2021 Writers’ Guild of Ireland Zebbie Awards Nominations Open

18th August 2021

Now in their 14th year, the Writers’ Guild of Ireland ZeBBie Awards are always the high point of the year, celebrating the best in writing talent across stage and screen. Named in honour of O.Z (Zebby) Whitehead, and presented each year by Senator David Norris, the awards are voted for by members of the Guild. The 2021 awards recognise the best scripts that were produced in 2020.

WGI Chair Jennifer Davidson says “This year’s shortlist represents the brilliance of Irish writers across stage, screen and radio. It’s a shortlist packed with talent and a mixture of new voices and seasoned hands. It’s particularly impressive to reflect that all these scripts found audiences in 2020, given the massive impact the pandemic has had on our industry. We are thrilled to once again be able to celebrate Irish writers through the Zebbie Awards.”

Voting is now open exclusively for WGI members and will remain open until September 7th.

The WGI gratefully acknowledges the support of the Irish Copyright Licensing Agency and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

This year’s nominations include:

Theatre

To Be A Machine – Mark O’Connell, Bush Moukarzel, Ben Kidd

What I (don’t) Know About Autism – Jody O’Neill

Embargo – Deirdre Kinahan

Radio Drama

Leaba an Bháis – Darach Mac Con Iomaire

The Seven Pomegranate Seeds – Colin Teevan

Stuck – Sharon Mannion

Feature Film

Wolfwalkers – Will Collins

The Bright Side – Jean Pasley, Ruth Meehan

Herself – Clare Dunne, Malcolm Campbell

Short Film

Ballast – Jesse Gilbert

Changing Dates – Femi Falana

4 x 4 – Ayla Amano

Television Drama

Normal People Episode 3 – Sally Rooney (and Alice Birch)

Malory Towers Ep 110  – Richie Conroy, Mark Hodkinson

The Deceived Ep 4 – Lisa McGee, Tobias Beer

Continuing Drama

Ros na Rún S25 Ep 26 – Eimear Ní Choisdealbha

Red Rock C59 Ep 196 – Paul Walker

Fair City S31 Ep 22 – Senta Rich

Animation

Angela’s Christmas Wish – Damien O’Connor

Ollie Ep 141 – Kristina Yee

Boy Girl Dog Cat Mouse Cheese Ep 150 – Emma Hogan

WGI Event Co-Ordinator

21st July 2021


The Writers’ Guild of Ireland is looking to hire a freelance Event Co-ordinator to organize and deliver a defined series of virtual panels, webinars and mentoring sessions in the second half of 2021 and early spring of 2022.

The Writers’ Guild of Ireland is the representative body for writers for stage, screen and radio in Ireland. The Guild runs training and mentoring events throughout the year for members as well as informational briefings and networking opportunities.

The role includes:

  • Working with a small team to successfully manage and deliver the events programme.
  • Managing the events’ panels and guests.
  • Liaising with the WGI administration team, updating them on progress and flagging any issues.
  • Setting up zoom events and moderating them effectively.
  • Completing and submitting funding paperwork.
  • Devising and organising Publicity/PR for the events via social and traditional media.

Skills & Requirements

  • Prior experience of events/arts project management
  • A strong track record of successful project delivery
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong initiative and ideas generation skills
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Ability to work without supervision
  • Good time management skills

Interested applicants are invited to submit a CV and covering letter detailing their experience to hugh.farley@script.ie before 5pm on Wednesday, 4th August. Please include ‘WGI Event Co-Ordinator’ in the subject line of your email.

This freelance contract will attract a fixed total fee of €5780 for the project. Contact hours are at the discretion of the successful candidate subject to meeting all project requirements. The successful candidate will not be exclusive to WGI and will provide their services on a self-employed basis. The work will be on a remote basis, though we envisage some Dublin location-based duties in the event that government guidelines permit.

WGI at Galway Film Fleadh

21st July 2021

This week, we are delighted to be joining forces with our good friends at Women in Film and Television Ireland and Galway Film Fleadh to host a panel examining the intersection of gender and class in the Irish screen industries.

