An initiative to address the widespread impacts of COVID-19 on independent writers and the literary field.

About the AG Response Fund

Already struggling after years of steep declines in income, authors risk falling even further behind in this critical moment—and the country risks the loss of important voices and diverse perspectives. Every day, we are hard at work helping authors and freelance writers—our most fearless storytellers—affected by COVID-19. With your help, the AG Response Fund is:

  • Advocating in Washington to ensure that authors and freelance writers across the country are eligible for COVID-19 unemployment assistance;
  • Developing digital and social media resources and strategies to help authors market their books and reach audiences virtually;
  • Helping authors get paid overdue royalties, advances, and fees, and ensuring that their new contracts are fair;
  • Creating a resource center for authors throughout the COVID-19 crisis;
  • Protecting authors from piracy and from those taking advantage of the crisis, such as Internet Archive and its National Emergency Library; and
  • Continuing critical work on behalf of authors, providing pro-bono legal services, education, and support for authors across the country.

A Message From Our Response Fund Co-Chairs

Margaret Atwood

"With bookstores and libraries closed, speaking engagements and freelance gigs cancelled, and writing and teaching jobs lost, many authors are struggling. A dearth of new books could quickly become a reality if we don’t make an effort during this pandemic to support authors through the Authors Guild Response Fund."

Judy Blume

"At a time when Americans need literature to help us make sense of the human condition and escape the isolation of sheltering in place, authors face more challenges than ever before. As co-chair of the Authors Guild Response Fund, I encourage all who love books to donate in support of authors at this difficult time."


The Authors Guild would like to extend its deepest gratitude to the members of the Authors Guild Response Fund Leadership Coalition for their extraordinary generosity and dedication to the field.

Leadership Coalition Members*

The Toni Morrison Circle ($100,000+)
Michelle and David Baldacci
Renée and John Grisham
Lee Child, Jane Grant & Ruth Grant
Douglas Preston

The Saul Bellow Circle ($50,000)
Suzanne Collins and Charles Pryor
James Gleick and Cynthia Crossen

The Madeleine L’Engle Circle ($25,000)
Hachette Book Group
Hieronymus Foundation
Macmillan Publishers
Penguin Random House
Diana Rowan Rockefeller

The Elizabeth Janeway Circle ($15,000)
Charles C. Butt
Roland DeSilva
Laura Pedersen

The Barbara Tuchman Circle ($10,000) 
Amazon Literary Partnership
Judy Blume
Toni Goodale
HarperCollins Publishers
Ingram
Katherine Neville
Mary Pope Osborne
Recorded Books
Roxana Robinson
David Shapiro
Simon & Schuster
R.L. Stine & Jane Stine
Wendy Strothman

The James A. Michener Circle ($5,000)
Anonymous
Marie Arana
Tess Gerritsen
Erica Jong
Jeff Mayersohn
Rakuten OverDrive, Inc.
John Sargent
William N. Thorndike, Jr.
Scott Turow


*List in formation

The tiers of giving for the AG Response Fund have been named after some of our founders, who believed strongly in charitable giving to support, sustain, and defend freedom of expression, education, authors’ rights, and American literary culture.

Your donation will directly support our educational programs and advocacy to protect authors and bolster their careers during this time of need. The Authors Guild Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and donations are fully tax deductible to the extent provided by law.

Photo credits:
Margaret Atwood: Photo by Luis Mora
Judy Blume: Photo by Elena Seibert