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  • The Society of Authors is a trade union for professional writers that was founded in 1884 to protect the rights and further the interests of writers. As of November 2014 it has over 9,300 members and associates. The SoA advises members on any queries about the business of writing, as well as providing training, representing authors in collective negotiations with publishers to improve contract terms, lobbying on issues that affect authors such as copyright, UK arts funding and Public Lending Right. The SoA administers a range of grants and prizes such as the Authors’ Foundation, which is one of the few bodies making grants to help with works in progress for established writers. The SoA also acts as literary representative for the estates of a number of writers. This list includes George Bernard Shaw, Virginia Woolf, Philip Larkin, E. M. Forster, Rosamond Lehmann, Walter de la Mare, John Masefield and Compton Mackenzie. Writers of all fields are eligible to join as soon as they have been offered a contract from a publisher, broadcaster or agent.

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