About Us

The Irish Writers Union represents the interests of Irish writers, whether they were born in Ireland or elsewhere.

The Irish Writers Union

The Irish Writers Union is the main advocacy body for Irish writers and it is open to Irish writers and writers of Irish interest publications, wherever they are based. The union was founded in 1986 by authors wishing to organise as writers to resist censorship in Ireland and in general to provide a voice for the collective expression of writers on matters pertaining to their profession. The union is managed by a steering committee which is elected annually at the AGM.

The union is constantly working to achieve more favourable remuneration and conditions for writers. Over the years, we have taken on various challenges and one of our most successful projects has been the Campaign for Public Lending Rights. We have many current concerns, such as our participation in an international campaign for fairer contracts.

Our objectives are:

• To organise writers to express their shared concerns and to have a collective input into decisions that affect them

• To advance the cause of writing as a profession and as a form of work

• To achieve better remuneration and more favourable conditions for writers

• To offer advice, assistance and support to individual writers in their relations with publishers and other users of their work

• To provide a means for the expression of the collective opinion of writers of matters affecting their profession

What do we do?

The Irish Writers Union offers a model contract for guidance to members and assists in disputes if one should arise. Thanks to the union, there is now a disputes procedure for writers who feel publishers of their work have treated them unprofessionally.The union acts as a watchdog for members, on contracts, royalty payments and festival remuneration.

The union negotiates on behalf of writers with bodies such as the Irish government, the Arts Councils north and south, Bord na Leabhar and Publishing Ireland.

The union provides information to published authors on registration for UK and Irish Public Lending Rights.

The union hosts various events to assist writers in the development of their careers. For instance, our past events have included short story competitions for members only; readings; provision of information on the Novel Fair; workshops on relevant topics; a pitching session with the Screen Directors Guild and expert speakers on copyright, contracts and publishing. We encourage exhibition and sales of members’ publications at our AGM.

The union has a monthly newsletter, Final Draft, which is edited by a member of the IWU Committee and is sent out to union members by email. Members are encouraged to send in short articles and pictures on their current activities, general writing news and information on competitions they have won as well as forthcoming publications and launches.

Fraternal links are maintained with the European Writers Congress and similar writers’ organisations throughout the world.

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