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Writers Guild of America - HollywoodResource.org
Guilds and Associations
California

Writers Guild of America

If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Writers Guild of America, West, here’s what you need to know:

We work on a unit system (described in detail below*) based on writing employment and/or sales within the Guild’s jurisdiction and with a “signatory” company (a company that has signed the Guild’s collective bargaining agreement). Depending upon the number of units earned, a writer may be eligible for either Current (full) membership, or Associate (partial) membership.

Current membership: In order to be eligible for Current membership a writer must acquire a minimum of 24 units in the three years preceding application. Upon final qualification for Current membership, an initiation fee of $2,500 is due, payable to the Writers Guild of America, West.

Associate membership: A writer may be eligible for Associate membership if he or she has had writing employment and/or sales within the Guild’s jurisdiction and with a “signatory” company but has acquired less than 24 units in the three years preceding application. Upon final qualification, Associate membership is available for a total of three years at a cost of $100 per year.

See a list of membership categories.


SCHEDULE OF UNITS*

Two Units
For each complete week of employment within the Guild’s jurisdiction on a week-to-week basis.

Three Units
Story for a radio or television program less than 30 minutes shall be prorated in increments of 10 minutes or less.

Four Units
Story for a short subject theatrical motion picture of any length or for a radio or television program or breakdown for a non-primetime serial 30 minutes through 60 minutes.

Six Units
Teleplay or radio play less than 30 minutes shall be prorated in five-minute increments;

Television format for a new serial or series;

“Created By” credit given pursuant to the separation of rights provisions of the WGA Theatrical and Television Basic Agreement in addition to other units accrued for the literary material on which the “Created By” credit is based.

Eight Units
Story for a radio or television program or breakdown for a non-primetime serial more than 60 minutes and less than 90 minutes;

Screenplay for a short subject theatrical motion picture or for a radio play or teleplay 30 minutes through 60 minutes.

12 Units
Story for a radio or television program 90 minutes or longer or story for a feature-length theatrical motion picture; or breakdown for a non-primetime serial 90 minutes or longer.

Radio play or teleplay more than 60 minutes and less than 90 minutes.

24 Units
Screenplay for a feature-length theatrical motion picture; radio play or teleplay 90 minutes or longer;

Long-term story projection, which is defined for this purpose as a bible, for a specified term, on an existing, five times per week non-prime time serial;

Bible for any television serial or primetime miniseries of at least four hours.

A Rewrite
One-half the number of units allotted to the applicable category of work.

A Polish
One-quarter the number of units allotted to the applicable category of work.

An Option
One-half the number of units allotted to the applicable category of work subject to a maximum entitlement of eight such units per project in any one year. An extension or renewal of the same option shall not be accorded additional units. If an option on previously unexploited literary material is exercised, the sale of this material is accorded the number of units applicable to the work minus the number of units accorded to the option of the same material.

New Media
For information about units earned in new media, go here.

Get more information at: www.wga.org.

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Writers Guild of America West