WGAW Connect: 2020
Connect updates WGAW members on important Guild matters and resources to help them navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Welcome to Connect.
Here you’ll find a variety of brief articles that will help inform you on how writers are coping personally and professionally with the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ll also get updates on important Guild matters and resources that can help you navigate through these times.
We’d like to hear from you about what kind of stories you’d like to see in Connect. Please send an email to Connect with your suggestions or comments.
Much like many of you, Guild staff is working remotely and will continue to provide offsite support to writers until we get official clearance to reopen WGAW headquarters.
We will come through this together.
Ask A Mentor: Cracking the Code
Aaron Rahsaan Thomas gives advice to a fellow Black writer on code switching.
Looking Ahead to the Biden-Harris Administration
The opportunities and challenges to come.
Get Started with the Start Button
Help the Guild help you get paid on time with this simple and effective online tool.
WGAW Genre Committee Hosts Creators Damon Lindelof and Ronald D. Moore
The Dec. 8 event was the first in the series “Conversations in Genre.”
Not Remotely Easy
Three limited series—Love in the Time of Corona, Connecting..., and Social Distance—take on the pandemic in form, substance, and real time. Only in the latest Written By Web Extra.
WGFestival 2020: The One That Was Virtual
Free for WGAW Members!
Is it Time to Incorporate?
Writers Education Committee and Committee of Black Writers offer resources on incorporating.
Focus: Residuals Lookup
Don’t forget about this indispensable tool.
The Hollywood Commission Releases Findings From Industry-Wide Worker Survey
The nonprofit works to eradicate harassment, discrimination, and abuse of power in the entertainment industry.
Get Out and Vote
You have many ways to cast your ballot in the 2020 Elections
Introducing the Middle Eastern Writers Committee
Co-chairs of the newly formed committee, Paiman Kalayeh and Cameron Fay, discuss the foundation of the committee and what lies ahead.
At Your Service
Four former Board members look back on their path to, and through, Guild leadership.
Native American & Indigenous Writers Committee Releases Open Letter to Hollywood
The committee calls for more authentic and equitable telling of Native American and Indigenous narratives.
Ask a Mentor: How to Be You
Mentor Kenny Smith has advice for introverted writers who need a little help selling themselves.
FOCUS: P&H Contributions and Sale of Literary Material
WGAW Career Longevity Committee Pens Open Letter to Hollywood
Committee Chair Catherine Clinch speaks out on behalf of older writers.
Entertainment Industry Town Hall
Join this upcoming event on unemployment benefits and eviction rights.
Written By Web Extra: Carl Reiner Remembered
WATCH: WGAW PAC Panel on Voting Rights
WGAW member Veena Sud interviews national voting rights experts about the threat of voter suppression.
Ask a Mentor: The Hardest Part
Mentor Jamie Rhonheimer has some advice about what to do while waiting for your next job.
WATCH: Understanding Your TV/Streaming and Feature Contracts
In these two panel events, representatives from the Guild and talent agency partners discuss what writers can do to get the most out of their television and feature contracts.
Organizing in Animation
Members successfully push for Guild coverage of short-form and TV animation projects.
US Census Hopes to Count on Writers
With so much at stake, WGAW partners with the 2020 census to remind members to respond before the September 30 deadline.
In Case You Missed It: Written By Fall 2020 Issue
WGAW Members Work to #RaiseThePercentage
How Black Lives Matter sparked a week of virtual coffees between staffed writers and the underrepresented.
Ask a Mentor: One Step Forward…
Jeff Stockwell explains what’s wrong with one-step deals and suggests what writers can do about them.
Interest in New Committee of Middle Eastern Writers Emerges
Inclusion and Equity Department hosts upcoming meeting to gauge member interest.
WGAW CAP Committees
What to look for in FYC ads.
Ask a Mentor: Make Your Meetings Count
Jeff Nathanson answers a feature writer’s question about general meetings.
Action Alert: We Need COVID Relief Now
With crucial aid set to expire in a week, passage of the HEROES Act is needed now more than ever.
