A Letter from the President

The Writers Guild of America, west requires the active participation of its members in order to be a strong, viable organization. Indeed, the Guild would never have made the progress for writers that it has over the years were it not for the continued interest and dedication shown by its members. One of the most direct ways you as a member can help our Guild accomplish its goals is by actively serving on one of its many committees. Totalling nearly forty, the Guild's committee roster provides a myriad of opportunities for members at every level of interest and expertise to promote the desires of the Membership.

Many members who now serve on committees will no doubt have heard about 'CAP'. 'CAP' refers to the Committee Advisory Panel, created by the Board in 1996 to bring cohesiveness and new energy to the Guild's committee system. CAP exists as a facilitator. CAP is also called upon to make recommendations to the Board about committee policy. Most importantly, CAP is here to help -- whether your committee needs a couple of new members, or advice on launching a new program.

This Handbook is the product of the first stage of CAP's work. We hope it will be useful to both the seasoned committee veteran unclear about a policy question, as well as to the new member curious about opportunities to get involved in your Guild.

Looking to the future, the Board of Directors has proposed, as part of the WGAw Strategic Plan for 1997-1998, a higher degree of coordination between the many Guild departments and committees with interests and mandates in similar areas. But, in order for such a plan to work, we as members must become 'experts' ourselves in these areas. We must learn all there is to know about credits, contracts, residuals, equal employment opportunities, and other vital areas of concern. There is no better way to build upon our individual expertise and learn from each other than through hands-on committee service.

If you are now a member of a Guild committee, let me take this opportunity on behalf of all our members to thank you and to encourage your continued and greater participation. If you haven't served on a committee before, I urge you to become involved in one now. I hope you will find such service to be a great opportunity to promote the best interests of writers.

Return to Index

Types of Committees

The Guild Committee System is comprised of committees that are:

1) either Standing or Ad Hoc; and 2) either Board-Appointed or Open. Some are Constitutionally mandated.

Standing committees meet on an ongoing basis and perform activities which address the Guild's continuing needs.

Ad Hoc committees are appointed for a particular task and dissolved immediately upon completion of that task.

As their names imply, Open committees are open to the membership-at-large, while Board-Appointed committees have their memberships appointed by the Board.

The Guild's Constitution mandates the following Constitutional committees:

Membership and Finance Committee; Negotiating Committee; Tellers Committee; Board-Nominating Committee; Officers-Nominating Committee.

A complete listing of active Guild committees appears in Part III.

Return to Index

The Committee Web Page

The Committee Advisory Panel has a webpage in the Members Only section of the WGA website. Guild members can go to the Guild website via the Internet at and enter the Members Only section. Members who do not yet have a password for the section can follow the instructions on the website to request a password. Once in the Members Only section, follow the link to the Committees page. The contents of this handbook and up-to-date postings of further information will be posted periodically.

Return to Table of Contents