The 41st ALCS AGM was held at the Vermont Hotel in Newcastle upon Tyne last month.

This year’s ALCS AGM provided the opportunity to celebrate another record distribution year at ALCS. Tony Bradman, ALCS Chair opened the meeting by announcing that in the financial year 2018/19 ALCS paid out £34.9 million to over 86,000 writers – more writers than we’ve ever paid before in one year. Tony also addressed the current bleak economic climate for writers but highlighted the collaborative lobbying work that ALCS carries out with other writers’ organisations and government to help tackle this.

Owen Atkinson, Chief Executive of ALCS, then took the stand to provide further details of ALCS’ performance over the past year, reminding members that this is the ninth consecutive year in which ALCS’ income has been above £30 million. Owen also focused on the international reach of the organisation, with ALCS now having agreements with over 55 societies in more than 40 countries worldwide: last year we collected just over £14.5 million from overseas sources. ALCS now has a 105,000 membership base in over 115 countries around the globe, with around 500 new members joining every month.

Barbara Hayes, Deputy Chief Executive of ALCS, then presented a summary of ALCS’ recent lobbying work: the organisation has continued to work directly with Government and the All Party Parliamentary Writers’ Group (APWG) over the past year to protect the rights of authors in the UK. She also highlighted the work ALCS does in administering both the International Authors Forum (IAF) – which plays an active role in discussions within the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva – and PLR International – which allows ALCS to promote PLR with partners at the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations. This ensures that ALCS continues to support the rights of authors internationally. Barbara acknowledged that while the future political climate may produce some obstacles around the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, ALCS remains dedicated to protecting authors’ rights in the UK.

Following this overview of the year, Tony began the formal AGM proceedings, introducing the AGM agenda items in which Mark Bispham, Group CFO, and Richard Combes, Head of Rights and Licensing, addressed members about the Annual Report and Accounts and Transparency Report. Tony then announced the results of the 2019 ALCS Board election, with Joan Smith re-elected for another term and James McConnachie elected to rejoin the Board after a year’s break. Tony congratulated the newly elected Board members and thanked outgoing Board member Jonathan Fryer for his work over the past six years.

Tony then closed the 2019 ALCS AGM by thanking ALCS Board members and staff for their hard work throughout the year. The 2020 ALCS AGM will be held in London in November 2020.

Read the minutes from the 2019 AGM here.

Watch How can you make money from your writing?, the panel discussion held prior to the 2019 AGM, here.

Find out more about ALCS’ record year in our Review of the Year.