Writers Union of Canada
The Writers’ Union of Canada is a not-for-profit organization established in 1973 to support and advocate on behalf of Canada’s book published authors. The Union has more than 1,700 members.
To be eligible for membership, writers must be Canadian citizens, landed immigrants, or identify themselves as an aboriginal or indigenous person born or resident in Canada. Members must have published at least one book with a trade or university press or the equivalent in another medium. Authors with self-published books do not meet the union's membership criteria. Provisional membership may be granted to an applicant with a contract in hand whose book has not yet been published.
Writers join the Union so that they can benefit from the Union’s many services, connect with their peers, and support the Union’s advocacy. The Union’s many services includemember web pages, Union-administered readings, a quarterly newsletter, self-help publications, contract advice, grievance assistance, and an opportunity to attend the Union’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), which in 2010 will be held June 3-6 in Ottawa.
The first chair of the Union was Margaret Laurence and thirty-six writers have generously given their time, effort, energy, and dedication to chairing the Union since its inception in 1973. The Union’s current Chair is Erna Paris.
Union policy is set by the members of the Union each year at the Union’s Annual General Meeting. The Union’s National Council is made up of thirteen members all of whom are elected by the members of the Union. The National Council implements the policies established by the AGM and makes appropriate decisions between AGMs.
While all major policy decisions are made by the members at the Annual General Meeting and the National Council, the administration of the Union is overseen by the executive director, Deborah Windsor, and implemented by her staff.