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TWUC to hold referendum on admitting self-published authors

At its 40th annual general meeting this weekend, The Writers’ Union of Canada voted unanimously on a resolution to open its membership to self-published authors. The resolution will now be presented to TWUC members in a referendum, which needs a two-thirds majority to pass.

The resolution comes with three criteria that self-published authors must meet in order to be considered for membership. Self-published books must contain an International Standard Book Number (ISBN), demonstrate “commercial intent,” and be peer-reviewed.

In a press release, outgoing chair Merilyn Simonds describes the resolution as a landmark decision … that addresses our sincere desire for inclusion and innovation, while maintaining our tradition of defining and upholding professional standards for writers in Canada.

At the meeting, which took place in Ottawa, TWUC also named its new chair: novelist Dorris Heffron, author most recently of City Wolves (Dundurn Press).