About The Society

The Society

The Sylvia Townsend Warner Society was launched in 2000 in Sylvia Townsend Warner’s home town of Dorchester by a group of enthusiasts, who assembled for an inaugural meeting at the Dorchester County Museum. The Society has since grown, and now hosts a variety of events in Dorchester and London. The aim of the Society is to promote a wide readership and a better understanding of the writings of Sylvia Townsend Warner, as well as a sense of community among readers, scholars, and admirers of her work.

The Society regularly organises visits to places connected with Sylvia Townsend Warner and Valentine Ackland, including to Norfolk, Dorset, Essex, and Sussex. Each year, the writers’ birthdays are marked with a poetry reading in the churchyard of St. Nicholas, Chaldon Herring.

As well as publishing the Journal and Newsletter, the Society hosts an annual essay competition, the details of which will be posted on this website. The Society has also supported two conferences dedicated to the work of Sylvia Townsend Warner and Valentine Ackland, held in Dorchester in 2012 and Manchester in 2019.

Several events take place in London. The annual Society lecture is held at UCL. Past speakers include Peter Swaab and Maud Ellmann. A weekly reading group gathers alternately at UCL and John Sandoe Books, Chelsea. This is a lively discussion over a glass of wine. All are welcome; please contact readingsylviatownsendwarner@gmail.com.

The Sylvia Townsend Warner Society Committee

Chair Janet Montefiore
Acting Secretary Harry Daniels
Treasurer Helen Jones
Membership Secretary Mercedes Aguirre
Website Editor Harriet Baker
Journal Editor Peter Swaab
Newsletter Editor Jay Barksdale


To contact the Society, please send an email to info@townsendwarner.com and we will endeavour to reply as soon as possible.


To join the Society please contact us on membership@townsendwarner.com for further instructions. Yearly membership fees are as follows:

UK individual – £18.00 (student / unwaged £12.00)
UK joint – £20.00 (student / unwaged £15.00)
Overseas individual – £28.00 (student / unwaged £20.00)
Overseas joint – £30.00 (student / unwaged £22.00)

The Archive

The archive of Sylvia Townsend Warner and Valentine Ackland is rich and comprehensive. It is held at the Dorset History Centre in Dorchester, and is available to view by appointment. Please check their website for up-to-date information or to view the collection online. Please contact archives@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk for further details.

There is currently no online catalogue available and access to the collection is via staff, so enquirers are requested to be patient as locating items can take time. The Dorset History Centre hopes to catalogue, conserve and selectively digitise this important archive, thereby providing the level of detail and context that such a collection merits. Such a project will be reliant upon external funding.

We are a member of the Alliance of Literary Societies.

Your Privacy

You may read our privacy policy here :

Personal Data held by the Society
If you are a member of the Sylvia Townsend Warner Society you have informed us of your name, postal address and post code, telephone number and email address. We use this data for the purposes of record keeping and for the sending out of Society Journals and our twice-yearly collection of smaller articles about, or by Warner, along with Society information. We may also use it to send you information directly by post or email about Society events and activities. We may also send information about forthcoming publications relevant to the Sylvia Townsend Warner Society, but these will be for information only and not in order to sell any publication or service to you directly.
Data Storage
The personal data of the Society’s members is stored in an Excel spreadsheet containing postal address, telephone number, email address, date of joining the Society, payment record and payment method. This is maintained by the Membership Secretary and stored on a secure computer. In future we may use other storage methods but they will always be fully secure and only available to Committee members, for Society business as stated above.
How Personal Data is Used by the Society
The main purpose of our holding of personal data is so that we can provide you with our publications and with information that we think may be of interest to you as members of the Sylvia Townsend Warner Society.
We do not share personal data with external bodies for commercial gain, market research or marketing purposes.
We do, however, give names and addresses to the companies who print and distribute our publications. We request and keep copies of these companies’ data policies to ensure that they meet all legal requirements and will treat your data confidentially and keep it securely.
We may need from time to time to share contact details between members of the Committee for administration purposes.
We do not use personal data to appeal for fund-raising contributions.
Links to Websites
Our website has links to other sites which may be of related interest. If you go to another website from ours, read the privacy policy on that website to find out what it does with your information. The Society is not responsible for any information you may supply to other sites linked to ours.
Your Rights
You may at any time ask for details of personal data held by us about you. If any of the personal data is incorrect please let us know. If you do not wish the Society ever to contact you by post or by email please let us know also. You also have the ‘right to be forgotten’ which means that if you cease to be a member of the Society your personal data will be deleted from our records.