THANKS to everyone who came along to the #paythewriters meeting in Melbourne last night.
The meeting was one of the recommendations of the Pay the Writers Manifesto that came out of the Emerging Writers Festival in May, and was co-hosted by Emerging Writers’ Festival, Writers Victoria, Overland, the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance and the Australian Society of Authors.
We hope that it’s a step towards getting ourselves better organised and the start of some concrete campaigns for better pay and conditions, as well as greater transparency about pay across the industry.
This is a collective issue requiring a collective solution. Those of us from the organisations who helped host the meeting have a role in helping facilitate this conversation (many of us are writers too) but we’re not here to lead it. This conversation is all about YOU.
Pay the Writers isn’t just about writers. The name has gathered some traction over the last year, so we’re using it as a sort of shorthand. But it’s for all writers, editors, illustrators, literary-sector workers (and those concerned about their welfare).
Over 80 people attended last night’s meeting. We had some emerging writers and some who were already supporting themselves with their work. We had editors and people from literary organisations. We had lots of different approaches and opinions, but we were all on the same side.
This campaign is about what you make it. You’re in charge. If there’s something you’re passionate about, put your hand up to help move it forward.
Just having the conversation is the start of building a collective voice.
We hope to have notes and resources from the meeting online soon. Watch this space.