A Gay Mexican Immigrant’s Journey from Novelist to Series Creator
WGAW member and Selena: The Series creator/co-showrunner Moisés Zamora shares his story about finding a community with Latinx and LGBTQ+ writers and why inclusion should be a priority in the industry.
Ask a Mentor: Are We Done Yet?
Danielle Sanchez-Witzel explains how to know when a script is ready for the world.
The Road to November
Congresswoman Karen Bass discusses police reform and political activism with showrunner Janine Sherman Barrois at WGAW PAC upcoming event.
“It’s Just Automatic”
Writers sound off about late pay successes from agency-provided information.
For LGBTQ+ Writers, Progress Is Not Always a Straight Line
LGBTQ+ Writers Committee Co-Chair Katrina Mathewson shares her reflections on the state of the LGTBQ+ community in the industry and society.
Ask a Mentor: True Talk
Y. Shireen Razack on talking in the writers’ room.
3rd & Fairfax Podcast: Hilliard Guess Talks With A Black Lady Sketch Show Creator Robin Thede
Guild Wins Late Pay Interest From Disney
Guild secures largest interest-only settlement in its history.
On Medical Series, Showrunners and Writers Ponder the Right Prescription
Medical drama writers balance writing worlds we know with the real world unknown.
On Medical Series, Doctor-Writers Give a Second Opinion
Drs. Daniela Lamas and David Renaud talk COVID-19, on the frontlines and in the writers' room.
WGAW Issues Latest Inclusion Report
Paying It Forward
WGAW member Sera Gamble seeks to inspire and educate with online writer Q&As.
Ask a Mentor
Established screen and TV writers answer your questions in this advice column.
Legislative Update and Action Alert: Congressional Response to COVID-19 Enters Phase 4
The country needs new relief legislation, but it remains stalled in the Senate.
I've Been Suspended Under My TV Contract! Now What?
Pandemic Past Is Prologue
A lesson from industry history on media consolidation.
The Write Spot
WGAW members show Connect where they write during the pandemic.
COVID-19 Resource Page Updates
As circumstances evolve, the Guild continues to expand online resources.
When Your Only Weapon Is Inaction
Writer Dennis Palumbo gives quarantined writers permission and perspective amid COVID-19.
Going In Blind
A visually impaired writer reflects on switching to a zoom room.
Mentorship Program Anchors New Members in Uncertain Times
The Guild’s new member mentorship program gives new writers practical guidance and hope.
Introducing: Ask a Mentor
Established screen and TV writers answer your questions in this new column.
CBS News Writers Win Release of Guaranteed Emergency Sick Leave Policy
WGAW members show the power of solidarity in action.
Show Us Where You Write in Quarantine
Get the Most Out of the WGA Platform
Launched nearly a year ago, the WGA Platform has become an important resource for members and industry executives who are looking to connect during nationwide stay-at-home orders.
Preserve Your Pandemic Stories in the WGF Archive
Give future generations a window into this moment for writers.
Writing Movies for the Outside World When You’re Stuck Inside
Feature writers discuss how the pandemic has affected their work, speculate on what kinds of stories will see theatrical release moving forward, and offer practical advice on pitching and staying focused.
What's Your Hacker's Motivation?
WGAW member and cybersecurity expert David Chasteen shares his tips for staying safe online.
3rd & Fairfax Podcast Special Edition: The Actors Fund and COVID-19
Webinar: Know Your Health Insurance Options
Not covered by the Writers Guild-Industry Health Fund? Learn about other options for coverage at this upcoming webinar.
Returning to the Night Shift
From hosts' backyards, garages, and iPhones, late-night writers keep the show running.
Take Action: May Day 2020
Celebrate solidarity with working people in the Los Angeles area and around the country.
Primetime Series Address Pandemic with Remotely Produced Special Episodes
All Rise and Parks and Recreation creative teams navigate COVID-19 restrictions with virtually produced episodes and one-time topical specials.
3rd & Fairfax Special: Understanding Unemployment Benefits with Employment Attorney Jennifer Kramer
Kramer answers common questions about unemployment benefits and resources available for writers affected by the pandemic.
Mini-Rooms Are Writers' Rooms. Period.
When it comes to working in advance of production or series pickup, negotiating the right contract terms is key.
Tales from the Trenches
Showrunners talk running writers’ rooms during the pandemic.
To Zoom or Not to Zoom
Writers have flocked to Zoom to keep writers' rooms going during the COVID-19 pandemic, but is the popular video conferencing app secure enough to be trusted?
Showrunners, Executives to Talk One-on-One with Writers at WGAW Inclusion and Equity Department's Virtual Meet-and-Greets
Though network and studio offices are closed around town, the Guild continues to provide access to employment opportunities for historically underrepresented members.
Written By and 3rd & Fairfax Podcast Serve Binge-able Content During Pandemic
Coping with COVID-19
Reminder for upcoming webinars hosted by EDD and Hollywood, Health & Society.
SIGN THE PETITION: CBS, We Need Sick Leave Now!
Stand with your fellow WGAW members at CBS.
WGAW Member Drives #GetUsPPE Efforts
WGAW member Tony Camerino mobilizes his networks to supply healthcare workers with critical protective gear.
Congress’ Pandemic Response Must Protect Our Benefits
How the Guild is working in Washington, D.C. to protect writers’ pension and health during the pandemic.
The Fight to Protect Grocery, Pharmacy, and Food Delivery Workers
UFCW 770 fights to protect members and others as Los Angeles adapts to the pandemic.
Coping with COVID-19
Reminder for upcoming webinars hosted by EDD and Hollywood, Health & Society.
Coping with Covid
In addition to the information available on the WGAW’s COVID-19 Resource page, writers can find support through two upcoming webinars on filing for unemployment or disability and coping with addiction during these times.
Writing At Home with Kids: Tips and Tales From Quarantine
For many writers who are parents, particularly of young children, the COVID-19 pandemic really hit home on Monday, March 16, when the Los Angeles Unified School District closed classrooms indefinitely.
It Takes Our Village: Hollywood Coalition Supports Below-the-Line Workers Impacted by COVID-19
While some writers are still able to work during the current coronavirus pandemic, the vast majority of the entertainment industry’s below-the-line workers—from assistants and key grips to craft services and drivers—have been immediately impacted by the virtual shutdown of TV and film production.
How Did WGAW Staff Transition to Remote Work? Thank the IT Department.
The WGAW’s IT Department has been doing some heavy lifting since Guild employees began working remotely in mid-March, shortly before CA Gov. Gavin Newsom enacted statewide stay-at-home orders.
Updates from 3rd & Fairfax Podcast and Written By
Looking for fresh content while you’re sheltering in place and staying home during the pandemic?
When It Comes to Writing Left Behind, Just Say No
In the fall of 2018, the WGAW launched an outreach and social media #NoWritingLeftBehind campaign to educate members on what to do when asked to leave written materials behind after a pitch meeting.
The Legal Services Department: Enforcement Continues Remotely
Even though we‘re now working remotely, the Legal Services Department continues to enforce the MBA, pursuing claims for violations of the contract.
Anxiety in the Time of COVID-19
In partnership with the Writers Guilds of America West and East, Hollywood, Health & Society is set to present a series of panel discussions—all hosted via Zoom—exploring a variety of topics related to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Now you can find information on the newly enacted emergency family and medical leave and sick leave benefits for those who have been forced to leave their jobs, and the new federal unemployment benefits.
Writers Lend a Hand and Find Help During COVID-19 Pandemic
During these unprecedented times when many writers are working remotely and others in the industry are out of work entirely, writers are coming together to help each other, help other industry workers in need, and spread the word about where to turn for assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Business as Unusual: Residuals Department
The staff of the Residuals Department have adapted quickly to continue to work hard for you.
Upcoming Upgrades to the WGA Platform
When production starts again, it will begin with the work of writers. The upgraded WGA Platform will give writers, executives, and showrunners a way to connect as we prepare for the future. Upgrades go live in April.
For a full list of COVID-19 resources for writers, visit the WGAW’s resource page.