COVID-19: Update for members

19 March, 2020

Dear Members,
 
We know that you are concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on your long and short-term work, health and financial security. We want to reassure you that the Guild fully appreciates the gravity of the situation and its impact on our members.
 
Our mission is, as it has always been, to provide you with support, stability and a united voice so that you can continue to do what you do best. More than ever we see the importance of the Australian Writers’ Guild as an advocate for performance writers.
 
We are representing you
 
All AWG staff are working remotely until further notice. We are very grateful for the support we have received from the AWG Board and membership regarding this decision.

AWG staff have risen to the challenge by quickly adapting to working remotely.

We are working with our colleagues across the industry to access support, mitigate loss, ensure stability and in time, secure a healthy future for performance writers and the arts sector in general.

AWG representatives have already met with several industry groups to discuss the way forward and particularly how we will access Government support via compensation funds and emergency packages for the arts and screen sectors. If your screen project has been cancelled, please complete this survey so that we can work with SPA to report on the virus’s economic impact. We are contributing to major discussions across the industry and will continue to provide a strong voice for performance writers in coming weeks, months and years.
 
We are in contact with Screen Australia and the Australia Council, as well as state funding bodies to reposition the Guild to best provide services to you across different platforms, and to ensure we remain informed as the situation evolves.

Our advocacy for playwrights continues. We are due to meet next week with the Boards of Playwriting Australia and Australian Plays to discuss the ongoing funding crisis.
 
Our industrial team offers invaluable industrial and contractual advice as usual to members.
 
More positive news! 
 
53rd Annual AWGIE Awards – NO ENTRY FEE THIS YEAR!
In the coming days we will be opening entries for the 53rd Annual AWGIE Awards, that are currently scheduled to take place in September. This year we are waiving entry fees to acknowledge that these are tumultuous times for writers. The 2020 AWGIES represent a vital opportunity for us to come together and celebrate exceptional writing and writers, in the face of adversity.
 
New Programs and Creative Delivery
AWG staff are collaborating and innovating to identify new technologies and creative approaches to deliver programs remotely and online. We look forward to announcing a new range of professional development opportunities very soon!
 
Health and Industry Resources
Click here to access our AWG resources page to keep you updated with current health and industry information.
 
Until further notice we ask that member enquiries be emailed to admin@awg.com.au. This will enable us to ensure that all member queries are directed to the appropriate staff member and responded to in a timely fashion.
 
Writers are hardy and we have no doubt that you will pull together as a community over the coming months. If at any time you feel you are struggling with your mental health, we encourage you to visit the Head to Health website for a directory of websites and services. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.

Yours in solidarity,
The Australian Writers’ Guild


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