Australian Society of Authors (ASA) – Interview with CKT

Australian Society of Authors

How did Australian Society of Authors get started?

The ASA was formed in 1963 to promote and protect the rights of Australia’s authors and illustrators. Our proud history boasts many successful campaigns to improve the working lives of authors and illustrators, but among our chief victories are the establishment of Public Lending Right (PLR) in 1975 and Educational Lending Right (ELR) in 2000. The ASA was also instrumental in setting up Copyright Agency, the Australian Copyright Council and the International Authors Forum.

What are the Australian Society of Authors goals?

The peak national body for authors and illustrators, the ASA aims to offer advocacy, support and advice at any stage of your creative career.

Please tell us about the programs offered by Australian Society of Authors.

We have a suite of services and programs we offer members, some of which we’ve listed below:

How can the Australian Society of Authors support me on my creative journey?

A few ways the ASA could support you:

1. Expert advice and legal contractual support

With more than 100 years’ combined publishing industry experience, our team leaves no question unanswered. We also review publishing, distribution and agents’ contracts for a fraction of the cost of a solicitor.

2. Access to the industry

We provide opportunities to showcase your work to hundreds of Australian and international publishers and agents, helping you on the path to publication by building valuable contacts.

3. Inclusive community

We welcome all writers and illustrators, from children’s to romance, education to graphic novels, cookbooks to crime; helping you to connect to members who share your experiences and interests.

4. Resources and Information

You will gain access to our range of resources, including model agreements, as well as a copy of the ASA Guide to Publishing, which provides easy access to a wide-range of industry opportunities.

Does the Australian Society of Authors offer any online resources?

Almost everything we offer at ASA is now available digitally, including the majority of our Professional Development courses.  However a few online resources worth highlighting are:

  • ASA standard contract templates and information papers for authors and illustrators on professional matters
  • Resources in our shop covering a range of subjects including getting published and professional skills for authors and illustrators.
  • A closed Facebook page  to learn from your peers
  • Recommended rates of pay for book publishing, illustrating, public appearances, judging literary competitions and more.

Does the Australian Society of Authors offer any grants or funding opportunities for its members?

We offer a few opportunities, these include:

Award Mentorship Program

Thanks to a grant from the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, we are able to offer a mentorship program for writers to help you develop your work to a publishable standard. 20 winners each year receive; 20 hours of mentoring with an ASA mentor, participation in a Paths to Publishing program designed to help you establish yourself as a small business and acquire sufficient industry knowledge to navigate your way through the submission and contract process, a free ASA membership for 12 months (an extension of membership if you are already a member) AND a free ticket to Literary Speed Dating.

ASA Style File Illustration Award Mentorships

We are thrilled to announce the introduction of the inaugural 2019 ASA Style File Illustration Award Mentorships. Our mentorship program has been hugely successful for authors in the past and for the first time, thanks once again to the generosity of Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, we are offering mentorships exclusively for illustrators. 8 winners will receive 5-hour mentorships for either their portfolio or picture book projects. The winners will also receive free ASA Style File access for a year. (If winners are current Style File members, they will have their subscriptions renewed gratis)

The Ray Koppe Writer’s Residency Award

Each year, the Australian Society of Authors awards a two-week residential fellowship to a writer in any genre, under the age of 35 who is as yet unpublished. The fellowship is comprised of a two-week residency (including accommodation and all food), a one-hour consultation with a Varuna consultant, a year’s membership to the Australian Society of Authors, and travel subsidy if the recipient lives outside of NSW.

The ASA HQ Commercial Fiction Prize

The prize is for an unpublished manuscript and the winner will receive a publishing contract with HQ, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, and a $10,000 advance against royalties.

The Barbara Jefferis Award

The Award is named for highly regarded author Barbara Jefferis, a founding member and executive director of the Australian Society of Authors (ASA). It is awarded to a work that shows women in a positive light and the winner receives a prize of $50,000. In addition, $5,000 is distributed among the shortlist.

I’m just beginning my journey to publication. Can I join the Australian Society of Authors before I am published?

You most certainly can.

If you are serious about writing, but just starting out and would like to benefit from our advice, training and resources, or if you are interested in industry issues and keen to support the author’s peak body, then we would welcome you as an Associate Member

If you are a published author of one book or many, we would warmly welcome you as a Full Member of the ASA.

Our membership covers a wide range of writers, illustrators and industry professionals at every stage of their careers. From journalists to comic artists, scriptwriters to bloggers, novelists to games writers and translators to poets, our members across many disciplines.

If you have any queries about membership or the ASA, feel free to email us 

How can people access the Australian Society of Authors?



Phone: 02 9211 1004 (toll-free: 1800 257 121)

We look forward to hearing from you!


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