The Canadian Writers Group (CWG) has launched its company website and the agency for freelance writers aims to be open for business February 2, 2009.
According to the site, more than 80
writers, including such prominent names as Ian Brown, Kim Pittaway and Douglas Bell, have indicated their interest in joining.
Once up and running, the agency will represent writers in negotiations for both fees and rights. In addition, CWG will provide other services including marketing and promotion of its slate of writers, access to the U.S. market through a partnership with a literary agency in New York and services such as tax-friendly summaries of freelance income.
In answer to a question about writers being blacklisted for joining, the FAQ page states:
“The bottom line is that Canadian freelance writers haven’t had a rate
hike since Pierre Elliot Trudeau was our prime minister so there is no
chance that freelance writers could be perceived as greedy (as
screenwriters were sometimes portrayed during their recent strike in
the United States). Fears of being blacklisted are tied directly to
what one might call the Canadian Freelance Writer’s Inferiority
Complex, which has been beaten into this group for decades through the
devaluation of the skills being provided by the most talented
freelancers. One could easily equate the idea of such blacklisting to
the fear of being fired for asking for a raise – a raise that’s at
least twenty-five years overdue.”
What does this company need to get off the ground? Clients.
“The agency is cautioning writers against adopting a wait-and-see
attitude with CWG. If the critical mass required for the agency to
succeed both as a business and as an advocacy tool for writers doesn’t
come together this fall, it will not be launching early next year, as
planned. Its existence is wholly dependent on the support of the
writers it hopes to serve.”