Showing posts with label Writers' Guild of South Africa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Writers' Guild of South Africa. Show all posts

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Writers’ Guild of South Africa becomes a full member of the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds (AIWG); 2019 AGM set to be held in South Africa.

After 8 years of lobbying, the Writers' Guild of South Africa (WGSA) has finally secured its seat at the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds (IAWG).

At the 31st Annual General Meeting (AGM) in October hosted by the Writers Guild of America West in Los Angeles, America, the WGSA signed the Memorandum of Incorporation.

"This is a proud and historical moment for the Guild and for South African screenwriters because not only does it afford our writers protection when taking on international projects, but knowing that our Guild has the support of the IAWG and all its members also bolsters our efforts in fighting for the rights of our writers locally," says Khobi Ledwaba, WGSA chairperson.

"This is really big for us, and it certainly should inspire us to say that things can't just continue to be business as usual. We're now on a world stage and we need to do better."

The IAWG was established in 1986 to address the globalization of the entertainment industry and improve the working conditions of professional film and television writers worldwide through collective action, mutual support and common representation internationally.

Its member guilds work on behalf of 50 000 writers throughout the world in the areas of collective bargaining, standard contracts, credit disputes, government lobbying, and the promotion of the essential role of the writer as a creator in the film making process.

Membership of the IAWG is not open to individual screenwriters, but writers are represented at the affiliation by their home guilds.

"It's taken many years and the blood, sweat and tears of numerous Guild chairs, council members and executive officers like Thea Aboud and Nonkosi Slatsha to make this happen. When we were notified that the Memorandum of Incorporation was signed, there was hardly a dry eye in the room," says Harriet Meier, a previous chairperson of the WGSA.

The Writers' Guild of South Africa is working on hosting the WGA West early in 2018 to help with lobbying and negotiations with local broadcasters to ensure that South African writers are paid fair rates, rebroadcast fees and royalties, and to structure a Collection Agency that is on par with the rest of the world.

The WGA West has also offered their support in guiding the WGSA through the minefield that encompasses writing for digital and new media productions.

The WGSA was also selected to host the 2019 IAWG annual general meeting in South Africa.

This will bring some of the most powerful writers and writers' unions to South Africa in 2019 and the first time in its 31 year history that the IAWG will be coming to Africa.

This annual general meeting will run in conjunction with the WGSA Writers Festival.

"It's a huge achievement for the Writers' Guild of South Africa and an incredible moment for South African screenwriters - to be part of the international family of writers," says Thandi Brewer, first chairperson of the WGSA.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Writers' Guild of South Africa presents two day workshop with 'story doctor' Peter Russell in May in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.

The Writers' Guild of South Africa (WGSA) is having a two day workshop in May with Peter Russell, a longtime "story doctor" in Hollywood whose clients include Imagine Films, HBO, Participant, Viacom, CBS Television and many more.

Peter Russell teaches film and television pilot creation at the MFA Screenwriting Program at Pepperdine University and also teaches at UCLA's Entertainment Division of the Extension School.

In May 2016 Peter Russell will present workshops on the "Secret Patterns of Writing for Different Genres"in Johannesburg (14,15 May from 08:30 to 16:30), Durban (12 May from 09:00 to 15:00) and Cape Town (21,22 May from 08:30 to 16:30).

The two day workshop will include (day 1) an introduction to the 9 elements of all great movie stories, the beats of a story (20 essential moments your script should have); and the "Secrets of Writing for Television Drama", with an additional module on character-driven shows like True Detective Season 1.

On day two the workshop will cover the secret patterns of multiple genres to clarify the functional differences in story structure between genres, as well as for the sake of comparison.

The two day workshop costs R4000 for WGSA members in Johannesburg or Cape Town, R3800 for WGSA student members, and R4600 for non-WGSA members. There is an early bird special price of R3500 for WGSA members buying a ticket before 15 February, R3200 for WGSA student members and R4100 for non-WGSA members.

The one day workshop in Durban costs R2000 for WGSA members (R1750 early bird), R1900 for WGSA student members (R1600 early bird) and R2300 for non-WGSA members (R2050 early bird).

For bookings and more information email

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Entries open for the 2015 Writers' Guild of South Africa Muse Awards; additional categories added for writers, awards ceremony set for 2 April 2016.

I wasn't aware of it, but entries have opened for the 2015 Writers' Guild of South Africa Muse Awards and closes on 15 October.

The 2015 WGSA Muse Awards is the only award in South Africa that exclusively honours the South African performance writer and has added additional categories for this year's competition which will take place on Saturday 2 April 2016.

The 2015 WGSA Muse Awards will likely be televised as well.

The Writers' Guild of South Africa is the only organised  industry association in South Africa with the sole purpose of protecting, developing and empowering performance writers in the local film, television, radio, stage, animation and new media industries and is a member of SASFED.

The 2015 WGSA Muse Awards now accept entries - until 15 October - in 8 different script categories:

1. Screen (Feature Film, Short Film)
2. Television (Drama, Soap, Sitcom/Comedy)
3. Documentary (Feature, Series, Short)
4. Stage Play
5. Radio Drama
6. Animation (Feature, Series, Short)
7. Games
8. Web Series

Unproduced scripts may be entered in any genre.

panel of independent judges will be looking for excellence in concept and theme, characterisation, genre, language and style, story and structure, pace, dialogue, and professional format and presentation. 

Every nominee will receive a personalised nomination certificate, and each winner will receive a personalised Winner's Certificate and a WGSA Muse Trophy.

Judging for the 2015 WGSA Muse Awards will take place during November 2015 to middle February 2016, with the nominees announced at the end of February 2016.

This will be followed by the 2015 WGSA Muse Awards ceremony, which will take place on Saturday, 2 April 2016 at the Soweto Theatre.

All entries must be submitted online. The online entry system, competition rules and regulations can be found on the Writers' Guild of South Africa's website at

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Writers' Guild of South Africa announces WGSA Muse Awards 2014/2015 nominees, adds M-Net as sponsor.

The 2nd WGSA Muse Awards 2014/2015 ,organised by the Writers' Guild of South Africa (WGSA), has announced its nominees for the awards ceremony set to take place late in April and has added M-Net as a sponsor.

The WGSA Muse Awards 2014/2015 will once again recognise writers in film, television, radio, stage and new media for their contribution to South African entertainment industry.

"A substantial number of entries were received for the WGSA Muse Awards and we would like to thank all the writers who submitted their scripts for consideration," says Harriet Meier, WGSA chairperson. 

"The top three scripts reaching or surpassing the standard set by the minimum judging criteria will make up the nominees. These screenplays will proceed to the next phase, where the winners will be selected by a new set of judges, which include big name international writers, agents and Writers' Guild representatives from around the world," says Harriet Meier.

M-Net has come aboard as the headline sponsor for the awards event.

"For the past 29 years, M-Net has remained a proud sponsor of local arts and culture initiatives. This event confirms our belief in the very important and often undervalued role which writers in various disciplines play in South Africa," says Kershnee Govender, M-Net's corporate affairs director.

"These writers bring the many diverse stories of our multi-faceted society to life, in so doing enriching the lives and cultural fabric of all who come into contact with their work."

The nominees for the WGSA Muse Awards 2014/15 are:

Animation: 1) Tracy Eccles: Wheelin’

Documentary: 1) David Forbes:  The Cradock Four
2) Meg Richards:  1994:  The Bloody Miracle
3) Peter Goldsmid:  Dance Up From The Street

TV Comedy / Sitcom: 1) Fidel Namisi: Call Centre
2) Joshua Rous: By the Numbers

TV Drama: 1) Amor Tredoux:  Danz! Episode 6
2) Marina Bekker:  Thola Episode 1
3) Shirley Johnston: Traffic:  Episode 25

TV Drama: 1) Amor Tredoux:  Danz! Episode 6
2) Marina Bekker:  Thola Episode 1
3) Shirley Johnston: Traffic:  Episode 25

Stage Play: 1)  Janet van Eeden: A Matter of Time
2) Janet van Eeden: In-Gene-Uity
3) Janet van Eeden: The Savage Sisters

Spec Script: 1) Fidel Namisi:  Bring Back Lost Lover
2) Hanneke Schutte: Meerkat Moonship
3) Zamo Mkhwanazi: The Good Doctor

No nominations were made for Radio Plays, and the over 100 Feature Film entries received were all for unproduced screenplays.

The WGSA organisers decideed to dedicate the Spec Script in Any Genre category this year solely to feature films, and to include unproduced work in other genres in their own genre categories.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Writers' Guild of South Africa (WGSA) hands out Muse Awards in another monumental step forward in recognising TV and film writers in South Africa.

Shirley Johnston accepts her Muse Award Trophy for Felix as best feature script at the inaugural WGSA Muse Awards.

Recognising, valuing and rewarding writers in television and film in South Africa took yet another monumental step forward when the Writers' Guild of South Africa (WGSA) held the country's inaugural WGSA Muse Awards on Saturday evening at the Barnyard Theatre in Cresta Johannesburg.

Award winners who received a Muse Award Trophy include Fidel Namisi for Tooth and Nails (Best TV comedy script), Joshua Rous for the pilot episode of SABC3's High Rollers (Best TV drama script), Gisele Turner for eLimboland (Best stage play script), Shirley Johnston for Felix (Best feature script) and Kelsey Egan for The Chemist, a feature film (Best spec script, unproduced work).

Fidel Namisi who won for Tooth and Nails as Best TV comedy script.

Thandi Brewer received the WGSA Special Service Award.

"Finally there is an award which acknowledges the creators of local entertainment; the incredibly talented writers who take an idea and give it life, a face and unique character, which is then brought to the screen by the actors, directors and producer," says Harriet Meier, WGSA chairperson.

The WGSA believes that the Muse Awards will grow to become a regular and much-anticipated event on the local calendar.

Harriet Meier, WGSA chairperson addresses the Muse Awards audience.

WGSA member Richard H. Nosworthy of Plum Productions headed a team of musicians, vocalists and performers from the South African Guild of Actors (SAGA) to produce the WGSA Muse Awards with Jack Devnarain (Rajesh in Isidingo) who was the master of ceremonies.

Zama Mkosi, the chairperson of the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) delivered the keynote speech at the WGSA Muse Awards which ran for 100 minutes, as scheduled, with a wide cross-section of representatives from South Africa's broadcasting industry present.

Joshua Rous who won for High Rollers as Best TV drama script. 

Muse Award Trophies were presented to winners by Verona Duwarkah (the head of SABC Television), Ayanda Halimana (commissioning editor at Mzansi Magic and Mzansi Wethu TV channels), David Makubyane (the acting general manager of local conten tfor On Digital Media and StarSat), Paul Raleigh (producer of the Oscar-winning film Tsotsi, and Nkateko Mabaso (general manager of M-Net's local interest channels).

The WGSA Muse Awards was followed by dinner and a good networking session and many attendees stayed for the Barnyard show, Battle of the Sexes.

The WGSA says writers who are not yet members are invited to join the guild and become eligible to submit their work for the next WGSA Muse Awards and can email

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Time running out to enter scripts for the inaugural Writers' Guild of South Africa's Muse Awards.

It was a dark and stormy night.

And the number of those dark and stormy nights are fast running out to still enter for the inaugural Writers' Guild of South Africa's Muse Awards set to honour and celebrate writers labouring within South Africa's TV, stage and film community.

The WGSA Muse Awards forms part of the WGSA's schedule of initiatives to strengthen the writing profession by offering skills development programmes as well as protecting the interests of South African writers.

Writers still have until 15 November to enter, and can do so online here, visit or you can contact the WGSA office on, tel: 011 888 4349 or cell 082 575 6901.

Entry for WGSA members is R100 per entry. Non-members who join the WGSA now will get membership until end February 2015. Winners will be announced at a gala event early in 2014.

The 6 categories for which entries will be accepted for the 2013 WGSA Muse Awards include:
• Feature Film
• TV Drama
• TV Comedy
• Documentary
• Stage Play
• Unproduced in any genre

"With the growth in the South African film and television industry it is critical that credit is given where credit is due," says Harriet Meier, WGSA chairperson.

"Often it is an overlooked fact that it is the writers who are the backbone of the film and TV industry, as without their vivid imaginations there would be nothing to watch on our screens."

"WGSA has created the WGSA Muse Awards to recognise the hard work done by our members in the South African film, TV and entertainment industry. It is an award by writers for writers, which finally shines the spotlight on the often forgotten custodians of SA arts and culture."

For the WGSA Muse Awards, while the main language of the entries should be English, short dialogue sequences in other South African official languages are acceptable as long as English translations are supplied.

As the Muse Awards grow, more categories will be added, including new media, gaming, animation, shorts and a category for student writers, says the organisation.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cape Town branch of the Writers' Guild of South Africa (WGSA) to kick off the year with filmmaker Revel Fox on Thursday, 23 February.

The Cape Town branch of the Writers' Guild of South Africa (WGSA) will be kicking of 2012 officially with filmmaker Revel Fox who will be talking next Thursday evening, 23 February about the scriptwriting process.

Booking are essential (send email to:
since the event includes wine, snacks and parking access at the University of Cape Town's Hiddingh Campus in Gardens. All performance writers stand to benefit from the latest developments at the WGSA and the organisation says non-writers are also welcome to attend.

The official Cape Town opening of WGSA for 2012 takes place at 18:00 for 18:30 next Thursday evening at UCT's Hiddingh Campus in Orange Street in Gardens (opposite the Labia Cinema).

