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The new Writers' Guild Executive Council met for the first time on 12 September.
Pictured, from left to right: David Edgar (President), Anne Hogben (Deputy General Secretary), Gail Renard (Television Chair), Bernie Corbett (General Secretary), Olivia Hetreed (Film) Ming Ho (Deputy Chair), Roger Williams (Guild Chair), Katharine Way (Radio Chair), Jayne Kirkham (Children’s Chair), Andy Walsh (Treasurer), Manon Eames (Welsh Region), Julie Ann Thomason (Scottish Region)
Missing from the photo – but not forgotten: Antony Pickthall (Deputy Chair), Amanda Whittington (Theatre), Nick Yapp (Books), Marie MacNeill (Devon and Cornwall), Richard Pinner (Birmingham and West Midlands).
The shortlists for the 2012 Writers’ Guild Awards have now been decided. The winners will be announced on Wednesday November 14 at the Tabernacle in Notting Hill.
Best Continuing Drama Series
- Casualty: Saturday Night Fever - Sasha Hails
- Coronation Street: Becky’s Final Farewell - Debbie Oates
- Hollyoaks: A Little Film About Love by Jason Costello - Nick Leather
Best Play for Children and Young People
- Angel - Kevin Dyer
- Hare & Tortoise - Brendan Murray
- Holloway Jones - Evan Placey
Best Videogame Script
- Batman: Arkham City - Paul Crocker
- Risen 2: Dark Waters - Gordon Rennie, Alan Barnes, Emma Beeby
- Zombies, Run! - Naomi Alderman
Best First Feature Film
- Black Pond - Will Sharpe, Tom Kingsley
- Resistance - Owen Sheers, Amit Gupta
- Wild Bill - Danny King, Dexter Fletcher
Best Children’s TV Script
- 4 O'Clock Club: Maths - Dan Berlinka
- Horrible Histories - Dave Cohen, Ali Crockatt, Gerard Foster, Giles Pilbrow, Laurence Rickard, David Scott, George Sawyer, Ben Ward, Steve Punt
- The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Curse of Clyde Langer - Phil Ford
Best Radio Drama
- Life and Fate - Jonathan Myerson, Mike Walker
- Pandemic - John Dryden
- The Diary of Samuel Pepys - Hattie Naylor
- Even the Rain - Paul Laverty
- Tyrannosaur - Paddy Considine
- We Need to Talk About Kevin - Lynne Ramsay, Rory Stewart Kinnear
Best Fiction Book
- Alys, Always – Harriet Lane
- The Last Hundred Days - Patrick McGuinness
- Then - Julie Myerson
Best Short-Form TV Drama
- Appropriate Adult - Neil McKay
- Sherlock - Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat, Stephen Thompson
- This is England '88 - Shane Meadows, Jack Thorne
Best Theatre Play
- Grief - Mike Leigh
- The Kitchen Sink - Tom Wells
- The Westbridge - Rachel De-lahay
Best Radio Comedy
- I, Regress - Matt Berry
- Another Case of Milton Jones - Milton Jones, James Cary
- In and Out of the Kitchen - Miles Jupp
Best TV Comedy
- Holy Flying Circus - Tony Roche
- PhoneShop - Phil Bowker
- Grandma's House - Simon Amstell, Dan Swimer
Best TV Drama Series
- Being Human - Toby Whithouse, Tom Grieves, John Jackson, Lisa McGee, Jamie Mathieson
- Scott & Bailey - Sally Wainwright, Nicole Taylor, Amelia Bullmore
- Prisoners Wives - Julie Gearey, James Graham and Chloe Moss
The Lost Arts campaign needs your help, writes Maddy Radcliff
Lost Arts is a three-year project set up by eight trades unions whose members will be directly affected by cuts to the arts. The aim is to catalogue and record everything in the arts sector lost as a result of the public-spending cuts.
Already in 2012 we have a sizable list of losses, growing every day as news comes in of another library, another community centre, another writers’ scheme lost to the cuts. A quick search of the Lost Arts list throws up more than 40 losses classified as literature and more than 130 in theatre. We don’t blame managers or the arts councils who make difficult decisions, even though we do not always agree with them. It’s not their fault funding is going down. We blame government, national and local. And our voice, the voice of all of us affected by arts cuts, should be heard. That voice is diverse, of all ages, backgrounds and sectors within the arts.
Some cuts are high profile, others less so. Take Flambard Press, for example. It’s a small publishing house that focuses on new and Northern writers. For many, working with Flambard was their first publishing experience. And this year, because of the spending cuts, Flambard was forced to close.
This summer we lost the Theatre Writing Partnership. Born of four theatres in the East Midlands, its small team of two committed to reading the first 15 pages of any unsolicited script – providing a rare service that gave writers with essential feedback early in their careers. Theatres are suffering too. The Duke’s Playhouse in Lancaster lost so much to the cuts that its funding levels now are the same as in 2001. Duke’s five productions a year will go down to three and any others are entirely dependent on project funding. Add job losses to that and you can see the real impact of the cuts on the arts.
These cuts might not always make the news, but Lost Arts is here to say they do matter, and to show why.
Already local campaigns are making their mark and having a real impact. Look at the success of Equity campaigners working with Duke’s Theatre. Together, they found room for an extra production. Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) members staged a lunchtime walkout at the National Gallery earlier this year after cuts to assistant posts put art works at risk. ‘Not all cuts are as obvious as those to health or social services, but they still diminish our quality of life,’ says John Medhurst, Policy Officer at PCS. ‘It’s important to bring out less visible cuts to arts and cultural provision and show how they lessen opportunity and erode life chances, especially in communities and sectors that are already suffering disproportionately from unnecessary cuts.’
A new publication from the Federation of Entertainment Unions (of which the Writers' Guild is a member) was launched at Westminster today, arguing against the repeated cuts made to BBC funding and calling for an alternative approach.
BBC Cuts: there is an alternative (pdf) sets out the economic and cultural value of the BBC and offers a way forward for the Corporation that would safeguard jobs and programming.
Julian Williams urges budding writers to join the Guild
We’re a mixed bunch at the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain. Candidate Members like me and Full Members like a lot of you.
We’re successful, hopeful, trying, succeeding, struggling, fighting. We’re against the odds most of the time and some of the time one of us pops up with a great news story. That something we’ve created on a blank sheet of paper gets into production. Or print. Or on screen.
Mind you, half the time we’re probably viewed, we writers, as being mad as hatters. And half of that time we could well be!
But there’s one thing and one thing only that unites us, draws us together, protects us, gives us strength and a sense of unity, that is there for us when we need it most and that praises us when we deserve it most.
A parental hand. A guardian. A promoter of our truths and ways and thoughts.
I am, of course, referring to our very own Writers’ Guild of Great Britain.
And when I look at my membership card and think about why I have it and that I can hold it and it feels real. I feel protected, supported, encouraged, hopeful and energised.
I implore all budding writers to join the ranks of the established and take out a Candidate Membership. And be part of the team. Where you’ll never walk or write alone.
This article first appeared on Julian Williams's blog