How The Society of Authors is helping UK Writers

Why is nobody/no organization in the U.S. doing this?

Philip Pullman, president of The Society of Authors

by Alison Flood

A £330,000 emergency fund for authors is being launched to support those facing “unmanageable” losses from the cancellation of events, book tours and school visits during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Society of Authors, which launched the emergency fund, said that many authors were set to be affected, with some already losing thousands of pounds a day as work is called off.

“The financial challenges facing authors had become acute even before the current health crisis, with an increasing number approaching us for financial support. But now, they’re seeing unmanageable losses,” said chief executive Nicola Solomon. “It was clear that current levels of funding would fail to meet needs.”

Author Philip Pullman, the society’s president, said that the pandemic was making it “impossible” for authors to do their work, as much of it consisted of lecturing, visiting schools and teaching.

The grants are open to all professional authors resident in the UK or British subjects, are likely to be up to £2,000, and are “designed to meet urgent need”….

Read it all at

Cartoon: The Weight

In this time of stress, when we’re all trying to improve our coping skills, TVWriter™’s all-time favorite artist/philosopher, Grant Snider, has a few much-needed words and pictures to share.

See more of Grant Snider’s extraordinary perception of human creativity at Incidental Comics, HERE

Buy Grant’s new book, What Color is Night? at Amazon.Com!

Powerful News from the Writers Guild of America West

This update on current MBA Negotiations made us smile.

March 24, 2020
Dear Members,

We hope this email finds you all doing as well as can be expected in this time of uncertainty and instability.

It’s in that spirit that we want to update you on our current situation with the AMPTP. Although we had originally planned to meet with the AMPTP beginning March 23rd, given the current health crisis we cannot effectively negotiate this important three-year agreement in our usual fashion. It may not be possible to conclude a new contract by May 1st, nor will we be asking you for a strike authorization vote in the interim. Even if no new contract is in place by May 1st, writers can continue working under the 2017 agreement. We are discussing several options with the companies, including a potential contract extension, but we think it is most sensible to continue to evaluate the constantly – it seems hourly – changing situation before making a decision about the most strategically optimal way forward.

This is not a time for rash decisions or pressured outcomes. Instead we are conferring with public health authorities, financial analysts, other guilds and unions, legislators, benefit fund experts and others to gather information as the situation continues to evolve.

The Negotiating Committee continues to meet regularly – via teleconference – to discuss options. Although we realize that members would like to know exactly what will happen and when, those determinations may take some time, so we ask for your patience and understanding. The committee is determined to make the best possible decision about the path forward. Rest assured, we will continue to put writers’ health and their current and future well-being above all else. To avoid unnecessary anxiety and confusion, please remember the only reliable source of information about these MBA negotiations is your Guild.

In Solidarity,

MBA Negotiating Committee

Michele Mulroney, Co-Chair
Shawn Ryan, Co-Chair
Betsy Thomas, Co-Chair

Liz Alper
Arash Amel
John August
Amy Berg
Ashley Nicole Black
Adam Brooks
Francesca Butler
Patti Carr
Robb Chavis
Meg DeLoatch
Travis Donnelly
Kate Erickson
Dante W. Harper
Eric Heisserer
Melissa London Hilfers
Elliott Kalan
Chris Keyser
Adele Lim
Peter Murrieta
Luvh Rakhe
Dailyn Rodriguez
Erica Saleh
Sara Schaeffer
David Slack
Lauren Ashley Smith
Meredith Stiehm
Patric M. Verrone

David A. Goodman, Ex-Officio
Marjorie David, Ex-Officio
Beau Willimon, Ex-Officio
Kathy McGee, Ex-Officio
Bob Schneider, Ex-Officio

Writers Guild of America West
7000 West Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Herbie J Pilato On TV’s Wonder Couple, Lynda Carter and Lyle Waggoner

by Herbie J Pilato

From 1975 (in ABC’s World War II setting) to 1979 (for the CBS then-contemporary version), Lynda Carter and Lyle Waggoner utilized grace and humor in portraying lead characters Diana Prince and Steve Trevor in the same, but different — if twin — television adaptations of Woman Woman.

Today, the seemingly-immortal Carter remains active in nearly every aspect of the entertainment industry. But sadly, Waggoner succumbed to cancer at 84-years-old on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2020.

Before Wonder Woman, Waggoner was best-known as the announcer-turned-performer on The Carol Burnett Show from 1967 to 1974. While the Burnett program continued until 1978 without him, Waggoner found new fame as the father and son editions of Steve Trevor opposite Carter, then a fresh-faced newcomer (and former Miss World USA), in the 1975 TV-movie and backdoor pilot, The All-New, Original Wonder Woman.

TV watchers tuned in by the groves, and that film turned into a series of ABC one-hour specials, followed by two more regular seasons on CBS.

Many viewers were charmed by Carter and Waggoner’s very human and approachable TV interpretations of their comic book roles. “That’s exactly what I tried to do,” Carter in particular once recalled. “Wonder Woman possessed superpowers, but her special abilities did not solely define who she was. With Wonder Woman, people had a chance to see something that they hadn’t seen before on TV -a physically able, emotionally and psychologically stable, independent woman with a fantasy element….”

Read it all at Medium.Com

Writer/producer Herbie J Pilato is the host of the TV talk show THEN AGAIN WITH HERBIE J PILATO, now streaming on Amazon Prime and the author of several pop-culture/media tie-in books. He has been part of TVWriter™ for over 20 years and is Contributing Editor Emeritus. Learn more about Herbie J HERE

Star Trek: Picard Review – Who is Brent Spiner Really Playing?

TVWriter™ doesn’t do a lot of TV episode reviews these days, but this one – discovered on IndieWire.Com definitely has caught our attention. This TVWriter™ minion definitely is lovin’ Christian Blauvelt’s intriguing reasoning!

Brent Spiner as Alton Soong of the the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Aaron Epstein/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

by Christian Blauvelt

Consider this writer impressed.

“Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1” does a spectacular job of synthesizing the style of “The Next Generation” with that of “The Original Series” — and the result is something new altogether.

What does that mean? Well, think about this: we’ve got a race of higher life forms that look somewhat human, but in manner are clearly not. Their women are scantily clad, unnaturally hued, and a tad spacey. Their men, shirtless, leave no impression at all. And they all live in a kind of Eden where any disruption to their utopian ways could result in an apocalyptic, deus ex machina solution. They also use giant space flowers as weapons!

This could be the setup of any number of “Original Series” episodes. But then you throw Brent Spiner in the mix as a self-described “mad scientist” and Jean-Luc Picard’s speechifying and you’ve got a dash of “Next Gen” added to the mix. The combination of the two results in a synthesis that could be the defining aesthetic of “Star Trek: Picard.”

Other than “Nepenthe,” this is surely the best episode of this uneven series to date, and it began with a bang: a space battle between La Sirena and Narek’s Romulan craft upon emerging from the transwarp corridor. They’d traveled 25 light years in 15 minutes and emerged above the world Coppelius — a name that has its origin in a strange E.T.A. Hoffmann story. More on that later….

Read it all at