ChipLitFest is a special literary festival that offers events with some of the country’s most exciting writers and whether seeking entertainment as a fan, or to brush up on your writing skills and industry knowledge, there is something for everyone. There are talks and workshops by novelists, poets, TV and radio script-writers, journalists, crime and comedy writers, with events for bloggers and cartoonists to boot. Literary agents and crowdfunding professionals will also be holding events and giving advice.
But we think that ChipLitFest is special for another reason too. The launch of its 2014 author profit share scheme proved that there is a way of ensuring that all those writers you have come to see will get a share of the profit made from the festival. So they don’t just get their expenses paid, they also get a wage.
Most would think it’s a given that writers are paid for their time like in any other job, but it’s a well-known fact in the writing world that many (particularly lesser known writers) are asked to appear for free - with ‘exposure’ as the only reward. A select few big names make headline wages, but most don’t. You’d be surprised to know that some of your favourite TV writers, poets, literary writers get paid so little. In 2014, The Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) research revealed that professional authors’ annual income fell by 29% from 2005 to £11,000 in 2013. It’s well below what is considered an acceptable standard of living in the UK. And that’s why it was so important that last year’s authors at ChipLitFest received £105.00 per event.
There are lots of reasons that writers might want to appear for free (a good cause for instance), but their right to be paid should be their choice. The British creative industries are a massive global success story, respected around the world and contributing around £10million per hour to the UK economy. Ensuring writers are paid is vital to continuing economic growth and success of the sector. Without writers and their cultural contribution to society, where would we be?
ALCS collects royalties for writers for the secondary uses of their work (such as photocopying), helping to ensure writers are paid their due. We’re sponsoring five of the workshops at the festival this year where you’ll be able to find more information about us, alternatively, take a look at our website www.alcs.co.uk to find out more.
For more details about ChipLitFest's profit share scheme, follow this link.