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In September, a coalition of writers’ groups started a boycott of Transcontinental Media in response to Transcon’s release of a new “Author Master Agreement,” a lifetime contract that strips writers of almost all conceivable rights with little or no increase in pay.

The coalition’s been pretty quiet since then, but now they’ve launched a website, Bad Writing Contracts, to keep supporters updated on their efforts.

Bad Writing Contracts describes the Author Master Agreement this way: “Transcontinental is taking the right to, in effect, do whatever it wants with the writer’s work.”

Back in July, coalition representative Derek Finkle of the Canadian Writers Group and David Johnston, then executive director of the Professional Writer’s Association of Canada (PWAC) met with Transcontinental in hopes of negotiating a contract that would be fair to both writers and the company. They were met with nothing but resistance.

The coalition is, among other things, urging writers to quit pitching stories to Transcon and readers to cancel their subscriptions. The fight against Transcon has gotten very loud and it’s only a matter of time before advertisers catch wind. With many of Canada’s star writers showing their support for the coalition, can Transcon really afford to treat its writers so badly?

For more information, you can follow the group on Twitter.


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About the author

Melissa Wilson was the Managing Editor for the Summer 2010 issue of the Ryerson Review of Journalism.

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