Celebrating in style
Photography: Livi Gee
Our 125th anniversary lunch was a fantastic success! The wonderful Stationers’ Hall in the City of London hosted our celebratory event on 2 May, where members and guests were welcomed with a drinks reception and were able to peruse displays showcasing highlights from the society’s past, present and future, before enjoying a delicious three course lunch and a glass or two of wine. Our speakers were our president, Baroness Floella Benjamin, and bestselling novelist Kate Mosse, and both kept everyone entertained and enthralled with their enthusiastic and inspirational speeches. A special achievement award was given to a very surprised Mary Rensten for her long and dedicated service to the Society, SCRIPTORA and the drama group. As a parting gift, everyone attending was given a goody bag to take home, packed with carefully chosen items bearing the SWWJ anniversary logo. But our big anniversary year is not over yet. Our new paperless competition, The Floella Benjamin Trophy, is now open for entries, and we still have a trip to Chawton House, a House of Lords tea/tour and a poetry day to look forward to, plus an extra anniversary lunch in Chichester hosted by our Southern Region group – and our Christmas party on 5 December, with special guest speaker Jackie Malton, talking TV crime!
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.
Doris Corti, Valerie Dunmore, Joyce Elsden, 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.