Friday, August 30, 2013

Professional respect can be won, but it's
a matter of constant vigilance

I was asked to write a post for NetWords, the blog of the Toronto chapter of the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC). It was about the Best Practices Guide which I was involved in drafting on behalf of the magazine industry. It was the result of an industry-wide online survey and a series of roundtables across the country, involving writers, editors and publishers. But since the Guide was written and posted on the PWAC website, there has been -- at least from my perspective --relatively little discussion about it. So, for the post, I agreed to say something. 
"If magazine writers want to be treated with respect, they will have to insist on the reflection of The Guide’s principles in their day-to-day working relationships with editors and publishers (and other writers). Writers have a vested interest in provoking discussion about the professional obligations The Guide details. These guidelines were, after all, derived from the shared experience of writers, editors and publishers. Only by citing those experiences and expectations in negotiations and disputes will writers accustom publishers and editors to regard it as a reasonable, broadly acceptable way of working together."

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