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Since the writing and publication of the Big Book by the Fellowship’s first one hundred members, literature has been a crucial part of carrying AA’s message of recovery to alcoholics. The books and leaflets published by the Fellowship are vital tools in our twelfth step work.
Our Structure Handbook states that the General Service Board is responsible for ‘the printing and publishing of AA books and pamphlets (AA published and Conference approved)’ and ‘the distribution of books and pamphlets in Great Britain, and English-speaking AA groups throughout Europe (Continental European Region)’.
The Board carries out that responsibility through the Literature Sub-Committee (LSC), thus ensuring that our literature remains current and always available to for AA members to use in their own recovery and to carry the message to still suffering alcoholics.
The LSC is charged with drafting and revising new literature for the Fellowship as well as updating existing literature.
Most often the writing of new literature or the updating of existing literature will come about because of a decision by the General Service Conference. The GSC will decide that a new leaflet (or poster or book or card or leaflet or manual) are needed to address particular concerns about carrying the message. The LSC carries out the responsibility of drafting the new literature under the guidance of the General Service Board, one member of which chairs the LSC.
New literature pieces undergo rigorous multiple revisions until it is deemed that the LSC has carried out the Conference decision, at which point the new literature will go back to the GSC for approval or suggested changes. Once approved by Conference, it becomes ‘Conference approved literature’ and is put into production.
The LSC meets up to four times a year in York and carries on work between meetings via email.