The Writers’ Union of Canada Broadens Support for Authors
Just seven years ago, self-published authors were not eligible for membership in The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC). Now, in addition to sponsoring the Whistler Independent Book Awards, TWUC has introduced a point-based approach to membership that recognizes the diversity of Canadian writing experiences. To be eligible for membership, writers now need a total of six points that can be accumulated in a variety of ways. Authors of professionally produced books, whether traditionally or self-published, acquire six points, but points are also awarded for shorter works, academic training, creative collaborations, juried awards, mentorships and more.
This new approach allows TWUC to deliver even more value to its members. In addition to networking, promotional and development opportunities, paid readings programs and group benefit coverage, members will now be able to access professional advice and advocacy earlier in their careers. “What this means for the Union’s work,” added TWUC Executive Director John Degen, “is that we will now be able to offer contract advice to authors before they sign their first book deal. Too many first-time authors enter into agreements they later regret for one reason or another. We look forward to helping up-and-coming authors make better deals for themselves.”