Canadian Magazine Industry News
12 May 2009,     TORONTO
Canadian Writers Group launches with 50 writers on board
Derek Finkle
And so it begins. Canada's first literary agency for freelance writers, the Canadian Writers Group, officially launched yesterday with a roster of 50 writers, including veterans such as David Hayes, Gerald Hannon, David Macfarlane, Don Gillmor and Trevor Cole. Collectively, the group of writers garnered 59 nominations at the 2009 National Magazine Awards. Founder and principal Derek Finkle, a successful freelance writer himself, says he hopes the agency will represent more than 100 by the year's end.

According to an article in the Toronto Star, here's how the agency will work:
Instead of a writer dealing directly with an individual publication, the agency will negotiate fees and rights on behalf of its clients, in exchange for a commission. The contracted fee, Finkle says, should better reflect the amount of time that goes into the production of an article, rather than being based on an arbitrary sum of, say, $1 per word. The agency will also chase after publications that fail to pay their writers promptly.
While there are bound to be some tense conversations between the agency and editors in the coming days, weeks and months, Finkle suggests that relationships between the two parties can be mutually beneficial. “Without spending a dime on marketing, CWG has already helped editors from consumer and trade publications find the right talent for assignments in areas as varied as education, design, and investigative journalism,” Finkle said in a press release.

Along with Finkle, writers will be represented by Samanth Francis, whose resume includes publicity and editorial experience at companies such as Verso's in New York, Penguin Group (Canada), HarperCollins, Doubleday, and The New Press.

Look for more Masthead coverage of the CWG in the coming days.
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