Conference-Approved Literature

(Service Material from your GSO)

“Conference-approved” – What It Means to You

The Term “Conference-approved” describes written or audiovisual material approved by the Conference for publication by GSO. This process assures that everything in such literature is in accord with AA principles. Conference-approved material always deals with the recovery program of Alcoholics Anonymous or with information about the AA Fellowship.

The term has no relation to material not published by GSO. It does not imply Conference disapproval of other material about AA. A great deal of literature helpful to alcoholics is published by others, and AA does not try to tell any individual members what he or she may or may not read.

Conference approval assures us that a piece of literature represents solid AA experience. Any Conference-approved booklet or pamphlet goes through a lengthy and painstaking process, during which a variety of AAs from all over the United States and Canada read and express opinions at every stage of production.

How to Tell What Is and What Is Not Conference-Approved

Look for the statement on books, pamphlets and films: “This is AA General Service Conference-Approved Literature.”

All “AA Literature” Is Not Conference-approved

Central offices and intergroups do write and distribute pamphlets or booklets that are not Conference-approved. If such pieces meet the needs of the local membership, they may be legitimately classified as “AA Literature.” There is no conflict between AA World Services, Inc (AAWS – publishers of Conference-approved literature), and central offices or intergroups – rather they complement each other. The conference does not disapprove of such material.

GSO does develop some literature that does not have to be approved by the conference, such service material, Guidelines and bulletins.

Available at Most AA Groups

Most local AA groups purchase and display a representative sampling of Conference-approved pamphlets, and usually carry a supply of hardcover books. Conference-approved literature may be available at central office and intergroups, or it may be ordered directly from GSO. Groups normally offer pamphlets free of charge, and the books at cost.


Conference-approved literature is copyrighted with the Copyright Office, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, USA. To insure the continued integrity of AA literature, and to make sure the AA recovery programs will not be distorted or diluted, permission to reprint must be obtained from AAWS in writing.

However, AA newsletters, bulletins, or meeting lists have blanket permission to use the material, providing proper credit is given to insure that the copyrights of AA literature are protected.

The AA Preamble is copyrighted by The AA Grapevine, Inc (not by AA World Services). Beneath it, these words should appear: Reprinted with permission of the AA Grapevine, Inc. The Steps and Traditions should be followed by these words: Reprinted with permission of AA World Services, Inc.