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 In 1969 the broadsheet was superseded by the quarterly magazine Australian Author.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.
Ceased print publication November 2018.
'When Joan Clarke first asked me to write a short piece concerning those heady days in 1968 when we decided to publish our own quarterly I shrank from the task. So many other people are better able to tell the story, of the magazine we couldn't afford and weren't sure our members wanted.' (Introduction)
'With the publication of The Australian Author the ASA has achieved another target. I am sure members will want to join with me in congratulating the editorial committee which has given so generously of its time and talents. The Australian Author will be our forum and shop window and, I'm sure, a major force in the Society.' (Introduction)