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Sign up to ALCS: free money, except you earned it!

THE ALCS fund* for mag, book and online freelance writers increased again this year, with a record £26 million paid out in March to – another record – 90,000 members. We know of no massive individual bonanzas for LFB members this time though it seems that after 2020’s fab all-time best-ever-reported £7200 this year's summit was… £3500.

That is still not exactly the dustcart after the Mayoress’s big show, even in a non-plague year. Let the happy anonymous recipient’s joy be unrestrained, and we hope that even such a modest sum may encourage you, if unregistered thus far, to sign up for your annual divvy via

Further to which, here’s an interesting story of how bracingly ALCS royalty arithmetic worked for one member. He’s mainly not a writer, but does do Edinburgh Fringe arts reviews for a website at £25 a go because he likes it. However, his editor encouraged him – how nice! – to sign up to ALCS anyway and claim. So he logged just 39 reviews in the year and… in March £965 arrived in his bank account, which he was pleased to calculate nearly doubled his fee per review.

It’s not always like that, for sure, and first years tend to be the best because of a catch-up-from-pre-registration-years element. But again, this is rather better than the proverbial poke or kick in the usual locations.

Go to that website and claim what you’re entitled to. Is the reward worth the time it takes, you may ask: depending on number of items you’re registering the admin takes maybe 10 minutes a month or two hours a year, according to taste.

What's that, then?

* ALCS is the Authors' Licensing And Collecting Society. These magic/mysterious royalties come from the sale of photocopying, scanning and digital reuse to businesses, libraries, government agencies and such in UK and, via similar collecting societies in dozens of other countries, around the world. More details on ALCS website. When registering an article you need to supply a word count because the payments are made one the basis of words published rather than number of items.