September 17, 2010 Jill

The International Affiliation of Writers Guilds promotes the interests of screenwriters.  The member guilds are the Writers Guild of Canada, the Writers Guild of America east and west, the Writers Guild of Great Britain, Australian Writers Guild, New Zealand Writers Guild, the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild and SARTEC (Société des Auteurs de Radio, Télévision et Cinéma), the guild which represents French language screenwriters in Canada.

The IAWG meets once a year somewhere in the world to discuss matters of import to screenwriters everywhere.  This years meetings are in Ireland and they start Monday.  I will be there representing the WGC.

I have been to the IAWG before. When we last host in Toronto, I was an observer; I sat on the periphery rather than at the table with grownups.  The year WGA went on strike — 2007 — the meetings were in Montreal and I got to attend again.  It was quite exciting because we were all riled up to support the American’s job action.  But also because I got to know a little bit about screenwriting in New Zealand, Mexico, Ireland, Australia, France, Iceland and more.

I’m not sure whether any writers from the WGAw will actually attend this time.  There is an election on down there and we won’t have the results till later today.

But the Scriptwriters Guild of Israel and FEDALA (Federacion de Escritores y Directores Audiovisuales Latinoamericanos) are sending observers.  And on Monday we are meeting with representatives of the screenwriting guilds of the European Union.

It will be a great opportunity to find out what is going on in television and writing around the world.

I wish all the member guilds would bring DVDs of some of the work being produced in their jurisdiction. Very little TV travels around the world.  I have no idea what the shows coming out of many of these countries are like.  I imagine that the writers from other guilds will be able to point me to some stuff on YouTube and other web destinations, but some of the best shows will be geo-blocked and hidden from view.

I wish I had a DVD of a selection of Canadian written series to share with the writers from other guilds… maybe next year.

I’m excited to report back on what I learn.  A very exciting week lies ahead.

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