Archive for the ‘IPSG’ Category

Survey Results

27th May 2020

We recently asked members to complete a survey in a bid to get a complete and up-to-date assessment of what you, our members, want from your Guild. Using this survey you told us what specific areas or activities you would like us to focus on. The results below will enable us to make decisions that will best serve your needs and provide you with the maximum benefit from your membership.

You can read the results of the survey here.


15th April 2020

To see the information in chart form, click here.

Q1: What county are you based in?

The highest concentration of respondents were based in Dublin with the next highest being Galway. A number of respondents were non-specific (‘Ireland’) and a few respondents listed other countries.

Q2: In which language do you write?

English 89%;      Irish 2%; Both 9%;        Neither 0%; Other 0%

Q3: How long have you been writing professionally? (ie. whereby most of your income is earned through writing..?)

1 year or less:  14%; 3 years or less:  9%; 5 years or less: 10%;      Ten years or less: 15%;

More than ten years: 36%;        I have been writing professionally during the last ten years but I am not writing professionally at the moment: 16%

Q4: What percentage of your annual income last year was from activities OTHER THAN writing for film/TV, Theatre or radio?

a) 0% – 15%:  30%; b) 16% – 30%:  6%; c) 31% – 45%: 5%;       d) 46% – 60%: 15%;             e) 61% – 75%: 7%; f) 76% – 85%: 8%;   g) 86% – 100%: 29%

Q5) Please give details of your current work situation:

I had a writing contract in place which remains unchanged: 25%;   I had a writing contract in place which has been affected by the Covid 19 crisis:  22%; I didn’t have a writing contract in place: 53%

Q6) The contract you had in place was for:

(The total exceeds 100% as respondents were able to select more than one category).

Film:  23%;     Theatre: 25%;      Radio: 9%; Television: 52%;     Other: 7%

Q7) Please specify the date your contract was changed.

Before 12th March: 2%;   Before 20th March: 43%; Before 27th March: 32%;   Before 3rd April: 23%

Q8) What was conveyed to me on that date was:

Termination of contract: 5%;      Temporary suspension of contract: 70%;     Reduction in volume of work: 9%; Reduction in fee: 0%;      Other: 16%

Q9) If your contract or other work has been cancelled, have you received any communication suggesting they will be resumed at some point in the future?

Yes: 59%;   No: 41%

Q10) In your contract has been cancelled, has a remedy been offered?

Yes: 16%;  No: 84%

Q11) If your contract has been terminated, suspended, cancelled or otherwise amended, how were you informed of this situation?

By phone: 17%;       By email: 83%; By post or courier: 0%

Q12) Have you received any notification that your work will resume?

Yes: 37%;       No: 63%

Q13) How were you informed that your work will resume?

By phone:  20%; By email: 80%;      By post or courier: 0%

Q14) Do you have any works already billed but due to be paid:

Yes, within the ordinary payment schedule: 17%;        Yes, payment is already late (in terms of) the payment schedule: 11%;         Yes, I had just billed those before the emergency was declared: 6%;

No: 66%

Q15) Have you received any information about the delay in any or all of those bills?

Yes: 12%;      No: 88%

Q16) How were you informed of the delay?

By phone: 22%;      By email: 68%; By post or courier: 10%

Q17) When the crisis happened, was your work already in production or pre-production?

Yes: 39%;   No: 61%

Q18) Please specify what kind of work was already in production and the situation you are in currently (e.g. “The script has been delivered for a play which is stalled” or “I was writing an episode but the production has stopped, so we don’t know the new delivery date”)

This question resulted in a wide variety of answers, with the majority indicating interruption to, and uncertainty around, work. The following three sample responses demonstrate this;

(1) A script was in development, but the production date in the summer is in doubt due to the virus.

(2) We were in pre-production on a feature film and the filming will not now go ahead.

(3) Script is due to be workshopped in May with a staging of some scenes at a festival in June. I doubt either will happen.

Q19) According to your payment schedule, when do you foresee your next payment should be made?

within the next few weeks: 30%;     within the next few months: 10%; I don’t know: 60%

Q20) Do you think you may avail of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment from Social Welfare?

Yes I have already applied: 20%;     Yes I will apply: 7%; No I won’t apply: 22%;   I’m not sure: 24%; I’m not eligible: 27%

Q21) How much do you expect your annual income to be impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic in the next 6 months?

a) 10%:  10% b)  Under 50%: 35%     c) Over 50%: 35%   d) Not at all: 20%

Q22) Can you continue to work on development with directors, producers and executives at this time (whether that be work already contracted or speculative work)?

Of the respondents who answered this question, the majority said ‘yes’, while a minority gave responses ranging from ‘no’ to ‘n/a’ to ‘maybe’ or a version of ‘some of my development work may continue’. The three sample answers below are indicative of the responses to this question;

(1) Currently yes. But concerned about it getting into production and hence work continuing as normal.

(2) No, my regular TV work needs to be commissioned. I can of course work on creative writing projects myself with the hope of something being commissioned but there’s no income/pay with that.

(3) I have done some work on story & bible, but there is no money to pay me until new dates are set & contracts are agreed.

