SRN Executive Minutes – February

Minutes of SRN EC Meeting
held on Monday 15.2.2021 at 9 pm BST/GMT/UTC+1 (via Zoom)

Circulation list: Carmen Sofia Brenes (CSB), Rose Ferrell (RF), Ann Igelström (AI), Rafael Leal (RL), Margaret McVeigh (MM), Paolo Russo (PR), Rosanne Welch (RW)

MINUTES

1. Apologies for absence

MM

2. Minutes of previous EC Meeting for approval

All pending Action Points have been itemized in the agenda.

Approved by all present

3. Website

Renewal of website host

RL confirmed Leeds University is willing to renew. Professor Claudia Sternberg will serve as liaison with the Admin Team at Leeds to cover fee (£ 100 a year) via her department budget. Ian MacDonald will manage contracts. RL will liaise with the IT team at Leeds to double check specs for the website.

PR remarks need to wait admin paperwork is finalized before discharging the issue, although this now looks like a favourable outcome.

RF informs the EC that she too had tried to liaise with contacts at Edith Cowan University who she thought might be interested. Although no reply was received, this could be an option to keep in mind for any future renewals.

Update on Call for translations for new slogan

RF has sent images of the banner with the “We Welcome All.” slogan. She asks whether each language should include the English translation. PR replies there is no need for it because the placement of the banner on the website will make the meaning self-evident.

RF asks RL how the animation of dissolving text can be made. RL suggests the easiest way will be to use a plug in. But Leeds may not allow even free plug-ins due to tech limitations of their web design.

ACTION POINT: RL to liaise with Leeds IT team to figure out the best way to update the banner. Then, RL to inform RF on how to proceed.

ACTION POINT: EC Members to review banner and offer suggestions to RF.

4. Membership update (RF)

RF informs that since the Porto conference (Sep 2019) 160 new members have joined the SRN, while 38 left the Network.

RF points out that some members, though, have simply changed email address and re-joined.

5. Newsletter (MM)

Adjourned to March meeting.

ACTION POINT: PR to contact MM to check whether an extension is needed for the forthcoming issue.

6. Social Media

AI reports recent post re: article by Sengupta on Hinduphobia.

PR relays two requests received from Members.

AI will post an obituary on Jean-Claude Carriere, who was one of the keynote speakers at the Brussels conference in 2011.

Another post will regard the Global Film Industry call for submissions to form writers’ networking groups.

AI informs of intention to post a Call for Abstracts reserved to Early Career Researchers to participate in an ad-hoc symposium (to be held locally or online via Zoom) in line with similar events organized by previous ECTs. The event would give a chance to Early Researchers to practice their presentation skills and to be heard by more experienced members of the SRN.

The EC agrees this is a commendable initiative and PR suggests the previous ECRs can share their experience with AI.

RF notes that even small symposia take a lot of work to organize, and shares news of event held at her university where ECRs did 3-minute presentations, followed by a 10-minute Q&A panel.

RL too shares a similar event he organized at his university: 4-minute pitches to a panel followed by a 4-minute feedback session.

PR notes that AI can of course consider various presentation formats – e.g. pecha-kucha (20x20x400”), traditional papers, posters, etc.

CSB suggests asking senior researchers to attend a few presentations so as to act as informal mentors. It is important to create connections with members who will represent the future of the SRN.

PR agrees that senior academics’ generosity should benefit younger ECRs, as it has always been encouraged within the SRN.

ACTION POINT – AI to keep EC updated on any development.

SRN history Zoom talks

RF has got very positive response from Ian, Eva, and Ronald about participating. In terms of format, there will be a lot of ground to cover, and therefore it would be good for this first event to be more “general”

RL notes that recording Zoom sessions looks best with 4 people on screen at any given time. The suggestion is to change the settings of the Zoom sessions so as to show the 4 guests on the screen. The host and any other attendees can add questions via the chat box. We can then assess whether this approach works and decide whether in the second event we should try a straight interview approach instead, with one organizer at a time.

PR reminds of the need to accommodate the time of the event around the various time zones of all guests and of CSB, who will be hosting the first session.

