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A few weeks ago, I joined the Writers' Guild in the UK. The Writers' Guild is one of the many thorough unions for writers and they work very close together with other creative unions and fight for fair payment for writers and are in regular contact with the BBC and ITV. Their prime aim is to make all writers feel valued, whether they work in television, radio, theatre, or in books.
This is the first time they've held a meeting in Birmingham and they had a good turnout. One of the members of the committee even said, "You put London to shame."
Being a part of the meeting was an educational event for me. I found the guest speakers to be motivational and full of industry experience. I met writers who had been involved in many beloved British exports like Midsummer Murders, Call the Midwife, and EastEnders and many of the people I spoke to had been members of the guild for over ten years.
Being a member of the trade union offers a range of benefits including free lifetime membership with ALCS and discounts to several online courses and theatres across the country. I already had an ALCS account prior to joining the guild, but I'm proud to be a part of both groups.
The vibe in the room was positive. Everybody's opinions were valued and they all had a chance to speak up and discuss changes to their policies. There was a very heated debate about regulating vs mediating which left many people confused with the motion. Fortunately, the other motions were clearer to understand.
And on top of that, there were light refreshments and a lovely diverse collection of teas and coffees available. There was, of course, the afterparty which seemed lovely. Sadly, I couldn't go to the afterparty as I had to be back for my local writing group. However, judging from the pictures on Twitter, it seems like everyone had a lovely time.
The email I received prior to the event recommenced a restaurant called Marmalade which is linked with the theatre nearby. It was quite a disappointing experience. We waited a long time for our food and I ended up getting fries instead of soup. But at that point, I was that hungry, I decided not to complain and eat the fries anyway. The poor service from the restaurant was the only negative about the whole day. So, that’s not that bad.
So far, being a member of The Writers' Guild has proven to be a worthy investment. I've enjoyed mingling and being with many talented writers from various fields and it's really opened my eyes to how writing is an important part of the economy.
I've discovered many future outlets I can turn to if I want to discover a career in writing. They really sold me into looking into radio and theatre writing. I've written many things but never anything for radio of theatre before, so it could be a new and exciting experience for me.
It made me feel hopeful for me and other writers like myself. I did take a lot of notes during the talk and found myself making a list of a dozen roles a writer can take. And with the support of the guild, I think anyone can take those steps.
Writers form the foundation of the creative industry and I found many of the talks empowering and motivating. The guild is actively seeking new members and volunteers to spread so that writers know that they are not alone and are entitled by law to have support.
I found myself agreeing with a lot of the statements mentioned in the meeting. We shouldn't give up our dreams and passions of becoming a writer.
As a book lover, I thought the venue was perfect. It's one of the biggest libraries I've ever been in and looks stunning in the inside.