Gender and Class in the Irish Screen Industries: Double Trouble? takes place on Thursday, 22nd July at 12 noon.
Recent UK research suggests that the majority of the screen workforce come from ‘privileged’ backgrounds. But that doesn’t happen here – right? Let’s talk about that.

Please join the conversation with writer/director Carmel Winters, UK researcher Dave O’Brien, writer/director Roisin Kearney, actor Jordanne Jones, and Chair Women in Film and Television & Chair WGI Equality Action Committee Dr Susan Liddy.

Register here

Letter from the Chair re Basic Income for Artists

7th July 2021

As you all will know, today 7th July is the last day to apply (or reapply) for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment for members whose business has effectively ceased due to the pandemic. Although the scheme is closing, we know that for many members, things are far from back to normal. While some sectors have reopened, we know that for others, a return to regular work is still a long way off. It’s clear that the pandemic has exposed the inequalities and instabilities of working as a writer. You may recall that last year, the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce report Life Worth Living made ten recommendations for our sector. Crucially, those recommendations included a proposal to pilot a basic income scheme for a three-year period in the arts, culture, audiovisual and live performance and events sectors. We were pleased to see the taskforce was of the view that a pilot basic income would keep the sector intact, minimising the loss of skills and contributing to its gradual regrowth, with ongoing benefits: social and economic, local and national. It’s difficult to overstate the impact a basic income scheme could have for writers and our ability to create new work, and it’s clear why artists and arts workers have been chosen as the pilot group. It is worth pointing out that while artists and arts workers have been chosen as the pilot group, if successful this has the potential to become a full Universal Basic Income scheme for all Irish citizens.

Since this was announced last year, we have written to the Minister to ensure that the voice of writers is heard as the plans for a pilot basic income scheme advance. Board Member Michele Manahan has been instrumental in driving our agenda on future supports for our members, and has also met with the National Campaign For the Arts, who have been a key voice in pushing for change in the sector. In correspondence from the Minister’s Department, we have received confirmation that as part of the National Economic Recovery Plan launched on 1st June, the Minister has recently established an Oversight Committee for the appraisal of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce Recommendations, including the Basic Income Guarantee pilot scheme for artists. The Oversight Group held its first meeting on 27th May and is being chaired by the Department joined by representatives of the Departments of Finance, Social Protection, Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Public Expenditure and Reform as well as Enterprise, Trade and Employment. The Directors of the Arts Council and Screen Ireland are also members as well as a representative of the County and City Managers Association. This Oversight Group is to prioritise the examination of the way a Basic Income Guarantee pilot scheme for artists can be delivered. The Oversight Committee is expected to report to the Minister by the end of July. According to the Department, it is too early to be definitive about the exact nature of the pilot scheme, including the cost. However, the Minister hopes to be able to offer more definitive information once the Oversight Group reports to her in July.

We will continue to lobby Minister Martin on your behalf, and once there are further developments, we will keep you updated. In the meantime, we hope that you are managing to keep working (and getting paid for it). As always, if there is anything we can do to help, please do let us know.

Jennifer Davidson
WGI Chair

Breaking Up is Hard To Do

30th June 2021

Things are looking up for Irish creative talent looking to break into the lucrative Streaming market. Last week the Guardian reported that the EU is preparing to act against the ‘disproportionate‘ amount of British television and film content shown in Europe in the wake of Brexit.

The Audio Visual Media Services Directive (2019) set out that streamers must carry a minimum of 30% content of ‘European origin’. Under the existing wording the UK post Brexit would still qualify. The EU decided otherwise and it has become part of the proxy war in the wake of the UK’s departure.

You can read the full story here

Essentially British content accounts for half of all TV sales in Europe and while that was fine while it was an EU member, now it is a so-called ‘third country’, the European Commission has decided it is a distortion of the market. If they succeed, it makes Ireland as the only English-speaking country in the EU a much more attractive proposition for production and co-production.

The AVMS also provides for a levy on foreign broadcasters and streamers which can be ploughed back into local production. You may recall that WGI is part of a powerful industry lobby group to persuade the government to enact the provision into national law. It could double the amount of funding for development (scripts) and production currently available under Screen Ireland’s budget. It is envisaged the funds will be to develop projects of an international scale, the Intellectual property rights for which would be created and retained in Ireland.

Hugh Farley
Director