Action Point – RF to liaise with guests to confirm a date/time and coordinate organization with CSB, RL and PR. RL to help out re: tech support before/during event. PR to arrange recording via Zoom.

Update on SRN2021 conference

PR will send update to Membership within a few days. At present, there are three possible scenarios: 1) In person, 2) hybrid, 3) entirely virtual.

Current situation in UK: lockdown still enforced for several more weeks, although a review of the restrictions is expected on 22 February. This should lead to a gradual reopening of university campuses starting on 8 March. However, some restrictions may remain in place for a much longer time: e.g. a physical conference will likely still require social distancing (which implies a significantly reduced capacity of any venue) and wearing masks/face covering. Can a conference be run that way?

Furthermore: currently there is a travel ban (blacklist) from as many as 33 countries (most of South America and Africa) with at least 15 delegates coming from those areas. Travelling from all other countries is subject to strict restrictions: i.e. testing (in country of origin within 3 days of arrival, plus mandatory tests in the UK on day 3 and 8 after arrival) and 10-day quarantine with friends OR in approved hotels that come at a high cost for travellers.
Vaccines are being rolled out effectively in the UK, expecting most of the population to have been vaccinated by May/June. But the situation is dire in most other countries.

All of the above shows that it is necessary to develop plans B and C (i.e. hybrid and/or virtual).

Should the in-person option no longer be viable, PR notes that the main issue to deal with will be the 19 time zones that delegates come from. PR suggests alternative format for online conference by splitting delegates by geographic regions based on time zones: three may suffice (i.e. Americas, Europe/Africa/Middle East, and Asia Pacific). In this case, though, it could not be considered an “Oxford” conference anymore. CSB observes that it could still be if the organization comes from Oxford. But PR remarks how a global/online option will have to be arranged regionally and he will need several members to help in the organization and in the actual running of each satellite event.

Should this option be pursued, each regional leg of the conference can be run live, but all sessions will be recorded and made available online for all other members to watch offline.

RF asks when a decision will be made in case the idea of keeping the conference in Oxford has to be dropped. PR reply he hopes to make a decision by around Easter.

ACTION POINT – PR to send update on alternative scenarios to Membership.

With regards to AI’s plan to organize an event for ECRs, PR suggests finding ways to link it somehow to the Annual Conference (although not necessarily on the same dates) so as to avoid “marginalizing” it as a minor event.
Any other business
There was no other business.

Date of next meeting: Monday 22 March 2021, 9 pm BST/UTC/GMT (consider DST; refer to shared DOC for each country’s time zone)

SRN Executive Minutes – January 2021

SRN EC Meeting

Monday 18.1.2021 at 9 pm BST/GMT/UTC+1 (via Zoom)

MINUTES

Circulation list: Carmen Sofia Brenes (CSB), Rose Ferrell (RF), Ann Igelström (AI), Rafael Leal (RL), Margaret McVeigh (MM), Paolo Russo (PR), Rosanne Welch (RW)

 

Agenda

  • Apologies for absence

RL, MM

 

  • Minutes of previous EC Meeting for approval

All pending Action Points have been itemized below in the agenda.

The EC approves the minutes which will be uploaded to the website.

 

  • Website

  • Update on Call for Hosts (RL)

RL will repost the Call – deadline 31 January. Any received bids will be considered at the EC February meeting.

  • Update on design of and Call for translations for new slogan (RF, RL)

RF is drafting text and design of Call for translations to post on FB and JISCmail.

PR suggests to post the call the week after the Call for Hosts (website) is issued.

  • Newsletter (MM, RW)

RW reports that from now on MM alone will be in charge of the Newsletter so that RW can focus on Secretary duties. All appreciated the December end-of-year issue idea. The plan is to have 4 issue per year – one per season, likely in March, June, September, December.

RF observes that the Newsletter in different languages was a wonderful welcoming idea and the more of that we can do the better.

 

  • YouTube channel

PR asks whether RL will be the next to record a message: this could be about the renewal of the website.

