Writers in Oxford (WiO) was founded in 1992 by Sir Philip Pullman and colleagues to ‘provide opportunities for published writers to meet one another in an informal and friendly way’. Since then it has grown into an active forum for writers, journalists and broadcasters in the Oxfordshire area to network, learn and enjoy each other’s company in a range of contexts.
WiO now has more than 200 members and publishes a thrice yearly newsletter The Oxford Writer. Offering a wide-ranging series of events including author talks, learning and networking opportunities, quiz nights, walks, visits of literary and cultural interest, pub visits and social events, including Christmas and Summer parties, and informal ‘at home’ drinks evenings, it brings together writers from across Oxfordshire and beyond. Our members cover every genre of writing, from academic and educational to fiction, biography and poetry, and we sometimes meet in sub-groups to exchange preoccupations in our particular genres. WiO also occasionally runs competitions, e.g. for young writers, or experiences under COVID19 lockdown, and members can share their work on our private pages.
WIO has been a uniquely important social circle for me, where I’ve found friends, kindred spirits, stimulating people and ideas.
WiO is an unincorporated non-profit organisation, but is not registered as a charity. WiO is entirely financed by member subscriptions and donations. Our members elect a voluntary committee to manage its affairs at an Annual General Meeting, normally every May.
[Writers in Oxford] makes one feel more joined-up in these strange times. I am planning to sign up for as many events as possible.
As a group of writers with many different specialisms and perspectives, WiO seeks to engage not only with its own members but with those organisations established by and for writers regardless of genre. We encourage our members to join the Society of Authors (SoA), who provide financial and legal help to their members including advice on agents’ fees and contracts, which WiO does not do, but it is not necessary to be an SoA member to join WiO. WiO has a more socially focussed role including staging events with other writers’ societies and groups, both local and national. We encourage our members to engage with a range of organisations for writers relevant to their interests including:
Writers’ Unions and Professional Associations
Society of Authors: https://www2.societyofauthors.org/
National Association of Writers in Education: https://www.nawe.co.uk/
The Alliance of Independent Authors: https://www.allianceindependentauthors.org/
The Historical Writers Association: https://historicalwriters.org/
National Union of Journalists: https://www.nuj.org.uk/home/
The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain: https://writersguild.org.uk/
The Crime Writers’ Association: https://thecwa.co.uk/
The Society of Women Journalists: https://www.swwj.co.uk/
The Chartered Institute of Editors and Proof-readers: https://www.ciep.uk/
Romantic Novelists Association: https://romanticnovelistsassociation.org/
Oxford Scribes: http://www.oxfordscribes.co.uk/
National and Local Writing Organisations
Royal Society of Literature: https://rsliterature.org/
National Centre for Writing: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk
The British Council: https://literature.britishcouncil.org/
New Writing South: https://newwritingsouth.com/
BBC Writers’ Room: https://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/
English Pen: https://www.englishpen.org/
British Centre for Literary Translation: http://www.bclt.org.uk/
The Poetry Society: https://poetrysociety.org.uk/
Financial Resources for Writers
The Royal Literary Fund: https://www.rlf.org.uk/
Arts Council UK: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/
Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society: https://www.alcs.co.uk/
Many of these organisations have local branches or small groups of local members which WiO members can participate in.