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Check your ALCS details to get your share of £12 million

WRITERS: IF YOU ARE a member of the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) you have until Thursday 9 September to ensure that your bank and email contact details are up to date to benefit from its "September distribution". An estimated £12 million worth of licences for secondary uses of your work (university library photocopying and so on) will be divvied up between authors. If you're not an ALCS member, read on.

Your deadline to log in to your ALCS account, if you have one, to check they've got your works listed correctly and raise any issues, is also 9 September.

The September distribution is mostly for income for secondary uses such as educational photocopying of books, audiovisual works and for your "visual contributions" - your own photos, diagrams or illustrations that have accompanied your own articles. ALCS pays out for secondary licences for your books, or chapters or introductions of books that you wrote or edited.

Some NUJ members who are ACLS members and who mostly write articles for magazines may not get much, or indeed anything, from the September distribution. Freelances who mostly write articles in "journals" and magazines are more likely to benefit from the next ALCS payout, the "March distribution" in early 2022. Regrettably, articles published in newspapers are not covered.

The next date for ALCS members to look out for is 30 November, which is the deadline to submit to ALCS details of your articles. You will need to supply for each article its title, year, month, word-count and the International Standard Serial Number ISSN) of the publication in which it appeared. Be aware that some periodicals now have separate ISSNs for their print version (including PDF versions of it online) and for their web version.

The money you get for articles in the March 2022 distribution is affected by the details of the articles you submit by that 30 November deadline. There is a time limit after publication for submitting articles: ALCS pays out in its March distribution only for articles published since January 2018.

If you write books or articles and you're not a member of ALCS, you're missing out on "free money". We recommend all writers to join now. There is a nominal commission fee, taken out of the proceeds of your distributions. For members of the NUJ, it is free to join; non-members pay a one-off £36 life membership fee, which is deducted from their first payout.

One LFB member recently reported getting a payout of £5000. The current record we're aware of for a payout to a London Freelance Branch member is around £7000 in the March 2020 distribution.

Photographers and illustrators

If you are a visual journalist, photographer or illustrator we recommend you join the equivalent collecting society, DACS.