ALCS in 2017: looking back on our 40th year

This year we celebrated our 40th anniversary, launched a new website and a new claims scheme. Here's our round-up of the year as it comes to a close.

We launched a new website

You may have noticed that this summer a new website was launched, which we hoped would be simpler and easier for members to navigate. The new website allows users to see their updates instantly, and has a more straight-forward, simpler, secure login and resetting password process.

The site was tested by dozens of ALCS members prior to its launch. Thank you to all those who took the time to help, your feedback was extremely valuable and appreciated.

To accompany the launch of the website, we also launched a video resource section on the site.

ALCS turned 40

In Spring, the organisation officially turned 40. Over the year we ran a number of pieces in ALCS News celebrating the fact, which both discussed the history of the organisation and featured a number of our members talking about their work in their various fields, how they became ALCS members, and what ALCS income means to them.

As you may have read, our members are writers who work in a broad range of disciplines, and we hoped you found them both entertaining and educational in terms of who our members are. We also hope that they prompted you to tell your writer friends about us, whether they are writing full time, on the side, or as a part of their job.

Last of all, a heartfelt thanks to all the members who were kind enough to take part, it was lovely working with you and hearing your stories.

New claims scheme for visual works

For the first time ALCS members were able to claim for images when we launched our new visual claims scheme for members who contribute illustrations, drawings, photography or diagrams to their published work.

Overall a total of 1,676 members claimed for visual work that had been published in books, magazines and journals, and approximately £120,000 will be paid to members for visual sources in the March 2018 distribution. We’ll be contacting members imminently about how to claim this January.

Read more and find out how to claim.

Meeting our members

Each year we try to get around the country to meet as many of our members as we can. This summer we were in Scotland during the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

We were also delighted that the 2017 ALCS AGM was in Manchester in the same year it was named UNESCO City of Literature. See our report of AGM proceedings and the panel debate that took place beforehand.


At the end of this year we asked our members to participate in a survey about ALCS services, our members, and what their needs are. We had an overwhelming response, with more than 4,000 members taking part. We’ll report back next year on our findings.

Through 2017 we’ve also been preparing to launch a new study into authors earnings which is due to be launched in the new year. This aims to update our previous research What are Words Worth? (2007) and What are Words Worth Now? (2014). Read more about it here.

ALCS at 40

Read some of our anniversary pieces from 2017: