Bruce Gillespie

A blog by freelance writer and editor Bruce Gillespie.

Posts Tagged ‘benefits

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

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