Michael Swanwick Resigns International Union of Writers Presidency in Response to Russian Invasion

IUW logo

Author Michael Swanwick announced on his blog yesterday “My Resignation from Honorary President of the International Union of Writers”. As background he explained —

Most of those reading this are not aware of my position as the Honorary President of the International Union of Writers, a writers’ organization headquartered in Moscow. However, it meant a great deal to me. I have good friends in Russia and I believe in reportage and literature, particularly science fiction, and specifically Russian science fiction, as a force for good. 

Swanwick added in a cover email to File 770: “I have resigned from my position as honorary president of the International Union of Writers as of February 22 of this year. This was an unhappy decision to make, but I can see no alternative.” A copy of his resignation letter is below.


Alexander Nikolaevich Gritsenko
Chairman of the Board
International Union of Writers


It is with deep regret that I am compelled to submit my resignation as honorary president of the International Union of Writers, effective immediately. Given the Russian invasion of Ukraine I cannot, however indirectly, support Vladimir Putin, his government, and their expansionist ambitions.

I am grateful for the honor that the IUW afforded me, and I still believe in the importance of honest writing and its potential to create a better world. If I can be of assistance in the furtherance of those goals, I will do what I can.


Michael Swanwick

International Union of Writers Announces New Literary Award

The International Union of Writers has announced the finalists for the newly created London Literary Awards, a five-yearly award given in six categories to writers in the Russian and English literary communities.

The International Union of Writers (IUW), established in Paris in 1954, describes itself as the world’s largest organization of literary professionals. Since 2010, the main division is located in Moscow. The IUW unites writers’ unions in more than 40 nations, and works to protect the social and professional rights of writers and journalists.

Their press release says:

The goal of the London Literary Award is to encourage communication between English-language and Russian-language writers and two to create a common cultural space for sharing and understanding between these two great literary communities.

There are six categories of the London Literary Award:

  • The Charles Dickens Award for novels, short fiction, or journalism.
  • The Lord George Noël Gordon Byron Award for poetry or essays
  • The Samuel Johnson Award for criticism.
  • The William Shakespeare Award for dramatic works.
  • The Lewis Carroll Award for science fiction and fantasy.
  • The Mikhail L. Lozinsky Award for literary translation from Russian to English and English to Russian.

Each award will be presented in three categories: New Authors, Established Authors, and Grand Masters.

Their jury has compiled a preliminary list of finalists who they regard as deserving of the title, Best Author of the Year. From this, a shortlist of finalists (listed below) was chosen.

And since the works will be written in different languages, each award will be presented to both Russian and English-speaking authors.

Russian winners will receive a grant to translate their book so it can be published in the UK. For the winner of the William Shakespeare Award for Drama, the winner’s play will be produced on the stage of the Royal Court Theater.

The finalists in all categories follow the jump. NOTE: The names are copied from the press release. Some spellings have been corrected, but not all have been caught.

Continue reading