A most memorable occasion
Left to right: Rebecca Harding, Baroness Floella Benjamin, Barbara Field-Holmes.
A wonderful time was had by all as SWWJ members and guests gathered at The House of Lords on 9th September for our AGM. Once the business of the day had been completed, outgoing Chairman Barbara Field-Holmes handed over the badge of office to her successor, Rebecca Harding.
Tea was served, with sandwiches, cakes and wine, before our President, Baroness Floella Benjamin, and her husband Keith very kindly guided small groups around the House, pointing out so much of its history and treasures, including a glimpse at a debate taking place inside the Chamber itself. A visit to the gift shop meant that many also went home with some really lovely souvenirs. A full report with photos will appear in the next issue of The Woman Writer later this month. In the meantime, we hope to see many of you in Chichester on 16 October for our last celebratory lunch in this, our 125th anniversary year. Details can be found on the Diary page, but hurry. Bookings close very soon.
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 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A special one-year membership open to new and unpublished writers, including a full manuscript critique.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, Twitter and Instagram
In-house and Open Competitions
Manuscript Appraisal Service
The right to use the letters MSWWJ after your name
Baroness Benjamin of Beckenham, OBE DL (Floella Benjamin)
Sir Tim Rice, The Earl of Stockton, Simon Brett, OBE, Baroness Howard of Lympne (novelist Sandra Howard).
Lady Antonia Fraser, Victoria Glendinning, Jacqueline Wilson, Peter Lovesey, Keith Taylor, Michelle Harriman, Penny Holroyde.
Pamela Birley, Doris Corti, Valerie Dunmore, Joyce Elsden, Barbara Field-Holmes, Sylvia Kent, Jennie Lisney, Jean Morris, Mary Rensten, Jean Marian Stevens.
Council Officers & responsibilities 2019
Minutes Secretary: Vacant
The Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS)
Ensuring authors receive fair payment for copying and other secondary uses of their work.
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.