Reprint: Australian Authors: Work of the New Society

The Society of Australian Authors, which has now a membership of 87, is the outcome of a meeting on January 28, 1928, of the Derelicts Club, founded in Melbourne in 1920 by Gertrude Hart and Bernard Cronin. It was resolved that the Derelicts Club be re-named the Society of Australian Authors, those present to form the basis society. The membership was then 32, and a club symbol, designed by Will Dyson, was adopted. The president elected was Bernard Cronin, vice-presidents Gertrude Hart and Louis Lavater, and secretary Arthur Goode.

In July the society conducted an essay competition for young Australians on the subject of an Australian work of fiction, the prizes totalling £19. Over 100 entries were received, and the winning essays, on publication, won favorable comment. A similar competition will probably be held yearly.    

At the suggestion of the society, the Booksellers' Association of Victoria agreed to introduce where possible as permanent features of the trade, two innovations--an all-Australian counter and the issue of an Australian catalogue, which, it is expected, will be generally adopted shortly. During the year the society gave all the assistance it could to Sir John Quick in the compiling of like Selective Bibliography, on vhich he is at present engaged. Applications for advice were received from a large number of young writers, and in every case a helpful reply was sent, as it is felt that by these means the society is fulfilling one of its main functions.

Among the members of the society are Mr. F. Anstey, M.H.R., Charles Barrett, Judge Beeby, E. J. Brady, Mary Grant Bruce, Bernard Cronin, Elsie Cole, Erie Cox, G. Cockerell. C. J. Dennis, Louis Esson. Sir Robert Garran, Mrs. Aeneas Gunn, Gertrude Hart, Marion Miller Knowles, Louis Lavater, Myra Morris, Marie Pitt, Alec Pratt, Sir John Quick, J. M. Walsh, and Blamire Young. The South Australian members are Fred Mills (Twinkler") and William J. MacDonald.

The main objects of the society are to join in common cause persons actively engaged in the promotion of Australian letters; to advance the literary interests of its members, both in Australia and overseas; and to provide an authoritative literary centre to which visiting men of letters may apply when desirous of being informed as to Australian writers and Australian literary effort.

First published in The Advertiser, 15 November 1928

[Thanks to the National Library of Australia's newspaper digitisation project for this piece.]

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 6, 2010 9:00 AM.

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