RW asks whether the Channel could/should be used for posting lectures by members. PR observes this should be discussed at next AGN to see if the members agree: if that were to be the case, the EC will need a plan for how to upload – and how often. Meanwhile, it is good to stimulate more posts on Facebook.

  • Social Media 

  • Update on Facebook posts (AI)

Upcoming posts include the EC Minutes, the Welcome slogan translation request, the website Call for Hosts reminder, a reminder to submit nominations for the SRN Award, research-archive post.

AI is thinking about posting about small conferences and organizing a small event for early researchers.  

Also, the outreach has been good with the FB posts on publications by members. The latter this have been so many this last year that it will be difficult to award the prize at this year’s conference.

ACTION – Include update on early researcher symposium when ready.

  • Update on SRN2021 conference

  • Responses to December survey so far (PR)

PR shares data/stats of responses to survey, which is generally positive and shows most delegates are still hopeful and willing to participate in some form. The purpose of the survey was to make sure there was a quorum of members still planning to attend. If too few had said yes we would have had no reason to plan further. This is not the case.

The current lockdown in the UK could be lifted by the end of March and the mass vaccination program being rolled out will help to improve the situation in forthcoming months. However, uncertainties remain – e.g. will social distancing still be in place? If so, the capacity of the biggest lecture theatre at the conference venue (normally 250) would be capped to 50 people. This means that even if attendees are willing to travel it might be difficult to actually congregate.

RW asks when a decision can realistically be made. PR figures/hopes by end of March/early April.  Trends and forecasts seem to show the worst of the current 3rd wave should occur this coming month, then wane and, thanks to vaccination, finally abate. By Easter almost half of UK should have been vaccinated. But then we need to factor in the situation in other countries the delegates come from. Will there still be travel bans? What about budgets for travel from universities? Will the UK require vaccination proof to allowing in travellers?

RW asks whether the necessary information can be broken down by countries? PR confirms he should be able to do so but it’s not going to be easy to collate or find a common solution. 

ACTION – PR to respond individually to all 100 delegates who responded to survey. 

RW asks whether PR will incur in a monetary loss in case he had to cancel the venue. PR reassures that the venue (i.e. the Mathematical Institute) took the reservation with no deposit needed upfront last Autumn. This means there won’t be any financial risks at least until the Spring when a contract will have to be signed if the conference goes through. 

PR reminds the EC that he is still pursuing the option of bringing the conference back to Oxford Brookes because if that was viable we would have more rooms at our disposal, which may allow to deal with social distancing more easily.

CSB asks about the virtual conference option? PR reports that 77% of delegates responded they would attend if the conference were to switch to a virtual platform. This scenario could include a hybrid format TBD and we would have to organize the technology around such an event.

However, PR points out a large number of practical issues that makes this option not easy to adopt: how do run parallel sessions online, live or recorded, with delegates from 19 time zones? Should we pre-record in some geographic zones and go live in others? And what happens to the AGN for the full membership?  

RW asks whether delegates were asked about need for travel funds? PR reports that many responded they would attend anyway.

PR puts to the EC whether a new Call for Papers should be issued. RF remarks that, rather than getting up hopes, it might be better to wait until we know when/how the conference will be held. If by April we are in a clearer place and a more realistic number can be assessed, we can still post a late Call for Papers. Therefore no action required here at present.

ACTION – PR to email update to Membership in early February.

 

  • Any other business

CSB notes that when members change universities their email addresses change too and they cease to receive emails. They should be reminded to connect with the Membership officer to change their addresses. 

PR reminds EC that there will be a Membership update at the February meeting at which point we could issue such a reminder to the Membership.

 

Date of next meeting: Monday 15, 2021 TBD, 9pm BST/UTC/GMT (consider DST; refer to shared DOC for each country’s time zone)

Announcing Issue 11.3 of the Journal of Screenwriting, focusing on Women in Screenwriting

This video announces the publication of a special issue of the Journal of Screenwriting focused on “Women in Screenwriting” co-edited by Rosanne Welch, SRN Secretary, and Rose Ferrell, SRN Membership Officer. While focusing on female screenwriters Issue 11.3 seeks to be as international as possible including articles covering five continents including countries: Japan, China, Syria, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Zimbabwe and Canada.

