Contemporary Authors® Online offers students and patrons continuous access to deep and current biographical and bibliographical data on more than 145,000 of today’s most influential novelists, poets, playwrights, nonfiction writers, journalists and scriptwriters.  In addition, Contemporary Authors® Online offers continuously updated information on the most active authors in this database. Included are author-provided updates, expanded entries, bibliographies, awards, and recent update information.

A longstanding literary tradition at Gale – the Contemporary Authors program  Contemporary Authors® Online is the ideal starting point for diverse research needs, whether it is a beginning source for researchers interested in 20th and 21st century authors, or a key resource for book clubs, with details and background on today’s favorite authors.


The literary world is a dynamic, abundant, and visceral part of our daily lives and as readership and interest in current literature grows, so grows the need to encapsulate its current state and the lives and interest of those authors that are contributing to an ever-growing canon of popular writing.  The editors of Contemporary Authors® Online bring the lives, interests, and personal details of today’s most important and emerging writers to students and patrons in an easy-to read format, allowing students to digest important information quickly and easily, while providing library patrons unique insight into their favorite authors.  A literary tradition at Gale since 1973, the Contemporary Authors program is a trusted and unique library resource, helping readers and librarians alike gain a deeper understanding of authors and their works.


The content in Contemporary Authors® Online builds on the Contemporary Authors® print series which has been published continuously since 1974, and is constantly updated by Gale’s editorial staff to reflect the changing lives of authors and their personal details.  The editors at Gale make every effort to secure new information directly from the authors; listees’ responses to our queries and emails provide most of the information featured in Contemporary Authors. 

Added to the database annually are approximately 3,000 new entries and 1,000 full-entry updates from the Contemporary Authors® and Contemporary Authors® New Revision Series print volumes.

Our inclusion criteria are designed around the changing information needs of students and patrons exploring and researching 20th and 21st century authors:

  • Current writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and drama whose works have been issued by commercial publishers, risk publishers or university presses
  • Prominent print and broadcast journalists, editors, photojournalists, syndicated cartoonists, screenwriters and more
  • Literary greats of the early 20th century whose works are popular in today’s high school and college curriculums

Each Contemporary Authors® Online entry contains the most complete and up-to-date entry, accessible through an easy-to-use interface with a variety of search paths to help you locate the information you need quickly and efficiently. You can easily search for an author by name, title of work, subject/genre, nationality, date and place of birth, honors, awards and much more.

Contemporary Authors® Online provides comprehensive information on authors from all genres. The following elements may be included in a Contemporary Authors sketch:

  • author’s name
  • contents
  • genre
  • personal information such as the author’s date and place of birth (city, state, and/or country) and family data, including parents, spouse(s) and child(ren)
  • photographs
  • autobiographical essays
  • pseudonym
  • nationality
  • ethnicity
  • education;
  • political preference
  • religion
  • avocational interests
  • addresses
  • career summary
  • memberships
  • awards and honors
  • obituary notice
  • links to recent news about the author
  • Contemporary Authors® interviews
  • biographical and critical sources.


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