Canadian Authors Association

Canadian Authors Association, Canada's first national literary organization, was founded in 1921 to combat proposed changes in COPYRIGHT LAW; it incorporated both official language groups until the establishment of the Société des écrivains canadiens in 1938. In addition to fighting for writers' control over copyright, the association devoted its early efforts to promoting Canadian writing through the establishment of the annual Canadian Book Week (1921-57). In the 1930s the CAA was responsible for promoting the formation of the Association of Canadian Bookmen (1935-39), establishing The Canadian Poetry Magazine (1936-68), and initiating the GOVERNOR GENERAL'S LITERARY AWARDS in 1937, which it administered until 1959. In 1946 the association drew up a standard book contract and secured special income tax privileges for Canadian writers; the following year, it agreed to administer the fledgling LEACOCK Award for Humour. In 1975, after a lapse of several years, the CAA instituted a new system of literary awards, each of which for the first time carried a cash value of $1000. These awards now carry a cash value of $2500. The Association also administers the Vicky Metcalf Awards created in 1963 by the Toronto librarian whose name they bear. There are now three separate awards: a $10 000 cash prize for a body of work, whether fiction, non-fiction, poetry or picture books; a $3000 cash prize for a short story published in an English language periodical or anthology; a $1000 cash prize to the editor responsible for publishing the prize-winning short story, if published in a Canadian periodical or anthology. The quarterly Canadian Author & Bookman was the official voice of the CAA until 1998, having undergone a name change to Canadian Author. In 1998, publication was suspended. The CAA publishes The Canadian Writer's Guide, its official handbook and a large compendium of writing and publishing information for writers in Canada. It is also involved in various other programs, conferences, etc., designed to assist Canadian writers.