Société des gens de lettres

The Société des gens de lettres de France (SGDLF; French: [sɔsjete dɛ ʒɑ̃ də lɛtʁ də fʁɑ̃s]; lit."Society of Men of Letters of France") is a writers' association founded in 1838 by the notable French authors Honoré de Balzac, Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, and George Sand.

It is a private association recognised in France as an establishment in the public interest by decree of December 10, 1891.

Members of the society must be writers whose work has been published by a publishing house (self-published works do not qualify). It is directed by a volunteer committee consisting of 24 writers, and is currently led by the novelist Alain Absire.


It is the only writer-run writers' association in France with the expressed aim of defending the moral rights, the legal interests, and the social and legal status of all writers. It protects, considers, and proposes new rules and arrangements for the benefit of the community of writers.

The SGDLF offers social and legal assistance to its members. It has facilities for the deposit of completed works, helping writers guarantee their rights as original author in case of a legal dispute. Each year it organises diverse cultural events and awards a number of 75,000 prizes in recognition of published works.


The SGDLF occupies the 18th-century neoclassical Hôtel de Massa on rue de Faubourg-Saint-Jacques in the 14th arrondissement of Paris. It is building with the strange history of having been moved stone by stone in 1928, from its original site on the Champs-Élysées to its present site in the garden of the Observatoire de Paris.

Prizes of the Société des gens de lettres

Spring session

  • Prizes recognising the entire oeuvre of an author
  • Prizes recognising a single work
    • Grand Prix SGDL du roman, founded in 1947
    • Grand Prix SGDL de la nouvelle, founded in 1984
    • Grand Prix SGDL du livre d'Histoire / Essai, founded in 1986
    • Grand Prix SGDL du livre Jeunesse, founded in 1982
    • Prix de poésie Charles Vildrac, founded in 1973
    • Grand Prix SGDL de l'œuvre Multimédia

Fall session

  • Prizes recognising the entire oeuvre of an author
    • Grand Prix Poncetton de la SGDL, founded in 1970
    • Prix de Poésie Louis Montalte, founded in 1992
  • Prizes recognising a single work
    • Grand Prix Thyde Monnier de la SGDL, founded in 1975
    • Bourses Thyde Monnier, since 1975
    • Bourses Poncetton
  • Prizes for translation
    • Prix Halpérine-Kaminsky Consécration, since 1993
    • Prix Halpérine-Kaminsky Découverte, since 1993
    • Prix Gérard de Nerval
    • Prix Baudelaire
    • Prix Maurice-Edgar Coindreau

See also

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