The EWC Annual General Assembly was succesfully held in Madrid. Two new EWC members were ratified, and the #FreeAllWords-support initiative presented.

EWC

Posted on June 13, 2022, 11:45 am
20 mins

With a Welcome Reception, a Concert Evening, the EWC Burning Issues Forum and a Press Conference, the EWC AGM 2022, co-sponsored by CEDRO and ACE, took place from 10 to 12 June 2022 at the Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid.


Madrid became the European writers’ capital for three days

From 10 to 12 June 2022, Madrid became the capital of European writers. The General Annual Assembly of the European Writers’ Council was hosted by the Asociación Colegial de Escritores (ACE) in cooperation with the Centro Español de Derechos Reprográficos (CEDRO) and in collaboration with the Círculo de Bellas Artes (CBA) – Casa Europa. The three-day conference with over 40 delegates from 21 countries was opened by the President of the Círculo de Bellas Artes, Juan Miguel Hernández León and Director General Valerio Rocco together with Nina George (President EWC), Manuel Rico (President ACE), Miguel Ángel Serrano (Vice President EWC and Secretary General ACE), Jorge Corrales (Managing Director CEDRO) and Nicolas Couchepin (President A*dS, Authors and Translators in Switzerland), who presented the #FreeAllWords-project.

The European Writers’ Council (EWC) held its most important meeting of the year at the Círculo de Bellas Artes – Casa Europa in Madrid. The AGM and the attached events were hosted and co-sponsored by the EWC Member ACE. 41 delegates from 21 countries, representing 160,000 writers and translators from the European book sector, discussed within its Burning Issues Forum specific national and European challenges in the field of authors rights and copyright, economic exploitation and collective rights management. In addition, delegates exchanged intensively on cultural policy issues of literary translation and market mechanisms that promote or even narrow the circulation of literature; on the importance of parity and diversity in the book sector in terms of visibility and recognition of women’s textual works; and on the need to advocate vehemently for the freedom of the word, especially in light of the crises in Belarus and Ukraine.

A welcome reception and a musical-poetic evening and concert by Tania Rusz and Company completed the three-day conference.

The EWC says: Gracias for your hospitality!

The next AGM of the EWC will take place from 2-4 June 2023 in Berlin.

The speakers and topics of the Burning Issues Forum, 11 June 2022:

AUTHORS’ RIGHTS & ECONOMIC ISSUES _____________________________

Making Ends Meet: How Can Authors Earn a Living from their Work in the 21st Century Marketplace? By Ambre Morvan, Publishing Contracts and Public Policy Advisor, The Society of Authors (UK)

Public Administrations and Copyright: Resistances and Goals by Jorge Corrales, Managing Director, CEDRO (Spain)

E-books and Digital Lending in Public Libraries: Educational Mission or Free Buffet (on Writers’ Substance)? By Monika Pfundmeier, Board Member of Syndikat e.V. – The Association of German Language Crime Writers (Germany/Austria/Switzerland)

CULTURE POLICY ISSUES___________________________________________

Women in Literature: Let’s Talk about Gender, Diversity, and Inclusion. By Nicole Pfister Fetz, Secretary-General of the Swiss Writers’ and Translators’ Association A*dS (Switzerland)

The Projection of Literary Works and Authors and Translation at the European Level. By Pepa Roma, Asociación Colegial de Escritores de España, International Relations Officer (Spain)

#FREEALLWORDS – Support Project by Authors for Authors Alena Makouskaya, EWC Board Member (Belarus), Nicole Pfister Fetz (A*dS) and Eystein Hanssen, EWC Board Member (Norway).

The Burning Issues Forum was moderated by Maïa Bensimon, EWC Vice President (France) and Alena Makouskaya, EWC Board Member (Belarus).

A warm welcome to …

Two new member organisations were unanimously ratified as full members of the European Writers’ Council at its Annual General Assemby on 12 of June 2022: The Unia Literacka (Poland), and the Norwegian Writers for Children (NBU). Learn more about the writers association in the EWC Members Section.

The European Writers’ Council introduced its new logo

Likewise, the shift into the future marks the change of the EWC’s logo. EWC Vice President Miguel Ángel Serrano (Spain) is responsible for the new design, which is modelled after a typewriter keyboard. As a communication designer and freelance consultant on company branding, Serrano has not only developed the new EWC logo and will gradually build up the entire corporate identity, but is also responsible for the visual appearance of the #FreeAllWords project and the EWC’s survey reports, such as “The Winter of Our Discontent”.
“I like to call this design “neo-vintage””, explains Vice President Serrano. “It’s clear and clean, powerful and recognizable but also matches with certain mythology about writing. Also I have a very old writing machine at home, and it was staring at me all the time”.