 

SRN Executive Minutes – December 2020

Minute of SRN EC Meeting

Monday 14.12.2020 at 9 pm BST/GMT/UTC+1 (via Zoom)

Circulation list: Carmen Sofia Brenes (CSB), Rose Ferrell (RF), Ann Igelström (AI), Rafael Leal (RL), Margaret McVeigh (MM), Paolo Russo (PR), Rosanne Welch (RW)

 

MINUTES

 

1. Apologies for absence

 MM

 

2. Minutes of previous EC Meeting for approval

Approved by all.

 

3. Newsletter (MM)

MM emailed an update confirming she and RW have collated the contributions and that next issue should be finalized by the Christmas break, including a parallel text in-text version

RW will meet MM again next week to revise the Newsletter yearly schedule as follows: March/June/Sept/Dec.

 

4. Website

PR relays he has had no further news from Ian Macdonalds re: Leeds University. Given the unlikelihood that Leeds will renew, the EC moves to proceed with the Call for Hosts.

RL asks whether the EC should talk informally first with members who might be interested and in case of no takers, then issue a public CfH.

PR observes that the best practice would be to release the CfH publicly anyway so as to avoid wasting useful and precious time in case informal links don’t end in agreements.

RL notes that all universities in Brazil will closed down for holidays soon and up until mid- February so we should send out the Call now.

All agree to post the CfH before Christmas with a deadline of end of January 2021 to receive Expressions of interest.

ACTION – RL to revise and circulates draft of CfH. All to approve, so that PR can finalize by Monday 21 December 2021 and RL to send out mid-next week. If no response by end of January we can extend deadline and send out again.

 

5. SRN Content (YouTube channel, history of SRN, banner)

a. Videomessages for YouTube channel (RW, RF, RL)

RW thanks RF and RL for doing the tech/editing to complete the announcement of the upcoming JoS special issue on “Women in Screenwriting” edited by RF and RW. The EC takes note that JoS was created by early SRN members as a way to share research beyond the annual conferences and therefore it seems appropriate to have a videomessage on that.

RL has already posted the video on the YT channel and will share the link with AI for announcing on the FB page.

b. Ongoing history(ies) of SRN (RF, CSB)

RF is currently training on Zoom to prep to record these histories. These will be itemized in future agendas when further news become available.

PR suggest that, should SRN2021 Oxford have to be moved online, we could hold a virtual round table interview with former organizers in the lead-up to the conference. To be discussed, if any, at future EC meetings.

c. Design of new slogan (RF)

PR has liaised with RF and RL and proposed to keep “We Welcome All” as opposed to just a generic “Welcome”, pointing out the importance of using “We” (standing for SRN as a whole). PR also points out that issues regarding gender declination in adjectives and other words in some languages cannot easily be sorted out and we should leave it to the Members to suggest the best options in their own languages.

RF and RL have prepared a form to collect responses from Members.

ACTION – RL to share form with all EC for feedback so it can be sent out to Membership by end of year or ASAP in January. If, after collecting responses, we are still short on specific languages we can use an automatic translator.

The EC thanks RF and RL for the work done so far in regard to this activity.

d. Use of JISCmail list (All)

PR sums up recent exchanges on JISCmail and reiterates that, overall, no members have breached the netiquette. RW has enjoyed the recent threads and reports that one of his Graduate Students who is studying the pedagogy of screenwriting has gained much insight from it. RL found those email conversations were very useful as an ECR and he is happy that such information is available to and sharable with other new academics in the network. RF too found the conversation extremely useful, with arguments around different topics by experts who have had such long experience.

PR thanks RL for posting info on how to filter posts. RL – who now sits once again in the council of the Brazilian Screenwriters’ Association – reports of a similar question they faced about the use of their mailing list. Sometimes the list became too busy and people overused contacts to send Instagram links. Subjects can be combined into digests and groups.

e. Facebook (AI)

AI was asked by Members whether we could start a forum to deal with the kinds of questions raised in the recent JISCmail exchange. PR reiterates that the email he sent out recently reminded all members that they can use the FB page as well to initiate discussions on relevant topics.

