The Society of Women Writers New South Wales Inc., established in 1925 and incorporated in 1987, is the longest-standing literary society in Australia. Dame Mary Jean Gilmore, writer, teacher and pioneer of many causes, is credited with initiating the Society (she was a member of its first executive committee).
The Society's main aim was to draw together women writers (including poets, journalists, playwrights, fiction and non-fiction writers) to support each other in their writing endeavours. It is also aimed to maintain the status of the writing profession, promote a knowledge of literature, and strengthen ties between Australian and visiting writers.
In 1970 the Society changed its name to The Society of Women Writers (Australia), and susequently formed branches in other Australian states. But this became problematic when a new federal body of the same name was created in 1980. After some disputes, the New South Wales arm of the Society changed its name again to The Society of Women Writers New South Wales, incorporating as a separate entity in 1987 it effectively seceding from the federal body.
As of 2004, the Society's website describes its aims as 'to enable women writers in all genres to meet and network, and to benefit from regular seminars and workshops … [and] to encourage aspiring writers to achieve professional status.' In addition to monthly workshops and luncheon meetings, the Society continues to administer a number of Awards and Competitions, and issues a bi-monthly Newsletter to its members.
The Society conducts an annual competitions for poetry, short stories, non-fiction as well as fiction and children's books.
An enormous number of books have been published under the auspices of the Society. Only a few of these have been listed in this database.
View the full record at
Australian Women's Register