The 44th ALCS Annual General Meeting was held in Norwch, at the historic Dragon Hall on 24 November.

This year was the first in-person AGM that ALCS had been able to hold since 2019. After a two-year hiatus, it was wonderful to be back together with our members and hear what they’ve been working on and the issues that each of them are facing as creators. The beautiful Dragon Hall at the National Centre for Writing in Norwich provided the perfect backdrop to do this.

Not only was it exciting to be back in person but it was also the first AGM to be led by new Chief Executive, Barbara Hayes. Barbara opened the meeting by greeting everyone who had travelled to be there but also welcomed attendees who were watching via Zoom. Although we’re thrilled to be back in-person with our members, we want to continue to offer a hybrid experience wherever possible and maintain accessibility.

“There are both threats and opportunities heading our way and we want to be best placed to do the best we can for you, our members.”

Tony Bradman, ALCS Chair, opened the meeting with some positive news – in 2021/22 ALCS collected over £39.5million pounds and paid out a record £41million pounds to over 99,800 writers. Tony recognised that while this news is encouraging, the most recent ALCS survey into authors’ earnings shows, once again, a bleak outlook for authors. The survey will be used as an opportunity to present evidence to influencers within the various government departments and select committees to press the case for fairer conditions for writers.

Barbara Hayes returned to the stand, reminding members that although there has been much change at ALCS lately (with the retirement of previous Chief Executive Owen Atkinson and Chair Tony Bradman stepping down at the end of the year), they should expect more growth and stability that will come through our five-year strategic plan, of which she shared the key goals:

  1. To support your ability to write by increasing your income
  2. To educate as many people as possible to promote the respect for copyright
  3. To make the complex easy
  4. To celebrate the value you as a writer bring to our world and to give you a powerful collective voice.
  5. To operate in an ethical and environmentally conscious way.

To summarise the successes of the past year at ALCS, staff produced a short video which was shared with the audience (watch below).

Head of Membership and Operations, Colette Scourse, addressed the audience about the growing ALCS Membership. Deputy Chief Executive, Richard Combes, shared the business development priorities for the future which will have ALCS heading in the right direction.

Following this overview, Tony began the formal AGM proceedings, introducing the AGM agenda items in which Mark Bispham, Chief Financial Officer, addressed members about the Annual Report and Accounts. Tony then announced the results of the 2022 ALCS Board election, with James McConnachie re-elected for another term and Maggie Gee elected to rejoin the Board after a year’s break. Tony congratulated the newly elected Board members and thanked outgoing Board member Joan Smith for her time and contributions over the past six years.

The full results of the election, which was run by Civica Election Services, are as follows:

Two General Posts

Maggie Gee (elected) 646 Caramel Quin 159
James McConnachie (elected) 645 Daniel Kaszeta 146
Abie Longstaff 375 Jemma Hatt 134
Greg Walker 369 Julie Pybus 111
Katherine Quarmby 359 Paul Tanter 86
Mary Honeyball 349
Claire Harman 301
Anna Codrea-Rado 281
Isabel Thomas 262
Philip Womack 250
Bill Anderson 235
Lorraine Rees 176

Tony also announced that, after a meticulous recruitment process, Jo Revill has been appointed as the new ALCS Chair. Jo took to the stage briefly, thanking Tony and expressing how excited she is to start meeting members once she takes up the role.

Tony then closed by thanking ALCS Board members and staff for their hard work throughout the year. The 2023 ALCS AGM will be held in London in November 2023.

You can watch the 2022 ALCS AGM here.