ACTION – AI to remind members that they can post questions and topics for debate on FB publicly and then follow up privately with the actual discussion thread.

AI updates the EC on the schedule for the upcoming posts: next up is the YouTube new video.

AI asks whether the post advertising the upcoming slogan/banner should specify that we are asking to offer up translations. RF confirms that the new form (see above) will allow members to offer them up so they are appropriate.

ACTION – RF to post call for translations to JISCmail first, AI to follow up with blurb post on FB.

f. Twitter (RL, AI)

RL reports that the developer’s account set up recently is working well – i.e. whatever posts on WordPress website is added on Twitter so they feed each other.

AI observes that Twitter is still much underused as there isn’t much traffic there. She will work on trying to gain followers.

PR remarks that Twitter tends to be busy before/during/after a conference. After all, our social media outlet are made available to the Membership but it is up to individual members to make use of them.

 

6. Update on SRN2021 conference

ACTION – PR to email shortlisted delegates soon to assess availability for SRN2021 at present.

PR suggests he will draft a new memo outlining alternative scenarios next month.

 

7. Any other business

The EC approved the use of Zoom (preferred over Skype) for all future meetings.

 

Date of next meeting: Monday 18 January 2021 TBD, 9 pm BST/UTC/GMT (consider DST; refer to shared DOC for each country’s time zone)

SRN Executive Minutes – November

Monday 16.11.2020 at 9 pm BST/GMT/UTC+1 (via Skype)

Circulation list: Carmen Sofia Brenes (CSB), Rose Ferrell (RF), Ann Igelström (AI), Rafael Leal (RL), Margaret McVeigh (MM), Paolo Russo (PR), Rosanne Welch (RW)

 

1. Apologies for absence 

CSB

 

2. Minutes of previous EC Meeting for approval

All pending Action Points have been itemized below in the agenda.

The minutes are approved without changes.

 

3. Newsletter

    1. Update re: latest issue (MM)

MM has received some responses on international meetings held this year in own language. Will have pieces from RL, RW, Claus Tieber, Paul Wells. MM to connect with previous ECR rep John Finnegan re: an event he planned/attended – and also looking to connect with Maxine Gee to see what her news is.

RW mentions three book publications to be noted in the Newsletter.

MM asks whether we shall remind people about the deadline for SRN Awards. PR has recently been in touch with the jurists for an update.

ACTION – PR to liaise with RL to update info on the SRN Website.

ACTION – PR to write a short update for the next Newsletter issue. 

MM suggests coverage of publication of the Special Issue of Jos? All agreed.

PR observes the latest Newsletter issue looks a positively dense, end-of-year issue.

 

4. Website

PR reports a request to mention members’ publications on the website but points out that the website as an institutional platform should be about achievements of the SRN as  a whole rather than individual members. The latter are best publicized via the Newsletter, JISCmail list and Facebook page.

All EC members in agreement.

Re: the future hosting plans for the website, PR reports back about his chat with Ian Macdonald re: the current situation at Leeds University: the new faculty members might no longer be fully invested/interested in continuing to host but Ian will ask formally by December. The EC will await response from Leeds on this before circulating the agreed Call for Hosting to members.

RW observes that, even in case Leeds Uni renews availability to host website, we will still face the current limitations so we might have to look for alternative hosts anyway. PR confirms that in such a case we would have to negotiate with Leeds Uni about availability of plugins and website design.

ACTION – RL to share current draft of Call for Hosts looking at formal approval at December EC meeting. 

ACTION – EC to circulate Call ASAP in January so as to collect responses, possibly, for discussion/approval at the end-of-January EC meeting.

 

5. YouTube channel

ACTION – RW plans to have her video message ready by the end of November. Happy to talk about how the issue brought in more members.

RF comments on the good outreach of RL’s recent event in terms of recruiting in South America and that this could be made into a video as well to push for even more.

