RT @Paul_Cornell: For World Book Day, I'll be going out this evening as a scruffy author.
The Writers' Guild Awards will be presented in London on Wednesday 13 November 2013. The shortlists in 13 categories are published below.
TV Drama Series
Silk (Peter Moffat), The Village (Peter Moffat), Broadchurch (Chris Chibnall)
Holby City, Casualty, Waterloo Road, Coronation Street, EastEnders, Hollyoaks, Emmerdale, Doctors
Getting On (Jo Brand, Vicki Pepperdine, Joanna Scanlan), Fresh Meat (Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain), Him and Her (Stefan Golaszewski)
TV Drama Short Form
The Girl (Gwyneth Hughes), Room at the Top (Amanda Coe), Murder : Joint Enterprise (Robert Jones)
The Dumping Ground - What Would Gus Want? (Elly Brewer), What’s the Big Idea - What is Art? (Alan Gilbey), The Dumping Ground - The Truth is Out There (Emma Reeves)
Tennyson and Edison (David Pownall), The Go-Between (adapted by Frances Byrnes from the novel by LP Hartley), Once Upon a Time There Was a Beatrix (Lavinia Murray)
Susan Calman is Convicted (Susan Calman), Fags, Mags & Bags (Sanjeev Kohli and Donald McLeary), Meet David Sedaris (David Sedaris)
The Universe versus Alex Woods (Gavin Extence), Big Brother (Lionel Shriver), The Card (Graham Rawle)
Tomb Raider (Rhianna Pratchett), Thomas Was Alone (Mike Bithell), Lego City Undercover (Graham Goring)
Sightseers (Alice Lowe, Steve Oram), Good Vibrations (Colin Carberry, Glen Patterson), Grabbers (Kevin Lehane), What Richard Did (Malcolm Campbell)
My Brother the Devil (Sally El Hosaini), Byzantium (Moira Buffini), Skyfall (Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan)
Quietly (Owen McCafferty), Brilliant Adventures (Alistair MacDowall), The Thrill of Love (Amanda Whittington)
Theatre Play for Young People
Whole (Phillip Osment), I, Cinna (Tim Crouch), Mr Holgado (Christopher William Hill)
Stephen Potts on how he combines careers in medicine and writing
A few years ago I stood at a crossroads, uncertain which way to go. Should I quit the day job and throw myself into writing full-time, or continue trying to combine the two? I wrote about the decision in this magazine, and many readers offered advice. As so often, events – two young children – took over and made my decision for me. I could inflict the financial uncertainties of a full-time writer’s life upon myself, but not upon my family. So I carried on, and now find myself invited by the editor to offer views on the day job question.
I read somewhere that only 15% of published writers earn a living from their writing. So nearly all of us need a day job, raising questions about how we regard it; how it relates to the writing; how we assign our time and energies between day job and our writing projects; and how we shut off from one when engaged in the other.
My day job is in medicine. I’m a psychiatrist in a busy general hospital, seeing people in A&E, the medical and surgical wards, and the transplant unit. Medicine is a notoriously hard task master, and I bemoaned its ‘all or nothing’ nature in my earlier article. I’ve worked part-time for most of the past 16 years, though currently part-time means 36 hours a week plus one weekend in four on call. This is far too much like full-time work for me, but if I am to do less, someone else has to do more, and that’s not been an option for some time, though I live in hope.
There is one day a week when I am not in the hospital. I try to be ruthless in protecting my writing Wednesdays, though I do still get calls. I suppress irritation about them, aware that writers’ day jobs are often resented. In the extreme (and I am not here talking about my own job) they leech upon our time, our energies, our enthusiasms, perhaps our creative sparks: and we endure them only for the income they bring, for they offer nothing reciprocal in the way of new perspectives, new insights or new skills to carry into our writing lives. If it is hard for a non-writer to get up each day and drag her weary frame into a dreary workplace, then – perhaps – how much harder for a writer who wants to break free, who scribbles and taps away in stolen moments, and dreams nightly of the Big Break which will allow her to walk into the boss’s office with a smirk and tell him where to put his P45. But if the Big Break doesn’t come, going to work each day with that extra burden of desperate hope will eventually become intolerable.
Olivia Hetreed is the new President of the Writers' Guild of Great Britain, following a vote at the Guild's AGM
Olivia, best known for scripting the hugely successful film Girl With A Pearl Earring, has served for several years as Chair of the Guild's Film Committee and a member of our Executive Council. Olivia started her career as a documentary, drama and film editor and moved into writing with a series of family films for ITV including The Treasure Seekers and The Canterville Ghost. Other credits include the award-winning Man of Law’s Tale for the BBC and the feature film Wuthering Heights, released in 2011. She is currently in development with Philip and Liz, the love story of the young Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth. Olivia’s unopposed election as President was announced at today’s Guild Annual General Meeting. She takes over from the eminent playwright David Edgar, who has been our distinguished President for the past six years.
Mary Macarthur was an active trade unionist who fought for ‘tired working women’ who had no hope of respite or of a holiday.
The Mary Macarthur Holiday Trust aims to provide help to those women in need of a break by reason of age; poverty; infirmity; disablement; social or economic circumstances.
The Trust provides financial help towards the cost of a holiday and tries to help as many women as possible each year. Therefore the maximum available for any holiday is normally £350.00, although this may be increased very slightly in exceptional circumstances.
If you know someone who might be eligible for help, please visit the Mary Macarthur Holiday Trust website
Writers' Guild AGM will be on Friday 14 June
This is the time of year for Writers’ Guild members to think about motions to change the policies or rules of the union, or to put themselves forward as officers or members of the Executive Council.
There is a record number of EC vacancies to be filled this summer, both for national/regional seats and craft sector representatives, so we are hoping to see plenty of new blood coming forward. Please consider seriously whether you could contribute to the Guild in this way.
Details of the vacancies, application forms and instructions for proposing motions can be downloaded below. If you would prefer to have paper copies please contact the Guild office.
The closing date for the receipt of Officer and EC nominations is Thursday 9 May 2013 and the closing date for the receipt of AGM motions is Tuesday 14 May 2013.
The Annual General Meeting of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain will take place in London on Friday 14 June 2013. The full details are in the Notice of Meeting and Preliminary Agenda, which can also be downloaded from our website. The Final Agenda, Annual Report and Accounts will be made available shortly before the AGM, in accordance with the rules of the Guild.