The challenges of the future

“It is an honour for us to meet our colleagues at the ‘House of Europe’ in person for the first time after three years of a very serious health, social and economic crisis and at one of the most decisive moments for Europe and the book sector in recent years,” said Nina George, President of the European Writers’ Council (EWC), underlining the significance of this event. George adds: “We are at a crucial moment for the freedom, diversity and viability of the sources of the entire book culture and literary economy, whether it is the management of intellectual property law, whether it is the changes in the field of artificial intelligence, and above all: how we are going to respond to dictatorial, warlike and free speech attacks on writers, media and cultural professionals.”

For Manuel Rico, President of ACE, “hosting this event in Madrid at a time of such importance for the future of Europe after almost three years of pandemic and with a war close to its borders, is an honour and a satisfaction. It is also a way of highlighting the commitment of Spanish writers to the deepest values of European literature and its authors and to the defence of freedom of expression, copyright and civility, today threatened from different fronts. Without authors there is no culture.”

The EWC presented within an exclusive preview the #FreeAllWords (freeallwords.org) translation-project by the European Writers’ Council to support writers from Belarus or Ukraine, whose freedom of expression is under threat. Three texts are already translated into Spanish by the translator Ángela Espinosa Ruiz and by the following authors from Ukraine and Belarus, to mark the pre-start of the European support project by authors for authors, to defend the freedom of speech and expression.

  • Kaciaryna Andrejeva (BELARUS): A POEM FROM BEHIND BARS
  • Svetlana Lavochkina (UKRAINE): EL JARDÍN DE LAS DELICIAS DEL DONBÁS
  • Barys Piatrovič (BELARUS): ADVERTISEMENT OF DICTATORSHIP
  • Ángela Espinosa Ruiz (SPAIN): TRANSLATIONS

Selected Press clippings: EWC in the Spanish Media

ABCBLOGS The European Writers’ Council, meeting in Madrid for its Annual General Meeting, has launched the #FreeAllWords project (www.freeallwords.org), a fund of texts and translations in support of Belarusian and Ukrainian writers that aims to collect one million words for peace. Initiated by the authors’ associations AdS Authors and Translators of Switzerland), Forfatterforbundet Norway) and the Community of Belarusian Writers (Belarus), the aim of the project is to give writers “critical of the war and defenders of human rights, condemned to silence in their countries, the opportunity to be read and heard”, according to those responsible for the project. The presentation was hosted by the Asociación Colegial de Escritores de España (www.acescritores.com) at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid. Report by Pedro Villora.

NOTICIAS DE NAVARRA “What is our value to society, what is our value in economic terms and what are our values in political terms?” asked George, who pointed out that the European Writers’ Council wants to address, among other issues, remuneration for public lending of books in libraries and universities. Report by EFE / NTM

COPE This is the Annual General Assembly of the European Writers’ Council, which is being held in Madrid, according to its president, Nina George, who told Efe on Friday. She said that writers will discuss their value to society, aspects related to copyright and artificial intelligence. “What is our value to society, what is our value in economic terms and what are our values in political aspects?”, asked George, who pointed out that the European Writers’ Council wants to address, among other issues, the remuneration for public lending of books in libraries and universities.

20Minutos Writers are calling for higher remuneration for lending in public libraries in all European countries because, they argue, “the future of education and literacy must no longer be at the expense of authors”, says the Council, which is calling for a common pact in this respect. They will also discuss the value of human writing in the face of artificial intelligence and freedom of expression. How are we going to respond to dictatorial and warlike attacks and attacks on the freedom of expression of writers, the media and cultural professionals,” says Nina George, the President of the European Writers’ Council. Report by EFE.

Entreletras The famous German writer Nina George, President of the European Writers’ Council (EWC), welcomed the fact that this meeting could take place after two years of restrictions due to the pandemic and thanked ACE, CEDRO and CBA for making this possible. Nina George appealed to the need to find areas of empathy and mutual understanding in contexts where literature is sometimes censored. The German writer warned that “we are at a crucial moment for the freedom, diversity and viability of the sources of the entire book culture and literary economy, whether it is the management of intellectual property law or the changes in the field of artificial intelligence”. Above all,” she added, “the question of how we will respond to dictatorial, warlike attacks and attacks on the freedom of expression of writers, the media and cultural professionals is important.
Likewise, the writer Manuel Rico, President of ACE, highlighted the great importance for Spanish authors of “hosting this event at a time of such importance for the future of Europe after almost three years of pandemic and with a war close to its borders”. “Equally,” said Manuel Rico, “it is not only an honour and a great satisfaction to hold this meeting in Madrid, but also a way of highlighting the commitment of Spanish writers to the deepest values of European literature and its authors, and to the defence of freedom of expression, authors’ rights and civic-mindedness, today threatened from different fronts”. “Without authors there is no culture,” he added.
Report by  Francisco J. Castañón.

