Fri 14 August 2020
COVID-19/Coronavirus Advice
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COVID-19/Coronavirus Advice

Last updated: 10/06/2020
Support and Help from NAWE

This is a challenging time for everyone. Whether you rely on events, workshops and commissions for your income and are facing financial difficulties due to cancellations or you are directly affected by your personal health or caring responsibilities, the impact is enormous and unprecedented. 

We would like to reassure you that the whole NAWE team is working to keep the impact of COVID-19 on our core membership services to a minimum. The processing of membership applications and renewals, as well as DBS checks, will continue as usual, as will our information and editorial services.

Please do continue to send us details of any workshops or courses that you are offering online or running later in the year and we’ll add these to our website listings and weekly bulletin.

In addition to maintaining our regular work, NAWE has been fortunate to secure Arts Council England Emergency Funding, which will enable us to develop some online resources, regional networking groups and other projects over the coming months. Full details will be be available soon.

Below you will find a list of links and resources providing support for writers and organisations affected by COVID-19 which we will update on a regular basis.

We have received a number of enquiries asking if costs relating to event cancellations can be claimed under our Public Liability Insurance cover for Professional Members. However, this policy is concerned with insuring the professional writer against any liabilities arising out of injury to third parties or damage to third party property while lecturing, teaching, or engaged in other creative writing activities rather than the event or activity itself.

In response to the current COVID-19 situation, we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone the annual NAWE Conference from November 2020 to March 2021. The call for proposals closes on 1st September 2020. We’re planning a bumper edition of Writing in Education for the autumn to coincide with the original conference dates, which will provide another opportunity to connect with your peers and share your practice.

Along with our peer organisations, we've been advocating for the needs of freelance writers and writers in education with funders and other sector bodies. In response to the current crisis, the sector (Society of Authors, Arts Council England, Royal Literary Fund, English PEN in partnership with the TS Eliot Foundation, Amazon UK, Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, NAWE) has come together to create the Authors' Emergency Fund to help support authors impacted financially by Covid-19. We will continue to make the case for our members and the sector as a whole.

Please do get in touch if you have any concerns and we will do our best to help and support. All calls to the NAWE office are being forwarded so you can contact us in the usual way.

Useful Links and Resources

We will be updating this section on a regular basis.

For the latest on support for those in immediate need:

  • The Society of Authors has announced that Arts Council England has donated £400,000 to supplement the Authors' Emergency Fund providing £330,000 in grants for authors affected by the COVID-19 crisis from the SoA, ALCS, RLF, English PEN in partnership with the T.S. Eliot Foundation, Amazon UK, NAWE, bringing the total to over £800,000. 
  • The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain has a Welfare Fund for members experiencing urgent financial difficulty.
  • The BFI and Film and TV Charity have set up a new COVID-19 Film and TV Emergency Fund with £1 million donated from Netflix to help support the film and TV community affected by COVID-19.
  • The Royal Literary Fund provides grants and pensions to writers in financial difficulty. 
  • The Royal Theatrical Fund provides support for people who have worked in the entertainment industry.
  • The  Audio and Radio Emergency Fund has been created to help those in the radio and audio sector who are facing hardship because of the coronavirus crisis.

 For the latest on support from funders:

  • Arts Council England has offered a total of £160 million of emergency funding to individuals and organisations working in the cultural sector during this crisis. This funding has now closed. Read how it plans to support the longer-term recovery of culture and creativity (22 May).
  • Arts Council of Northern Ireland announced on 12 May that The Artists' Emergency Programme has been temporarily closed due to the high level of demand. 
  • Arts Council of Wales opened for applications to a Stabilisation Fund for Individuals on Friday 29 May 2020.
  • Creative Scotland has compiled an A-Z of funding and resources available to Scotland's creative community. It has launched an updated version of the Open Fund: Sustaining Creative Development providing support for individuals and organisations.  The fund is open all year round, with no deadlines and can support activity for up to 12 months. Their new Bridging Bursary Fund for freelance creative professionals and parallel Screen Scotland Bridging Bursary Fund for self-employed screen sector workers have now both closed.

Guidance for those in receipt of a funding award or those in process of applying, together with general information and advice, is available from the four Arts Councils:

For the latest on government support:

  • Businesses Guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus.

For guidance for freelancers:

  • The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has advice for freelancers and the self-employed 
  • The Creative Industries Federation has gathered together advice from across the sector to provide guidance to those in the creative industries affected by the coronavirus and its fallout. 
  • The Federation of Self Employed and Small Businesses (FSB) has advice and guidance on reducing the risks from COVID-19 to you and your business. 
  • Leapers has compiled a list of key things to consider if you're freelance and worried about coronavirus.
  • The Society of Authors has information on useful resources including Advice on coronavirus and contracts and what happens if my speaking engagement is cancelled? from the legal team at Harbottle & Lewis. 
  • The Writers Guild of Great Britain (WGGBhas compiled a list of resources relating to health, work and financial concerns. 

For the latest government guidance on COVID-19:

For advice on protecting your health and others:

For advice on how to deal with stress and protect your mental health:

  • See the BBC news link about the World Health Organisation recommendations
  • Mental health charity Mind has produced advice for those feeling anxious or worried about the virus. 

For advice on travelling abroad: