Dear members and colleagues of Writers SA,
On 11 March 2020 the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a pandemic and called for ‘urgent and aggressive action’. This action includes social distancing as a primary way to prevent rapid community transmission. The Australian Government has since advised that gatherings should be limited to 500 people, and additional travel restrictions and self-isolation measures are in place for people arriving from overseas.
Writers SA has taken proactive steps to protect and care for our community. Our team of staff are now working from home (and enjoying our new video chats) and you can contact us by email or phone as usual.
We have also begun the process to move our autumn workshop program to online streaming. While we value face-to-face gatherings so much, we are excited about this development. Digital workshops will allow us to be more accessible to regional writers, keep us safe while we adapt to the current environment, and most importantly, continue to support the writers in our autumn program who have eagerly prepared workshops for you. This is one of the main ways Writers SA supports writers, by employing them to share their skills and expertise with the community.
Writers SA joins our colleagues across the arts sector in addressing our political leaders for an ‘urgently implemented stimulus package’ for artists and organisations. As NAVA notes, ‘Every cancellation you’re hearing about has a tail that’s thousands and thousands of working-hours long. Every cancellation means artists and organisations losing incomes, audiences, and the critical responses that they crave’.
It is vitally important that we continue to support writers. Here’s what you can do:
– Buy books from local bookstores and subscribe to literary journals.
– Attend one of our digital writing workshops, renew your membership, or buy a Writers SA gift voucher for a writerly friend.
– Contact us if you are a writer or editor who is available to provide a literary service such as manuscript assessment or professional mentorship, or any other skill you want to offer. We want to promote—and pay—you.
– Record your loss of income with I Lost My Gig Australia here. This supports the efforts of our national colleagues in advocating for an arts assistance package.
– Take the health and safety of our community seriously, and practise social distancing, and self-isolation if you are unwell to slow the spread COVID-19.
– Keep writing.
In uncertain times, we must go on. Storytelling will help us through this worldwide event, and it is how we will recover, too. Your writing is more important than ever.
– Jessica Alice, Director of Writers SA
It’s important to stay connected and support one another while we’re socially isolating, working from home, or just needing a little extra community support:
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Head over to our Facebook page
Subscribe to our email newsletter for the latest updates.
For further health information and the latest updates during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit:
World Health Organisation’s advice for the public
WHO’s rolling updates
Australian Department of Health’s resources