The Efficiency of Public Support to Writers and Translators 2004–2011
This is the final report of the first survey investigating the working conditions of Slovene writers and translators. The aim of the research was to examine their situation determined, on one side, by the publishing industry and, on the other, by the public support mechanisms. Among other dimensions, the research analysed the currently urgent problem of atypical forms of employment, precarious working conditions and increasing poverty of the working persons.
Only one fifth of the respondents make their living out of writing and/or translating – others have a job or engage in other types of work to maek a living. Artistic idleness certainly belongs to the past, if it was ever more than a romantic fiction. The majority of respondents work from eight to ten hours during the working days and very often on weekends and holidays. Authors’ fees have been reduced to one fifth of their amount sixty years ago.
The majority of respondents are self-employed; this is the consequence of segmentation of labour market – young persons are less likeliy to find a regular job. Salaries of the writers and translators in regular employment are below the national average for the same level of education, retired persons have the most often pensions below 1.000 €; however the position of self-employed is the most difficult. In 2011 one quarter had revenues below the poverty risk. In average they received 46 percent of the gross monthly salary of the employed persons. Self-employed pay minimal contributions for social security, so the full negative effects will show in the future when these persons will retire from work.
The most illustrative indicator concerns health condition of the self-employed persons. They have more often permanent health problems than the older employed persons.
An important general feature discovered by the project is the preference of the younger generation tp write poetry rather than prose.
The research shows that the public support mechanisms are very important for writers and translators. They improve the otherwise very poor financial situation of writers and translators, and particularly of the self-employed persons.