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Press Release: 31.03.2021 - World of Books Group fund new award for writers with the power to change the world

World of Books Group fund new award for writers with the power to change the world

  • World of Books Group have partnered with the Society of Authors to launch a new award for writers.
  • The World of Books Impact Award of £5,000 will be granted twice a year to writers working on books focusing on social impact, sustainability or education.
  • The company are also contributing funds to the Authors’ Contingency Fund to help authors in financial difficulty.
  • The support comes just as authors need it most as two-thirds of authors are suffering a loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Authors’ Contingency Fund experiences an influx of applications from struggling authors.

World of Books Group, the UK’s largest retailer of used books, have partnered with the Society of Authors to launch a new grant to support writers as they work on books of any genre that have the power to inspire progressive behaviour change.

The World of Books Impact Award will be granted twice a year and offers the winning author a sum of £5,000 to support them as they complete their work. The award criteria is linked to World of Books own guiding values and are aligned with the UN sustainability goals of Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action and Quality Education.

Applications for the first World of Books Impact Award are now open until July, with the first award due to be granted in October 2021.

In addition to this support, the company have also committed to providing additional contributions to the Authors’ Contingency Fund to support writers experiencing financial difficulty, also managed by the Society of Authors.

The additional support for writers comes just as authors need it most. According to a report from the the Society of Authors, two-thirds of authors have suffered a loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic with the majority losing more than half. Furthermore, over 60% have received no financial support from the government . The sharp increase in applications for support to the Society for Authors prompted the organisation to source emergency funding from industry partners, government and individuals, enabling them to award £1.3 million in hardship grants to writers facing financial difficulty during 2020.

Graham Bell, Chief Executive of World of Books Group said: “We understand that words have the power to change the world. Writers play a vital role in inspiring necessary changes in behaviour that go far in protecting the planet and making society a better place. We were founded on an ethos to support communities and protect the planet – and we’re delighted to be able to provide support to writers who are working on exciting books that align with this purpose.

The last year has been difficult for everyone – but especially those in creative industries. Over the last year, many writers and other arts professionals who dedicate their lives to providing entertainment, escapism and knowledge have missed out on the government support provided to others. We’re proud to do our bit to help The Society of Authors continue to provide the vital support to authors who need help now more than ever.”

Nicola Solomon, Chief Executive of The Society of Authors said: “We award many grants for work in progress each year, but the World of Books Impact Award uniquely acknowledges the profound difference the written word can make to the way we think about the environment and the action that can inspire. “There is an urgent need for forward-thinking, transformative books to lead positive environmental and societal change. Authors feel passionately about these issues, but those books can only happen when authors have the time and space to create them. That can be a challenge at the best of times. But with so many authors hit financially by the health crisis, the World of Books Impact Award is a very positive opportunity at a critical time. We are excited to see what new books this funding might help to make possible- and the change they will inspire in our world.

“We are extremely grateful to World of Books for understanding the value of supporting authors and the difference they can make.” Applications for the first World of Books Impact Award are now open until 1st July, with the first award due to be granted in October. Authors wishing to submit their application for funding should visit the Society of Authors website for further information at Society of Authors


Media Contacts

Nick Ford, World of Books Group Brand Communications Manager

[email protected] | D: +44(0) 7967 789993

Robyn Law, Society of Authors Prizes & Awards Manager

[email protected]

Notes to Editors

About World of Books Group

  • In 2008 World of Books was founded with an ethos to do good to help charities and to make a positive impact. Over the last decade they have grown from a start-up into a leading global seller of quality used books and pioneers in re-use and recycling. Their inventory has grown to over 7 million items in stock, and they sell a book somewhere in the world every two seconds.
  • World of books are an accredited B Corp. Certified B Corporations (B Corps™) are for-profit companies that use the power of business to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
  • World of Books Group is comprised of re-commerce technology businesses: World of Books, Ziffit and Shopiago.
    • World of Books is a leading global seller is used books online to missions of customers; directly, though third-party platforms and wholesale partners.
    • Ziffit is a free and easy to use app and website to sell unwanted books, CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and games for cash. One of the largest trade-in sites in the UK the Ziffit business model is 100% circular.
    • Shopiago is an online sales software product that is utilised by charities to generate additional revenue for good causes and enable more goods to be reused.
  • In 2018, World of Books Group launched Shopiago, a for-profit software company that supports charities and helps more goods to be re-used. The re-commerce software enables charity retailers to manage their listings across online marketplaces, exposing their goods to buyers around the world to help increase revenue for worthy causes.
  • Ziffit has been developed to help close the loop on new book purchase, use and reuse. The innovative application of technology, to help individuals, charities and commercial partners to generate additional income, supports a wider circular economy vision.
  • World of Books Group vision is to be the leading seller of used books globally, while helping people to reuse and recycle for less through innovation and technology.

About the Society of Authors

The Society of Authors is the UK’s largest trade union for all types of writers, illustrators and literary translators. They have been advising authors and speaking out for the profession since 1884. Their membership currently stands at over 11,000 creative professionals at every stage of their careers.

In 2020, the Society of Authors awarded £1.3 million in emergency grants to authors facing financial hardship due to the Covid-19 health crisis. They also distributed £370,000 in grants for work in progress and £125,000 in literary prizes for fiction, non-fiction, poetry, translation and audio drama.

Two-thirds of authors reporting loss of income during Covid-19, according to new SoA survey, October 2020 News | The Society of Authors