Work on the history of SRN by CSB/RF is ongoing and an update will be in the agenda for the December meeting. 

 

6. Update on design of new slogan (RF)

Adjourned to December meeting. 

 

7. Social Media 

AI reports an increase of interest in the FB posts once again. Scheduled posts in the forthcoming weeks will include this meeting, the newsletter, the JoS special issue, Calls for Papers, etc.

PR/AI share receipt of yet another CfP for another issue of JoS which will be publicized as well.

PR suggests posting reminders re: nominations for the SRN Awards every six weeks until May. Also to avoid the jury from receiving ALL the materials at once near the deadline.

ACTION – AI to schedule regular SRN Awards reminders.

RW suggests introducing posts about archives around the world. PR notes that some archives also have Fellowships available ECRs and there are valuable digital archives for all researchers.

ACTION – AI to implement archive posts on Facebook and to hashtag them as SRN Resources via Twitter.

RL/AI report that an application for a Twitter developer’s account has been made. No response received yet, so AI will double-check and update.

 

8. Update on SRN2021 conference (PR, All)

PR has updated Delegates/Membership about new/current plans for 2021.

The EC will have to monitor how the situation evolves over the coming months and consider alternative scenarios and related implications in terms of costs, technology, formats. For each scenario, the EC will need to weigh pros and cons and feasibility. 

Also, should SRN2021 be run in hybrid or virtual format, the EC will once again need to consider how to run the AGM. A virtual AGM might require amendment to the SRN Constitution.

PR suggests that, should SRN2021 be run in-person in Oxford after all, we should discuss and approve an amendment to the SRN Constitution at the AGM to include alternative provision(s) to be used in the future when force majeure applies.

All EC members agree.

ACTION – PR to draft memo of alternative scenarios and EC members to send notes about personal experience of attending hybrid conferences this year. To be discussed in January.

PR noticed that recorded papers followed by live discussion would minimize technical issues.

RL reports about recent event he organized in Brazil. Many questioned the decision to pre-record the speakers, but it protected against tech issues well.

Also, PR observes, live presentations require full-time technical assistance from Brookes or by the venue (at an additional cost) which is hard to acquire.

MM did attend a live virtual conference that used the registration fee (which stayed the same as in person) to invest in tech and requested pre-recorded papers as back up. MM emailed her PPT to the host and everything seemed to have worked well. The conference was in Europe but the hosts accommodated time zone changes. Every session sent a live link via email for access. There were longer breaks between presentations to allow everyone to move in and out of sessions.

This seems like a very good approach but PR notes that, should all the delegates initially shortlisted for SRN2020 attend, we would have participants from 21 different time zones, and a programme of 4 parallel panel sessions over 3 days which would be massive to handle. 

PR will keep contacting all shortlisted delegates to get confirmation of attendance. Only when we have a better idea of numbers we will be able to come up with a more precise, viable format. 

Re: the possibility of a new CfP, MM asks whether a reminder should be sent out about deadlines because no matter the format there will still be a presentation opportunity. PR will make sure that all reminders are sent out promptly and in due course.

PR confirms that the conference theme will remain the same so hopefully the shortlisted delegates will still be conducting the relevant research.  

 

9. Any other business

PR is awaiting info from Hospitality team at Oxford Brookes University to confirm whether on-campus accommodation will be available for SRN2021 delegates.

RL suggests using Zoom for the December EC meeting to see if it works better than Skype

ACTION – PR to set up Zoom link for December EC meeting.

 

Date of next meeting agreed to be Monday 14 December at 9 pm BST/UTC/GMT (consider DST; refer to shared DOC for each country’s time zone)

SRN Executive Minutes – October

Minutes of SRN EC Meeting

Monday 19.10.2020 at 10 pm BST/GMT/UTC+1 (via Skype)

Circulation list: Carmen Sofia Brenes (CSB), Rose Ferrell (RF), Ann Igelström (AI), Rafael Leal (RL), Margaret McVeigh (MM), Paolo Russo (PR), Rosanne Welch (RW)

The meeting begins at 10.05 pm BST

Apologies for absence

RF

Minutes of previous EC Meeting for approval

All pending Action Points have been itemized below in the agenda. The minutes are approved without changes.

