Are you a member of the UK Writers' Guild?
No? Why not?
If you're a professional writer or an aspiring scribe who's committed to a screenwriting career, then you should be a member.
It will come as no surprise to you that writers get treated badly in the business. We're essential to the process but often the bottom of the rung in terms of respect and basic courtesy.
Some common grievances: we don't get paid on time, or we don't get paid at all, and producers use their power over eager writers to get us to work for free. Contracts try to push us out of our basic rights over our material. We do more work than what was agreed or expected. We are constantly overlooked and undervalued.
Admittedly, the UK Writers' Guild doesn't have the same clout or reputation as its US counterpart but that doesn't mean there's no point in joining. The Guild has a committed and passionate team that are dedicated to building a better future for the UK writer. And it can only get stronger with more members. As they say themselves: "The more writers who join us, the stronger we become in our efforts to negotiate better minimum terms agreements, secure better deals as technology develops, and confront difficult and inefficient management."
There are lots of benefits of being a member right now. Check out their website for full details or browse through their blog.
Right now, they're running an incentive to join the Guild where Full and Candidate members win a free gift for every new writer they can persuade to sign up. And, in addition, that writer will also receive a free gift (£20 gift tokens for a variety of outlets).
The Guild says: "if you have any queries about this, or you'd like us to send you some recruitment material and/or the application forms via post, please contact Naomi MacDonald at naomi @ writersguild.org.uk or on 020 7833 0777. Deadline for receipt of applications: 31 December 2007."
So, spread the word, encourage someone to join. This is my shout out to YOU, so if you're not a member, then check out all the details and sign up. You know it makes sense. And tell them I sent you, and let's stack up on those tokens!