FAQ - Memberships

Who can become a member?

In order to join The Writers' Union of Canada you must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Canada, or identify as an aboriginal or indigenous person born or resident within Canada, and either have a trade book published by a commercial or university press or have self-published a book that successfully demonstrates commercial intent and professionalism.

How do I become a member? What does it cost? 

Membership is $205.00 per year ($200.00 if paid by cash, cheque, or money order), which can by claimed as a business expense. First time authors can join for $100 for the first year.

Why do I want to become a member? What do I get for my membership? 

When you join the Union, you support the work of the Union, which strives to improve conditions for all writers in Canada. Lobbying by The Writers' Union of Canada led to the creation of Public Lending Right in Canada and Access Copyright, both of which put money in author's pockets for the use of their work. The Union works to protect the interest of writers in issues of intellectual property and advocates for changes to the federal tax system to eliminate the current unfair tax burden to writers. The Union approved the first Model Trade Book Agreement thereby providing an industry guideline for authors.

As a member of the Union you have an opportunity to access the fellowship of your peers across Canada though the members' Newsletter, listserv, socials, regional meetings and Annual General Meetings. Eligible members can participate in Union-administered readings programs, which provide hosts with a subsidy for inviting a writer to perform a reading. The Union provides booklets that will assist members in negotiating their publishing contracts and inform them on other topics related to writing. Members are provided with web pages on the Union's website to promote themselves and their work. As a member you can also participate as an evaluator in the Manuscript Evaluation Service for which you will receive financial compensation. The Union's Grievance Committee, working with the Union's legal counsel, assists members in resolving professional grievances. There is a group health benefit plan for members who do not have access to other coverage. By joining The Writers' Union of Canada you will strengthen the voice of writers and benefit from the many services offered by the Union.

I'm not published.  Can I join? 

No. While you may not be eligible for membership at this time the Union does provide some services that may be of assistance to you. The Union has a number of publications on topics of use to writers and we offer a Manuscript Evaluation Service. The Union also runs Professional Development Workshops and workshops at our Annual General Meetings through the sponsorship of the Department of Canadian Heritage, through the Canada Book Fund