A survey by the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) found that 55% of writers have been affected by the rising cost of living.
They said rising energy and food costs throughout 2022 have affected their ability to pursue writing careers, which has had a serious impact on their livelihoods and industries. cultures that depend on their skills.
The WGGB survey of more than 250 writers revealed other factors that impacted their ability to write, including: having less time to work or applying for funding, development programs or other opportunities .
67% of respondents said they had to rely on their savings to manage day-to-day expenses, while 37% said they had to rely on their partner’s income. Over 70% of respondents had earned £18,000 or less for their writing work in the last financial year. The majority (over 80%) said they were freelance writers, highlighting the precarious nature of employment for the screenwriters, playwrights, authors, audio dramatists and video game authors the union represents.
The survey also highlighted an industry-wide dearth of opportunities and an increase in bad practices. Several respondents pointed out that real wages were not rising with inflation as the creative industries continued to experience the twin shocks of Brexit and Covid. There have been numerous reports of late payments, reduced production budgets and reduced audience size.
TV, film, theatre, audio, book, comedy and video game writers have said they are concerned about how increases in the cost of living will affect the creative industries, with many fearing that declining demand among the public and consumers will force organizations to close. Independent video game studios, cinemas, publishers and screen production companies were cited by many respondents as being particularly at risk.
WGGB General Secretary Ellie Peers said: “Having experienced the dual impact of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, writers now face a severe cost of living crisis, as our new investigation. The UK is facing a series of losses in writing talent, which threatens to pull the rug out from under our world-class cultural industries, which contribute over £100billion to our economy and enjoy an enviable global profile. We will work with our industry partners to address the impact of the cost of living crisis on writers, we will continue to campaign and lobby, and we will defend our members against malpractice wherever we found them.