UK to encourage reluctant readers to take up the challenge of reading.
The National Literacy Trust and ALCS are calling on schools, charities, libraries, booksellers and individuals to nominate the writer who they believe has had a significant influence on literacy in the UK in the past year. The closing date for entries is 30 July 2017.

Read more.

ALCS at ChipLitFest: Paying authors for festival appearances

ALCS is partnering with Chipping Norton Literary Festival this year by sponsoring a number of writers' workshops at the festival between 27 and 30 April, to help writers and would-be-writers perfect and hone their skills.

The launch of ChipLitFest's author profit share scheme in 2014 ensured that writers working at the festival would benefit from a portion of the profit made from their events. Last year, authors received £105 per event as a result of the scheme.

Many members will be familiar with our 2014 research What Are Words Worth Now?, revealing that the typical median income of professional authors fell by 29% from 2005, to £11,000 in 2013. This is well below what is considered an acceptable standard of living in the UK.

ALCS fully supports writers who may want to appear at festivals for free (there are a number of reasons why they might want to do so: a good cause, for instance), but their right to be paid remains, and ALCS therefore commends ChipLitFest's efforts on this front.

See the writers' workshops that ALCS is sponsoring.

More details about ChipLitFest's profit share scheme.

Situation critical: who will save the sitcom?


Writers' Guild of Great Britain event (WGGB)
22 MAY 2017, LONDON

Every few years, the British sitcom is pronounced dead. With shrinking budgets, public service TV under threat and continued risk-averse programming, it’s never been harder to pitch new sitcoms. Comedy legends Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran have for four decades consistently created hit shows in good times and bad (their credits include, among many others, Birds of a Feather, Goodnight Sweetheart, The New Statesman and Shine On Harvey Moon).

In the WGGB event at London’s Museum of Comedy, they will be in conversation with writer James Cary (Miranda, Bluestone 42) to discuss the secrets of their success, how to create a successful show, and how to revive one of the most popular genres in TV.

Situation critical: who will save the sitcom? takes place on Monday 22 May 2017 (7-8pm) at Museum of Comedy, The Undercroft, St George’s Church, Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2SR.

Price (including free entry to the museum): £10 standard, £5 WGGB members (WGGB members should contact Kate Glasspool for the discount code). Booking fees apply.

Dates for your diary

27-30 April 2017 - ChipLitFest: ALCS will be sponsoring a number of workshops at the Chipping Norton Literary Festival. See the list of workshops that ALCS is sponsoring.

3 June 2017 - ALCS and PLS drinks reception at Hay Festival. Look out for more information in the next edition of ALCS News.

September 2017 - Statements for the ALCS September distribution will be sent to all members by email for the first time. Make sure your email address is up to date by logging onto the members' area.

Thursday 23 November 2017 - The ALCS AGM will take place at the Midland Hotel in Manchester. More details will be announced nearer the time.

Thursday 30 November 2017 - Articles claims deadline.

'How to Write for Screen': #1 report from the London Book Fair 2017


The London Book Fair’s Author HQ was the venue for a seminar entitled...

'How to find, and work with, a Literary Agent': #2 report from the London Book Fair 2017


How should you pitch to literary agents so you work gets noticed? And once...