Thursday, February 04, 2016


I love talking about one of my rather special writing groups, the Society of Women Writers and Journalists, members of which usually meet in London at the National Liberal Club, Whitehall. I look after their archives, for as you know, I love history!

Our Society is international.  Over its 121 years it has attracted some of the most famous writers in literary history.  I proudly wrote about it in one of my books  THE WOMAN WRITER which has been helpful to many academics studying women writers' lives over the past century, but I also included numerous authors, journalists,
poets, entertainers.  Over the decades, among them we enjoyed the company of Joyce Grenfell, Margery Allingham, Radclyffe Hall, Rebecca West, Vera Brittain, Shirley Williams, Elizabeth Longford, Nina Bawden, to name just a few. In recent years we have welcomed Elizabeth Bowen, Jacqueline Wilson, Sandra Howard, Victoria Wood and many more wonderful familiar personalities who joined us as members and patrons.

Simon Brett - courtesy of Christian Doyle

Nowadays, we have some prestigious  males on our membership list, many involved in film and stage, producers and directors, actors and newspaper proprietors.  How delighted we were when, this month, our very own Simon Brett, favourite of so many radio listeners and film fans, was awarded the Queen's Order of the British Empire this year. This was for his work and services to literature.

Simon is the man behind the Charles Paris, Mrs Pargeter Fethering and Blotto & Twinks series of crime novels and in 2014 he was awarded The CWA Diamond Dagger, one of the highest accolades in the crime writing world. His writing also includes comedy in radio and television series such as No Commitments and After Henry.

As Society Patron, Simon attended our 120th anniversay celebrations in 2014 at Stationers; Hall, London. He delighted our delegates by reading his witty poem The Woman Writer, written especially for the occasion. An inspiration to writers everywhere, Simon says “I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write. I still do, and I want to do it better.”

That's a thought that so many of our members endorse, male and female. Why not check out our website at  www.swwj and find out far more?  


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