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About us

We stand behind creators.

We’re Australia’s peak body supporting writers and illustrators to realise big ideas – from concept to contract and beyond. We offer expert advice, provide professional development opportunities, nurture meaningful connections, and advocate on behalf of creators for fair contracts, robust copyright protections, and real remuneration. 

Because we know creativity depends on practical matters. No creator, after all, is an island.  

And the best way to support tomorrow’s great Australian stories, is to stand behind their creators today. 

Our own backstory

While Australia’s storytelling heritage spans many millennia, our publishing industry is young – and shaped by colonialism.   

By the early 1960s, it became clear that Australian authors and illustrators needed their own professional body to advocate for their rights.  

At the time, those who published books with British publishers received a reduced royalty on Australian sales, which were considered ‘export’ sales. What’s more, no recompense was provided for books held and loaned by libraries, or work copied and distributed in other formats. 

So in 1963, a small band of passionate authors came together to form the ASA, with around 300 initial members, and a mandate to advocate for fair remuneration. 

Some of our wins.

Introduction of the Public Lending Rights scheme (PLR)

The first copyright licensing fees paid in Australia

Introduction of the Educational Lending Rights scheme (ELR)

‘Books Create’ campaign against parallel importation of books presented to Federal parliament

Government steps away from introduction of ‘fair use’ doctrine after sustained campaigning from ASA and other creator organisations

Authors Legal, the first non-profit law firm dedicated to authors and illustrators is launched

With a boost to the budget, PLR / ELR expanded to include digital formats

Our goals for the future.