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New Research Shows Plight Of Kiwi Authors


New research shows plight of Kiwi authors

Writers say they write because that's who they are. But it isn't easy as new research on authors' incomes and needs shows.

A Research International survey carried out for the New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc) shows that only 17% survive solely on their income from writing.

The mean total of a writers' income from all sources, except full time work, is just $15,383 dollars a year. By comparison the minimum wage is $23,400.

Only 9% of writing-related income comes from the Authors' Fund set up in 1973 give authors time to pursue their writing full time. The majority - 78% of the authors surveyed - said that if the Fund offered more it would enable them to make a career out of writing.

NZSA President Paul Smith said the research showed clearly that the Fund needed radical re-shaping and increased funding. The Society has already begun negotiations with the Government on this issue.

The survey was conducted from a sample of 355 mid career and established writers. Other key findings were:

* 77% of mid career authors earn less than $10,000
* The majority of established authors fell into the same category.
* Only 9% of established authors earned over $50,000
* In the last four years only 30% of mid career and established authors received a grant
* 34% of authors say without the help of family and friends they couldn't afford to be a writer.

ENDS

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