Our Autumn Lunch
Floella pictured with our Chairman Barbara Field-Holmes
Around thirty members and guests gathered at The National Liberal Club on 21st September to enjoy a delicious three course lunch and to meet our new President, Baroness Floella Benjamin, for the first time. After a welcome from our chairman Barbara Field-Holmes, Floella took to the microphone with a short but inspiring speech in which she paid tribute to the SWWJ as an all-embracing and forward thinking society. Our after-lunch speaker was Nicola Beauman, founder of Persephone Books
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 aspiring writers and non-writing Friends from across the publishing industry and beyond.
In 2016 we were delighted to welcome Ann Widdecombe as our new Hon Life President, filling the position left vacant by Shirley Williams, who stepped down in 2014.
In 2017 Baroness Floella Benjamin agreed to become our new President, following in the footsteps of the late and much missed Victoria Wood.
Full membership is open to women writers of all ages who are bona fide professional workers in literature, drama or journalism.
Men who are bona fide professional workers in literature, drama or journalism may join the Society as Associate Members.
Supporters of the Society and its aims, including aspiring writers and others engaged in allied forms of work.
A special one-year membership open to new and unpublished writers, including a full manuscript critique. £145 To apply, please download and complete the form and return it to the address shown with your fee.
Benefits of membership
The Woman Writer
Email Information Loop
Facebook and Twitter
In-house and Open Competitions
Manuscript Appraisal Service
Hon. Life President
The Rt Hon Ann Widdecombe DSG
Baroness Benjamin of Beckenham, OBE DL (Floella Benjamin)
Sir Tim Rice, The Earl of Stockton, Lord Quirk, Simon Brett, OBE, Baroness Howard of Lympne (novelist Sandra Howard).
Anne Fine, Lady Antonia Fraser, Victoria Glendinning, Jacqueline Wilson, Penny Vincenzi, Peter Lovesey.
Doris Corti, Valerie Dunmore, Joyce Elsden, Jocelyn Glegg, Sylvia Kent, Jennie Lisney, Jean Morris, Mary Rensten, Jean Marian Stevens.
Council Officers & responsibilities 2017
Minutes Secretary: Vacant
The Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS)
The Writers' House, venue for Council meetings and some of our workshop days.
Chawton House Library
Internationally respected research and learning centre for the study of early women's writing from 1600 to 1830.
The National Liberal Club
Venue for many of our celebratory events and for Council meetings from 2018.