APWG Call for Evidence

This Call for Evidence launches on 14 June 2018 and closes on 2nd August 2018.

The All Party Parliamentary Writers Group, which keeps MPs and Lords from all sides of the political spectrum informed on issues pertinent to writers, launches an inquiry into authors’ earnings and to identify what environment writers need to enable them to flourish in the future.

Writers contribute to the richness of our diverse culture and the success of our creative industries. To preserve this continued contribution, it is important to make sure writers have the freedom to share and make a living through their work.

Who should participate?

The Group would like to hear from all types of writers as well as the organisations involved in the industry including unions, agents and publishers.

Why is it necessary?

Two prominent reports into authors’ earnings, commissioned by the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society and carried out in 2005 and 2013 have shown a steep decline in both authors’ earnings and the number of authors who made a living from their writing. In the 2005 report carried out by the University of Bournemouth the number of professional writers (those who dedicate the majority of their time to writing) who earned their living solely from writing was 40%; by 2013 in a report carried out by Queen Mary, University of London, this figure had fallen dramatically to 11.5%. The results of a more recent survey are due out during the lifespan of this inquiry.

Both reports also identified a downward trend regarding authors’ earnings. In 2005 the typical (median) income of a professional author was £12,220 but by 2013 this had fallen to £11,000.

The outcome of this Inquiry will be presented at the All Party Parliamentary Writers Group Winter Reception on 4th December 2018.

Aims of the Inquiry

The Group seeks to:

– Further develop our understanding of how authors’ earnings have changed over time

– Create an understanding of the market pressures and relationship that affect authors’ earnings especially in today’s digital and global economy

– Understand the impact of the current legislative landscape on writers

– Review the opportunities to improve the position of authors through legislation and regulation

Evidence Gathering

The Group invites written evidence on the following areas:

Professional challenges specific to authors such as regularity of earnings, varied sources of income, how these have changed and their impact on both the day-to-day livelihood and career of authors.

The position of writers within the creative industries, the market pressures on them and how they have been affected by the development of creative industries in the UK.

The Impact of Brexit on writers and copyright, how past and developing EU law and regulations have affected authors’ earnings and how this might change.

Your Input

Each submission should:

  • be no more than 3,000 words in length
  • be in Word format with as little use of colour or logos as possible
  • have numbered paragraphs

Written evidence should be submitted to luke.alcott@alcs.co.uk with the title “APWG Earnings Inquiry”

The deadline for written evidence is 5pm on Thursday 2 August 2018.