Bruce Gillespie

A blog by freelance writer and editor Bruce Gillespie.

Archive for February 2009

Benefits for writers — update

Just before the holidays, I wrote about the ongoing project to develop a benefits package for writers in Canada. This past weekend, the Globe’s James Adams wrote a great piece on the same subject that looks at why even a bare-bones extended health-care package could make a big difference in the lives of writers, editors and other artists:

According to Statistics Canada, a Canadian scribe on average makes only between $18,000 and $22,000 annually from his or her writing – and this includes royalties from book sales as well as income from grants, giving readings and workshops, writing, say, reviews for magazines and newspapers, and earning a yearly stipend from the Public Lending Right Commission.

It is, in short, a hard life, fraught with long, lonely hours of work, occasional feasts and many famines (in 2005, an estimated 3,000 Canadian authors – 11 per cent of the total 27,500 who identified themselves either as self-employed or salaried writers – reported no earnings from their writing), not to mention the agony of public indifference.

According to Adams’s piece, the plan will be rolled out by the ACTRA Fraternal Benefit Society in May, and organizers are hoping for at least 300 people to sign up initially. That sounds like a pretty achievable goal to me, given how many book, magazine and technical writers and editors there are across the country, but I suppose it’s the yet-to-be-announced fee schedule that will be clincher for most people. Let’s hope it’s reasonable so the plan has a chance of getting off the ground.


Written by bgillesp

February 20, 2009 at 11:08 am

Posted in Freelancing

Tagged with , , , ,

Meet the readers

Things are coming together nicely for the Toronto launch of Nobody’s Father at Ben McNally Books next Tuesday, and it’s shaping up to be a great night of readings.  To whet your appetite, I thought I’d tell you a little about the writers who will be sharing their work:

Brian Day will read from his essay, “Fatherhood and Me.” Day grew up in Mission, BC, and now lives in Toronto, where he teaches at an elementary school in the inner city. He is the author of two books of poetry, Azure and Love Is Not In My Blood.

Ray Jones will read from his essay, “The Most Beautiful Child in the World.” Jones is a former newspaper editor whose short stories have been published in several countries. In 2006, he received the Storyteller’s Award at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference. He lives in Toronto.

Bryan Steinnagel will read from his essay, “An Unwinnable War.” Steinnagel makes prosthetic limbs at a children’s rehabilitation facility and enjoys the irony of doing so. He likes the idea of being a kid, he just doesn’t want one of his own. He lives in Toronto, close to his ever-extending family.

And, of course, I’ll be reading too. But you already know all about me.

Written by bgillesp

February 19, 2009 at 11:08 am

Nobody’s Father: Toronto reading

I’m thrilled to announce that we’ve finally set a date for the Toronto launch of Nobody’s Father. It will take place Tuesday, February 24th, at Ben McNally Books (which has to be one of the best and loveliest shops in the city). Readings will begin at 6 pm.

We’re still working out all of the details, so I’ll post more information as soon we confirm which of our contributors will be reading–besides me, of course! It should be a great event, though, so mark your calendars now!

Written by bgillesp

February 3, 2009 at 10:12 pm