In 1962, Walter Stone, President of the New South Wales branch of the Fellowship of Australian Writers, suggested the need for a new writers' professional organization. Despite some opposition from other Fellowship branches, the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) was established in June 1963 to protect the rights of authors and illustrators. The following year the ASA established Broadside, a broadsheet to distribute literary news to members. In 1969 the broadsheet was superseded by the quarterly magazine Australian Author.
Described by one its editors as the 'business voice for the writer making money', Australian Author publishes articles on issues such as copyright, digital media, business tax, editing and publishing. Many prominent Australian writers have contributed to the magazine over the years. Early issues included contributions from Thomas Keneally, A. D. Hope, Harry Heseltine, Charmian Clift and Frank Hardy. Recent contributors have included Frank Moorhouse, Kate Grenville, Drusilla Modjeska and Lynne Spender.