ABOUT US

Who We Are

The Writers Guild of South Africa (WGSA) is a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) and a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO).

Our mission is to protect, empower and develop performance writers in the local film, television, radio, stage, animation, and new media (internet – mobile and digital distribution, and gaming).

Our vision is to become, “a self-sustainable and united guild representing the collective interests of ALL performance writers in the local film, television, radio, stage, animation, and new media (internet – mobile and digital distribution, and gaming).”

Our mandate is governed by a constitution and a council. All activities are executed by volunteer council members and a part-time Executive Officer.

Where We Come From

The following are a few fast facts about our humble beginnings:

  • Established on 8 May 2009. Aimed at advancing screenwriting and filling the gap left by the defunct South African Scriptwriters’ Association (SASWA).
  • Hired a part-time Executive Officer, created our first strategic plan, and registered as a Non-Profit Organisation in 2010.
  • Funded by the Arts and Culture Trust (ACT), found our first “home” in Linden, and the first council embarked on a membership drive in 2011.
  • Approved as International Affiliation of Writers Guild (IAWG) Associate Member in 2012 (granted Full Membership in 2016).
  • Entries opened for the inaugural WGSA Muse Awards in 2013.

Find more milestones and our full history here

What we do

Our Overarching Principles

1.       One writer has less power alone than with the power of many.

2.       No writer should have to face an employer alone.

We are here to accomplish collectively what cannot be accomplished by one writer alone.

Our Core Business

To protect members’ interests, empower and develop members:

We protect the rights of our members through the Advocacy and Legal Services Programme:
  • Performance Writer Rights (Copyright / Intellectual Property)
  • Standard Contracts
  • Minimum Standard Rates
  • Taxation of Independent Contractors
  • Sectoral Determination / Bargaining Council
  • Establishment of a Collection Agency
  • Legal Service
    • Member Advice
    • Script Registry

We empower our members through two programmes: 

The Members’ Services Programme

  • Discounted Services, Products and Opportunities (i.e. Final Draft Software, IMDBPro, Free the Black List access)
  • Job Alerts / Work Opportunities
  • WGSA Muse Awards (acknowledging the work of members and increasing their status in the industry)
  • Federation of African Screenwriters Conference (on hold until further notice)

The Communications Programme

  • Members Online Networking Platform (a community of performance writers)
  • Full Member of the South African Screen Federation (SASFED)
  • Full Member of the International Affiliation of Writers Guild (IAWG)
  • Unifying performance writers’ groups
We develop our members and other performance writers through the Professional Development Programme
  • Outreach Project (in partnership with the Department of Sports, Arts, and Culture)
  • Online Workshops
  • International Workshops / Webinars
  • Knowledge Share Sessions, Seminars, and Workshops

PLEASE NOTE: Our programmes cannot be implemented in isolation. All programmes are interdependent:

                                                  

The programmes form part of our Core Service Delivery Strategy. The strategy represents how WGSA will achieve its purpose and hightest aspirations and is the reason why WGSA exists. However, it cannot be implemented successfully without the Capacity Building Strategy.

Find out more about the WGSA strategic plan here

Our Organisational Structure

There are seven (7) council members each responsible for overseeing a specific portfolio

  1. Chairperson: Strategic Relations
  2. Vice-Chairperson: Advocacy
  3. Treasurer: Capacity Building
  4. Legal Services: Members Advice, IP, and Copyright
  5. Communications: Marketing and Branding
  6. Membership: Benefits
  7. Professional Development: Workshops and Outreach

View our organisational structure here.

What We Don’t Do

 

Although the WGSA accomplishes a great deal for its members and writers in general, there are a few things we don’t do.

  • We don’t find employment for you, refer or recommend any particular performance writer for assignments, but we do facilitate employment opportunities via job alerts.
  • We don’t evaluate or edit your work but facilitate access to script editors via job alerts.
  • We don’t provide a typing service but can facilitate this opportunity to keen members.
  • We don’t submit your work to producers, but we host pitching workshops (and sometimes pitching sessions for our members).
  • We will not sell or share our membership database for solicitation purposes.