Mission Statement: “To be the principal advocate for the professional and artistic interests of Australian authors by:
- Protecting basic rights to freedom of expression
- Working to improve income and conditions
- Promoting Australian writing and literary culture”
The Australian Author’s Society functions very much like a Writer’s Union (so to speak), you can receive help with the legal issues of writing, going through and checking book-contracts and making sure you don’t get screwed over by publishers. These are all valuable and useful tools, however the membership price-tag that comes along with it, may not be affordable for the vast majority of writers.
There are multiple types of membership options available but we’ll stick with the main two: Full Membership and Associate Membership. Full Membership is for published authors and book illustrators in book, magazine or electronic formats, where as Associate Membership is for people interested in the craft of writing or book illustration, but as yet unpublished and while I’ve had a couple of articles and short stories published, I’d consider myself more in the Associate Membership category. So My fees would work out like this:
Student Associate Membership (1 year) ($72.00 AUD)
New Membership Fee: $22
And lets say I wanted to attend one of their Writing Events or Courses that are available through ASA like:
Cost: $155 for members, $230 for non-members
So, $94 + $155 = $249
And this is despite the fact that Writer’s Victoria’s standard membership for one year is $68 and Writer’s Victoria has similar types of events. However, Writer’s Victoria has limited places so you really have to be on the ball about booking for a events.
I’m not saying this organisation isn’t useful or that Writers and Authors shouldn’t use it, I truly do recommend it for book-contract checking (they are very helpful in that regard) but the associated costs just doesn’t seem reasonable to me that unless you’re already earning a lot from the Writing/Editing/Publishing Industry or have an excellent day-job that goes along with the writing job.
Oh by the way please check out the Digital Writing Festival, all you need is an internet connection to attend.