Thirty-eight delegates and representatives of EWC organisations from twenty-one countries participated in the three-hour video meeting, the first virtual Annual General assembly in the history of the European Writers’ Council. Five new members were welcomed.
“In our era of misinformation, with Trump’s social media rants, Putin’s troll-factories, with Lukashenko and Erdoğan attacking free speech, authors play an important role as the voice of contemporary society. And in tough times we stand strongest together. That’s why organizations like EWC are extremely important” says the Chair of the Norwegian Society of Authors, the novelist Eystein Hanssen. “The digitalization of literature, in particular streaming of audio-books, finds new markets for the author. This is good, but a key task for literary organizations is to ensure that the streaming industry pays fair and balanced royalty to authors. We must not end up as the music industry, where no-one but a few make money from streaming”, he underlines the importance for the engagement of Forfatterforbundet.
The Forfatterforbundet – The Norwegian Society of Authors
The Norwegian Society of Authors was established in January 2018 as an alternative literary organization.
Our mission is to be inclusive and to represent our members in all matters pertaining to literature, contracts, rights and freedom of speech. Further areas of focus are authors’ social and pension rights, as well as political influence.
The Norwegian Society of Authors strongly believe in the right for all authors to freely organize themselves and to have equal opportunity to influence their own field of work, be it a full time or part time occupancy.
The Norwegian Society of Authors does not discriminate against any literary genre and accepts the whole canvas of fiction and literary writers as members. As a result, authors of children’s books and literature for young adults have also joined our ranks. As Norway is a small linguistic area, hence an area of great importance is to maintain the integrity and position of the Norwegian language, within Norway, against the heavy, global competition from English. On all platforms within the arts, entertainment, education, business, even to some extent policy making, English is challenging Norwegian as the 1st language.
We are equally concerned with the decreased levels of reading activities in society, not least among young people. We will promote literatures’ humane, educational and social values to aspiring, new and existing readers.
“Free speech, fair publishing contracts or social rights don’t happen unless someone fights for it”, concludes Eystein Hanssen, Chair of Forfatterforbundet. “That’s why Forfatterforbundet is focused on getting all authors to organize themselves. Recruiting new authors, offering a home for aspiring new voices, is the most important thing we can do.”
Five new members were welcomed by the Assembly of the European Writers’ Council:
The European Writers’ Council is delighted to announce the ratification of five new members and welcomed the colleagues warmly by the Assembly on 7 September 2020:
—The Society of Hungarian Authors Szépírók Társasága, Hungary
—The Literature and Criticism Association (LCA), Cyprus
—The Norwegian Society of Authors – Forfatterforbundet, Norway
—La Société des Gens de Lettres, France
—The Syndikat, The Association of German Language Crime Writers, Germany
The EWC continues to expand its diversity, competence, collegiality and cohesion through this strong enrichment of its new members and colleagues. The European Writers’ Council represents now 160,000 professional writers and translators in the book and text sector in all genres, from 46 European national organisations of professional writers and translators in 30 countries including the EU, the EEA countries Iceland and Norway, as well as Belarus, Montenegro, Switzerland, and Turkey, altogether writing in 32 languages.