Q23) Finally, please let us know of any other concerns you have.

The responses to this question illustrate how much concern members have right now about their work, their income and their future, along with the added concern for their health and that of their families. A few respondents indicated that they weren’t too concerned, however the vast majority expressed a reasonably high degree of concern. These three responses illustrate the kind of responses to this question;

(1) I worry that the economic impact on writers will make it even harder to get by in an industry that is already under-resourced and highly competitive. The funding bodies that I regularly apply to – i.e. Screen Ireland, Arts Council – are likely to take a major hit and there will generally be much less money around. There will also be increased anxiety about travel and about attending plays, etc, so it feels like the volume of productions will drop. I think it will be harder and slower to get projects off the ground, which will also impact on income. But I’m also hopeful. And once we have our health, we’ll figure things out.

(2) I have no concerns professionally, things will start up again when Covid crisis abates. Am used to living on a shoestring so in that sense: Business as usual! Main concern is for the welfare of people and animals throughout this crisis and beyond it. Work and the search for it, can take a back seat until “this too shall pass”.

(3) The comment box is not big enough to do that.

To see the information in chart form, click here.

The Guild Invite your comments & questions on Screen Ireland’s new guidelines FOR FEATURE FILM DEVELOPMENT SUPPORT

3rd April 2020

Following on from its announcement regarding the revised guidelines across feature film development funding categories, Screen Ireland are inviting comment and questions about the changes, which will be put by the Guild on your behalf next week (tentatively Wednesday). You can read the Screen Ireland press release here access the guidelines and forms on Monday. Please read them carefully and send points you want raised to us by Tuesday at the latest at with subject line: ‘New SI guidelines’ and we will put as many as we can to Screen Ireland.

You may have concerns about the status of ‘Writer-only’ applications which have steadily reduced in number to the point of extinction and what that says about Screen Ireland’s commitment to the craft and profession of screenwriting.
You may have questions about the ‘Spotlight’ scheme and its efficacy.
You may wish to see a rider to development contracts offered to Production companies which mandates that writers receive fair and proportional pay for the work they have done which cannot be waived as a deferral if the producer takes a fee out of the funds.
You may have concerns that the ‘trickle-down economics’ theory of funding development through production companies unfairly privileges producers and does not provide sufficient income to provide professional screenwriters with a viable income.
You may feel that the feedback process for unsuccessful development applications is excessively cursory and unhelpful.

Whatever your questions are, we welcome them and we will endeavour to get answers.

Scheme for Professional Artists on Jobseeker’s Allowance

16th October 2019

The Writers’ Guild of Ireland are pleased to announce to members that the Scheme for Professional Artists on Jobseeker’s Allowance has now been extended to our members. The Scheme now recognises scriptwriters as professional artists and is designed to support writers and artists during times when their incomes are low.

According to the regulations of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, in order to apply for this scheme, you need to fulfil certain criteria. You must:

  • qualify for Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • be capable, available for and genuinely seeking work
  • be registered with the Office of the Revenue Commissioners as self-employed
  • satisfy a means test with 50% earnings from work as a writer
  • be a professional writer as certified by your Guild

If you meet the requirements as outlined above, these are the steps you should take.

Request from the Guild a ‘Certificate of Professional Membership’ (email: This Certificate will be posted to any member in good standing who requests it. Please note that members must bring hard copies of the Certificate, which are certified and stamped by the WGI, to their local DEASP office. For this reason Certificates will be sent to members by post and not by email.
Apply to your local DEASP office for the Jobseeker’s Allowance for Professional Artists Scheme, providing them with the ‘Certificate of Professional Membership’ and any other paperwork relevant to your application.
Should you encounter any difficulties, please feel free to contact the Guild and we’ll do our best to advise you.

If the DEASP give you access to this Scheme, this means that they recognise that you are a professional writer and your ‘activation’ period will be postponed for 12 months while you’re on this scheme. The rate of payment is the same as for Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Further information:

The Writers Guild of Ireland Wishes to Appoint a Director

2nd May 2019

The Writers Guild of Ireland wishes to appoint a Director to replace David Kavanagh, who is taking a post in Europe.

We are seeking a dynamic and driven person, who can manage and develop our existing goals and policies and, building on our ambitions for the Guild, lead the organisation in its next stage. The ideal candidate should have excellent negotiation skills, some experience in policy development and execution, and be passionate about the arts in Ireland, and writers and their requirements in particular.

The Director will represent the organisation nationally and internationally.

The successful candidate will have knowledge or experience of negotiation, familiarity with principles of copyright contracts and a good understanding of the film, television and theatre industries in Ireland. The guild is in receipt of state funding and a knowledge of application processes and procedures would be an advantage. The full-time post is for a minimum of three years, based on a six-month probation period and an annual salary review.  Annual salary €40,000.

Additional information and a description of the application and appointment procedure can be received on request from:   info[at]

Applications including c.v. should be emailed to:   info[at] by COB Friday May 24th 2019.

Initial interviews will take place on Thursday 6th or Friday 7th June 2019.

The successful candidate is expected to start work on or about the 2nd September 2019.