October 12, 2013

Writing for free, Ctd Philip Henscher

Author Philip Henscher recently got mad about being asked to write for free. The Guardian featured the event. On the same week, author Guy Walters also penned a rebarbative attack against the expectation. He said:
"It's across lots and lots of different institutions, organisations, literary prizes and events who expect authors to do things for very little or no money, because it's an honour to do it."
He continued: "Walters said. "There's a romantic notion that authors work for the love of culture and high ideals, but it doesn't put food on the table. If you value culture, you must pay artists. It's a complete con and an absolute racket. There's a word for working for free: it's slavery."
On his Facebook, Philip Hensher wrote: "Authors be warned – if you suggest that you want to be paid for your hard work, prepare to be insulted by Cambridge professors."
He continued:
"It's not reasonable to say if you're not being paid, you shouldn't complain and you shouldn't be angry. Nobody would say that about absolutely any other profession. It's our duty as writers to place a value on our work, and not to allow it to be unreasonably eroded. There is increasingly a culture of consumers not paying for cultural products, whether it's downloaded music or free newspapers. You can have writers who do it in their spare time, who have independent means, or have literature written by people in institutions, but it's not going to lead to an improvement in literature."
He added: "I absolutely refuse to do anything for free, no matter what it is. It basically supposes that authors live in a rarefied world in which they don't need money. If you want culture to be enriched, you need to enrich authors."He said that publishers' advances had been reduced over the past decade, which added to the squeeze on authors' income, making payment for one-off freelance jobs all the more important."
In full here.

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