Saturday, November 19, 2011

BREAKING. Writers' Guild of South Africa (WGSA) part of the public protest action against the SABC coming on 24 November at 13:00.

The Writers' Guild of South Africa (WGSA) has joined and is taking part in the massive public protest action directed at the SABC and planned for this coming Thursday 24 November at 13:00.

South Africa's TV industry is planning a massive public protest directed at South Africa's public broadcaster set to take place this coming Thursday at 13:00 at the SABC's Auckland Park headquarters in Henley Avenue as well as at the visitors' centre of parliament in Cape Town.

The WGSA, the trade body representing writers in the TV, film, radio and theatre industry in South Africa, is adding their voice to the picketing action and has called on WGSA members to join the public protest. South Africa's TV industry is demanding the immediate removal of dr Ben Ngubane, the SABC chairperson, wants more local TV content, and more strategic and accountable leadership at South Africa's public broadcaster plagued by management instability.

''The WGSA is supporting this call and call all writers and friends of the filming industry in South Africa to stand with us on Thursday 24 November at 13:00 at the picket line,'' says the WGSA. ''Please support this cause of action.''

A similar public protest took place in 2009 at the SABC when South Africa's exasperated TV industry and struggling local TV production sector demanded immediate intervention at the SABC.

The SABC didn't respond to media enquiries made this week about the industry's demand that dr Ben Ngubane step down, or the planned public protest action.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

BREAKING. Thandi Brewer of the Writers' Guild of South Africa speaking at New York conference; will ask support for local scriptwriters.

Thandi Brewer, the chairperson of the Writers' Guild of South Africa (WGSA) as well as WGSA administrator Thea Aboud have both left South Africa to visit New York to attend the annual general conference of the International Affiliation of Writers' Guilds that will be taking place from 21 to 23 October.

This is a major development for the WGSA, as well as for the writers' collective of South Africa's TV industry in which writers are constantly discarded, overlooked, underpaid and not given enough credit and recognition.

In South Africa TV writers are a crucial link in the value production chain of making and creating local content, yet they are generally disenfranchised in a system where those abused puppies at the SPCA actually receive better treatment. If the writers of Friends, one of the most hugely successful TV shows ever in the world said (although jokingly) that ''Often the only sunshine that comes into the room is when lunch comes through the door'', imagine what the situation is like for South African writers even lower on the production totem pole. And yet they endure.

This is the first time ever that an official South African Writers' Guild has been invited to attend the conference, which this year is hosted by the Writers' Guild of America East. The WGSA protects, promotes and try to help scriptwriters in South Africa's film and television industry.

I'm told that Thandi Brewer will deliver a report on the WGSA at the conference and has also been invited to the auspicious President's Dinner.

At the conference Thandi Brewer will lobby the WGSA's sister organisations overseas for support of the local writers in South Africa. She will also be meeting with American TV and film producers during her time in New York to encourage co-productions with South Africa and to open the doors for South Africa writers to sell their scripts overseas.

As official WGSA spokesperson for the Jameson First Shot short film competition, Thandi Brewer will also meet with actor Kevin Spacey (who will star in the winning SA short film entry) and invite him to become the second international ambassador of the WGSA.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

BREAKING. The Writers' Guild of South Africa 'appalled' and 'desperately sad' over SABC's cutbacks on local TV content.

Appalling. Desperately sad. A disservice to the South African public.

These are the words of the The Writers' Guild of South Africa (WGSA) representing writers in the TV, radio and theatre industry as this organisation is reacting to this morning's shocking appearance of the SABC board before parliament's portfolio committee on communications.

The portfolio committee and National Treasury took the South African public broadcaster to task for apparently cutting back on its budget for local TV content in a misplaced attempt to try and bring down its overheads and overall cost.

ALSO READ: At the SABC ''short term cost cutting is happening on content, posing a longer term risk for the SABC,'' National Treasury tells parliament.
ALSO READ: ''The SABC needs to get their house in order before they get further public funds,'' says the Support Public Broadcasting Coalition (SOS) pressure group.

''We am appalled and saddened by this short term thinking of the SABC regarding cutting back on local content,'' says the WGSA in a statement. ''Obviously this affects the livelihood of our members, but even more so it is a disservice to the South African public who the SABC are supposed to serve. This is desperately sad.''

ALSO READ: Shocker! SABC asks parliament for money AGAIN. Broadcaster failing to meet targets of government's loan guarantee; no plans submitted to National Treasury.
ALSO READ: Now the SABC wants almost R7 BILLION from the government over the next 3 years.
ALSO READ: SABC is ordered back to parliament in mid-October to explain what is going on.