Literature Committee Principles

These principles were approved by the UA World Service Conference, August, 2013.

The Literature Committee

The Literature Committee is a subcommittee of the World Services Conference, with the specific task of working throughout the year to create and publish literature for Underearners Anonymous on its behalf. Membership is open to anyone within UA. At the present time, there are two officers, the Chairperson and the Secretary, although we anticipate additional officers will be needed down the road, especially if subcommittees are created around specific areas or activities.


We consider literature to be anything that allows members to share their experience, strength and hope with others, other than a live meeting. For now, this may take the form of a book, an ebook, a pamphlet, or a worksheet. In the future, we envisage this may include an audio or video recording, an app, a website or part of a website, or perhaps several of these things at once.

Conference Created Literature

“Conference-created literature” describes material approved by the World Service Conference for publication by the General Service Board of Underearners Anonymous, using the funds available to the GSB. The creation process is designed to ensure that everything in this material is in accord with UA principles, and deals with recovery within Underearners Anonymous and/or information about the UA fellowship.

But that is all that “conference created” means: any member of UA can read anything any time anywhere for any purpose. And any Group can determine for itself by Group Conscience that a specific piece of literature conforms to the principles of UA and is thus acceptable to be read at that meeting. Likewise, any Group or Intergroup can determine by Group Conscience what literature to provide for sale to its members.

Service Literature

Service literature pertains to the operational aspects of the program and the various service structures (as opposed to recovery within the program), and is often either rapidly changing or frequently updated, so it does not go through the lengthy process of conference approval. This includes, amongst many other things, the meeting formats belonging to particular groups, meeting lists for various areas or UA as a whole, service manuals, etc.

Worksheets & Templates

At the present time, worksheets and templates are provided for convenience only, without any implicit or explicit approval. Members should discuss given specific worksheets or templates with their sponsor and/or action partners, to determine whether it makes sense to use them.

Twelve Step Literature

Number 11 of the UA Tools is Twelve Step Literature: we have found that the literature created by other twelve step programs is generally helpful, and as such it needs no further review or endorsement by UA.

Creation of New Literature

The creation of new literature for the program follows a process intended to ensure that the principles of UA are placed before the personalities of the people creating it.

In particular, we require that substantial unanimity be achieved around every step of the process: we must be come to a consensus that a given piece of literature is ready to move forward to the next step in the process. If we cannot, then the dissenting voices must be given the chance to discuss their objections.

Creative Teams

Although for ease of explanation, we often limit our references below to writing, it should be borne in mind that many other kinds of expertise will likely be needed on the creative team for various steps in the creation of literature, and fees may be incurred to secure these services:

  • Research
  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Illustration
  • Formatting/Typesetting
  • Proofing
  • Printing
  • Transcription
  • Video/audio editing
  • Web design/maintenance

So that the money entrusted to us by members is used wisely, we will only incur fees where projects have been approved by the World Service Conference, and in accordance with the approved Literature Committee budget.

(N.B., some costs will be incurred in copying proposed literature for distribution to WSC attendees; this will be accounted in the Literature Committee budget as a conference-related cost, and will not be regarded as part of an individual project’s cost.)

Sources of New Literature

We anticipate that new literature will arise from diverse sources:

  • One or more individuals may feel a burning desire to share their experience, strength and hope by creating a book, pamphlet, or other piece of literature.
  • One or more groups may have found a piece of literature created within the group(s) to be useful, and would like to share it more widely with the UA fellowship.
  • The World Service Conference may have identified a need for a specific piece of literature, and the Literature Committee assigned a small team of volunteers to create it or, in some specific cases, hired an author with a particular expertise.
  • Other sources we’re not currently thinking of.

Style Guides

The Literature Committee will also be responsible for creating style guides and other formatting guidelines as appropriate for the various kinds of literature. These guidelines will include required rubrics (copyright statements, disclaimers, etc.) and acceptable formats, and will be subject to approval by the World Service Conference.