EWC welcomes La Société des Gens de Lettres (Society of French Literati) as new member


Posted on November 04, 2020, 10:00 am
6 mins

“We are their voice. We defend authors and their rights, our rights. Our fight consist in improving our social status, our ticket to our freedom of creation”, says Christophe Hardy. EWC welcomed the SGDL together with four new members to the federation at its General Assembly.

«We are, as members of the Board of the Société des Gens de Lettres, all authors involved in our work and for our work», says Christophe Hardy, President of the SGDL. «Together, we brainstorm and we act in order to support, advise and guide – along with the staff members – all authors in all aspects of their work : legally, socially, tax, training, and so on. We are their voice. We defend authors and their rights, our rights. Our fight consist in improving our social status, our ticket to our freedom of creation,» Hardy pointed out the importance for the engagement of SGDL.

La Société des Gens de Lettres (SGDL)

is an authors association founded in 1838 by Honoré de Balzac, Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, and George Sand.

SGDL aims at promoting copyright and defending the interests of authors:

It thereby ensures the preservation of the moral and patrimonial rights of all authors (writers, essayists, translators, illustrators, etc.), whether or not writing is their first activity, regardless of how their work is disseminated and whatever CMO (collective management organization) they may otherwise be members of (SOFIA, SACEM, SACD, SCAM…). SGDL also works at improving the legal and social status of all authors.

Therefore, SGDL is at the source of the main legal, social or cultural innovations which have made it possible to protect the interests of authors (social security rights, supplementary pension rights, ancillary incomes, public lending rights, etc.) and, more recently, the re-writing of the boiling plate publishing agreement including stipulations for the use of the work in the digital age.

SGDL represents more than 6,000 authors who elect a board of 24 members every two years:

As of today, SGDL is active on all issues related to authors’ rights, at the national and at the European and international level, focusses on legislative changes in the intellectual property field and on the development of the digital market and the future of authors’ rights. To that end, SGDL maintains an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the book sector (publishers, bookstores, librarians …) and publicauthorities.

Also a committed member of the “Conseil permanent des écrivains” (CPE) and a very active organization sitting on the board of main book institutions such as CSPLA, CNL, SOFIA, CFC, AGESSA, IAF, etc, in order to carry out authors’ claims.

SGDL is a non-governmental association with public utility mission.SGDL is allowed to receive donations, which are used to provide legal and social assistance to authors, and to offer literary prizes.

SGDL also created a registration procedure in order for authors to protect theiru works (an online version is available here), allowing proof of anteriority in case of counterfeiting acts.

With a tradition of more than a century and a half, SGDL is committed to the promotion of literary heritage, the defense of the French language and freedom of creation, and pursues cultural exchanges with other countries.

Also, SGDL provides for a service allowing authors and their heirs to be traced in case of third parties wanting to use their works (here).

Members: Members are individual authors only (writers in general, translators, literary writers, scientific writers, academic writers, non-fiction writers, writers of children’s lit., literature for young adults, journalists, playwrights, illustrators, etc.). The total number of registered members in 2020 is 6 000.

Main activities: Lobbying, Legal assistance, Social assistance, Courses and training for authors.


Five new members were welcomed by the Assembly of the European Writers’ Council:

The European Writers’ Council is delighted to announce the ratification of five new members and welcomed the colleagues warmly by the Assembly on 7 September 2020:

The Society of Hungarian Authors Szépírók Társasága, Hungary
The Literature and Criticism Association (LCA), Cyprus
The Norwegian Society of Authors – Forfatterforbundet, Norway
—La Société des Gens de Lettres, France
The Syndikat, The Association of German Language Crime Writers, Germany

The EWC continues to expand its diversity, competence, collegiality and cohesion through this strong enrichment of its new members and colleagues.

The European Writers’ Council represents now 160,000 professional writers and translators in the book and text sector in all genres, from 46 European national organisations of professional writers and translators in 30 countries including the EU, the EEA countries Iceland and Norway, as well as Belarus, Montenegro, Switzerland, and Turkey, altogether writing in 32 languages.