ABCBLOGS The novelist Nina George, who chairs the European Writers’ Council, recalled how “the history of literature is also the history of censorship”. The health, social and economic catastrophe has allowed her to evoke Miguel de Cervantes and María Zambrano, who appealed to writing as calligraphy or visions of the soul from which we must speak in order to overcome crises. For George, “we are at a crucial moment for the freedom, diversity and viability of the sources of all book culture and the literary economy, whether it be in terms of the management of intellectual property law, whether it be the changes in the field of artificial intelligence, and above all the question of how we are going to respond to dictatorial, warlike attacks and attacks on the freedom of expression of writers, the media and cultural professionals”. Nina George believes that the contribution of her Spanish colleagues is crucial at this juncture, given that, in her opinion, “Spain is one of the five strongest countries in the world and one of the three strongest in Europe”.

Spain’s extraordinary position does not mean that everything has been achieved, which is why Manuel Rico has emphasised the work of the Asociación Colegial de Escritores to ensure that Spanish writers and translators “can bring their living and working conditions and authors’ rights into line with those of the most advanced countries”.
Report by Pedro Villora.

RTVES The European Writers’ Council is meeting at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid to defend the exercise of their profession with labour rights, intellectual property rights and freedom of expression. Report by Íñigo Picabea.

Additional information

The Asociación Colegial de Escritores (ACE) was hosting the three-day event and welcomed the delegates from the European Writers’ Council (EWC).  Founded in 1976 and legalised in 1978, ACE is the largest professional organisation of writers in Spain and brings together writers who write in Castilian or Spanish or the other co-official languages of Spain. It is made up of more than 2,100 writers, translators and playwrights based in Spain, the rest of Europe and Latin America.  ACE provides services, information and legal advice to its members and is an interlocutor with the Administration and with the professional bodies of publishers, booksellers and distributors in the defence of the interests of authors, intellectual property and the social and labour rights of writers and translators.  It has autonomous sections for theatre (AAT), translators (ACEtt) and Andalusia (ACE-Andalucía). Since 2019 it has been promoting the ACE Ángel María de Lera Award for the promotion of the work of writers. ACE Board of Directors 2019-2023: ACEscritores Board of Directors

The Spanish Reproduction Rights Centre (CEDRO) is a non-profit association of authors and publishers of books, magazines, journals, newspapers and sheet music, published in any format.  We oversee the protection and collective management of intellectual property rights stemming from the secondary use (reproduction, distribution, public disclosure and transformation) of these publications.

In 1988 the ministry of culture authorised us to undertake this activity.

CEDRO’s mission is to represent and protect the legitimate interests of authors and publishers of books and periodicals by authorising and endorsing the legal use of their works.

https://www.cedro.org/english

The Círculo de Bellas Artes (CBA), founded in 1880 by a small group of artists, is one of the most important private cultural centres in Europe. This multi-disciplinary centre has a programme of activities ranging from plastic arts to literature, as well as science, philosophy, film and the performing arts, bearing in mind the most innovative artistic movements. The CBA is a private, non-profit cultural institution declared a ‘Centre for the Protection of Fine Arts and of Public Interest’.

The CBA was founded in 1880 thanks to the efforts of a small group of artists. It is a private, non-profit cultural institution, officially declared a ‘Centre for the Protection of the Fine Arts and of Public Interest’.

During the early years of the 20th century, its directors included important cultur-al figures of the period such as Jacinto Benavente and Carlos Arniches. The young Picasso attended painting classes here and Ramón María del Valle-Inclán frequent-ed its rooms.

The CBA’s current headquarters is a building by Antonio Palacios, the architect who designed many of Madrid’s most characteristic buildings such as Palacio de Comunicaciones, the Banco Central (also on Alcalá street) and Maudes Palace, among others. It was inaugurated by King Alfonso XIII on Monday, November 8, 1926 with an exhibition of paintings by Ignacio Zuloaga in the Goya Room.