Canadian Magazine Industry News
2 September 2008,     TORONTO
Derek Finkle reveals plan to launch literary agency for freelancers

Derek Finkle
Freelance writers have long been complaining about the $1-a-word standard pay rate that has remained flat for over three decades now. Derek Finkle, the former editor of Toro magazine, revealed in a mass e-mail sent out this afternoon that he plans to launch a new literary agency for freelance writers, in order  "to correct these long-standing problems in an expedient manner by being actively engaged in the negotiation of fees and rights for all stories, blogs, and columns written by those freelancers in its roster."

"It is common knowledge in the print journalism field that the skills
possessed by Canada's uppermost tiers of freelance writers have been woefully undervalued for a very long time," Finkle writes. "Pay rates have been more or less stagnant for almost three decades. Not surprisingly, many Canadian editors long ago began to  acknowledge the dearth of freelance talent available, largely because it isn't currently a profession with a sufficiently viable career arc."

Full details—such as the agency's name—will be revealed in October. For now, Finkle is hosting two off-the-record meetings at Verity, a private club located at 111 Queen Street East in Toronto. The first meeting will take place on Sept. 9, from 3 to 4 p.m. The second will take place on Sept. 15, from 10 to 11 a.m.

Finkle says he has been working on the agency concept for several months. A number of writers he has worked with have already committed to the agency. "For the agency to succeed, however, it will require a definitive critical mass. If enough writers sign on this fall, the agency will open for business at the beginning of 2009."

"Ultimately, I think this agency can be of great benefit to Canada's
freelance writers and the publications they work for," Finkle notes. "Writers will be marketed in a way that will make them much easier to find for editors from coast to coast. Both sides stand only to gain from the overall injection of added professionalism to our profession."

For more information, contact Finkle at 416-504-1200 ext 226 or
Derek[dot]Finkle[at]sympatico[dot]ca.

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