Welcoming new ECR

All EC members welcome AI who officially starts this month in her ECR role and look forward to working with her in the new academic year.

Update on SRN2021 conference (PR, All)

  • Status update re: venue, suppliers and costs

PR has secured new venue – i.e. Andrew Wiles Building available on Aug 30-Sept 1, 2021. The change of venue became necessary as, sadly, Oxford Brookes University is all booked for graduations next Summer. The Andrew Wiles Building is part of the Mathematical Institute in Oxford City Centre and offered better facilities at less cost compared to more historic colleges, whose hospitality team insisted on SRN members renting all their on-campus rooms.

The main lecture theatre in the new venue accommodates up to 250 people and offers state-of-the-art AV. PR has revised the conference budget thoroughly (which stood at around £17,000 for SRN2020). The move to the new venue meant a significant increase due to the hiring cost of the spaces – now forecasting between £26,600 and £33,300 depending on the number of delegates. In order to keep the registration fee around £100 baseline early bird rate, some budget item had to be revised for savings: e.g. the conference materials will be entirely paperless, and there might not be room in the budget for a pre-conference wine reception. However, these can be added back in later based on numbers of attendees and final budget. PR’s plan to break even is also viable thanks to the financial support he has secured from Oxford Brookes’s School of Arts, who has pledged £5000 in funding. In the last two months, PR has also secured substantial additional support of up to £12,000 through Brookes’ Research & Development funding.

One other consequence of the move to the new venue and revised budget, is that SRN2021 will revert back to the 3-day format and, as a result, the maximum number of papers is estimated at around 108, which means the organizing committee might have to withdraw acceptance of a few (from the 118 initially shortlisted).

  • Uncertainties due to COVID-19 and reaching out to delegates
  • Planning alternative scenarios
  • Updating Membership and delegates

The EC will have to keep monitoring the situation caused by pandemic globally. Realistically, and optimistically, we won’t be able to confirm that the conference will in fact go ahead until Spring 2021. Should this be the case, PR will have to revise the phasing of the various registration rates/deadlines.

ACTION – PR will reach out to the Membership and to this year’s shortlisted delegates to start gauging their ability to attend. A new Call for Papers will be issued, if necessary (i.e. if too many delegates decide not to attend anymore).

CSB asks about the viability of going virtual, should the pandemic persist for longer than hoped?

PR confirms this scenario is on the table. This will of course be an issue for the EC to discuss thoroughly in the forthcoming months, taking into account all the possible drawbacks: e.g. time zones make it impossible to have all delegates join online sessions simultaneously.

ACTION – The EC to discuss possible scenarios and alternative options.

PR confirms that the two Keynotes (i.e. Murray Smith and Liz Kilgarriff) and a “surprise” guest are still on tap to attend 2021, although TBC nearer the conference date when the situation is clearer.

Website and YouTube channel

RL confirms all new EC roles have been updated.

Update on accessibility requirement (PR, RL)

PR confirms that new UK law only applies to public bodies – the SRN’s website is not. However, the EC note that it will be a good idea to discuss ways to improve and enhance accessibility once the renewal of the website is sorted out.

Action plan for renewal of host/domain of SRN web-page:

RL confirms contacts at University of Leeds have changed and that the current agreement expires in July 2021. PR observes that with Ian Macdonald not at the department in Leeds anymore, we do need a new contact there. Moreover, the current website design at Leeds Uni is not very flexible as it does not allow many plug-ins. RL remarks that if we were to move to WordPress, the subscription would be free, but we’d still need host server fees paid. RL’s production company would offer use of their server for free. In short, we would be able to keep domain while the website would be hosted on RL’s server. RL adds that he could ask his university in Rio for institutional support as a host. PR suggests we should post a public call for hosts first (to which Rio as well could respond). CSB observes that hosts do not necessarily have to be universities. Also individual members should be considered. Nonetheless, we should offer first look option to Leeds as they were foundational to the birth of the SRN.

ACTION – PR to contact Ian Macdonald and, subsequently, new contacts at University of Leeds for good practice before moving on to Call.

ACTION – RL to draft Call for Hosts with relevant guidelines and specs to be discussed and approved by the EC by December 2020.

Update on EC’s YouTube videomessages (All)

PR has posted the first YouTube message and calls for other EC members to do the next few. Short videos can be sent to PR who can then add logo and copyright-free music track.

ACTION – RW offers to do one in November to announce special issue of JOS – perhaps together with RF?

Update on ongoing history(ies) of SRN (RF, CSB, RL)

CSB reports that Ian Macdonald is still working on writing a history of the origin of the SRN. RF’s update on oral histories is adjourned.

Update on design of new slogan (RF)

This item too is adjourned to the next meeting.

Social Media (AI)

AI praises Alexandra Ksenofontova for a thorough handoff re: the use of our Facebook page. AI plans to revamp the use of the SRN’s Twitter account, i.e. more activity by retweeting members’ tweets and post on updates on research/industry to start with. RL can install the WordPress plug-in on Twitter – this allows automatic posting of links from WordPress to Twitter.

ACTION – AI and RL to add WordPress plug-in and test it

Any other business

PR reports a recent exchange in JISCMail where a member complained about potential misuse and for the EC to moderate/intervene. Having assessed the content of the exchange, PR does not believe this to constitute a breach of netiquette.

RW observes that, in this case, the message happened to promote books about screenwriting. Others in the past did the same, which helped her find new titles to review for JOS and therefore ended up being helpful and useful.

RL announces an upcoming event called “Screenwriting Dialogues”, i.e. a series of talks he has organized in Brazil with screenwriters and producers. PR suggests this to be posted on our Facebook page and on the website under Local Initiatives.

MM will issue the Call for next Newsletter issue in a few weeks’ time. MM wonders – given new modes of communication we are adding to our interactions with our Membership – what are the philosophies/rationale behind each new form introduced. Is the Newsletter old hat? Can we do book reviews from other languages even printed in other languages?

MM reports that previous issues have also included reflections from the last conference that were very personal and can serve as archival material in the future; another article covered all the EC’s members work for the Network.

PR observes that while format and technology might need us to adapt and update/upgrade from time to time, it is still vital to collect valuable information in one place. For instance, the new YouTube videos were introduced as a surrogate for the EC to communicate with the

Membership in the absence of an AGM this year but will not replace the information contained in the Newsletter. MM also wonders whether the fact that she uses a Page template might pose an issue. RL suggests we might be able to use a WordPress template which allows for better posting on the website once we move to a new hosts. This would allow to embed all Newsletter issues as PDF, or as a file for download (like we currently do for minutes), by converting from pdg to html. PR appreciates that while suggestions for improvement are always welcome, the current look of the template seems well designed, simple and effective.

MM adds that the theme for the next Newsletter issue will be inspired by the “From my window” post during the pandemic. But it will also build off RL’s “Screenwriting Dialogues” and similar SRN-style events in other countries and will feature the languages of those countries. RW and RL praise the idea!

Date of next meeting: Monday 16 November 2020, 9 pm BST/UTC/GMT (consider DST; refer to shared DOC for each country’s time zone)

We Welcome All!

In the past few months most of us have been following news and developments of Black Lives Matter and the renewed discussion this has precipitated regarding – amongst other things –
the decolonisation of curricula, the dismantling of current systems of oppression within organizations and our responsibilities as scholars within our respective HEIs and countries
to keep looking inward and outward in order to enable individuals to take action, ensure positive change and, last but not least, remain accountable. Many of us have seen and received institutional statements against racism, discrimination and violence, some of which were very heartfelt, others more matter-of-factly or oddly worded. To the extent that, in some cases, they were seen as rather self-serving; others, paradoxically, led to vehement criticism of (in all likelihood unintended and yet telling) added insult to injury.

The SRN Executive Council has been paying close attention to the current situation and pondered whether we should issue our own formal statement as well. As we all reflect on many personal and much broader issues in these unprecedented trying times, we would like instead to reiterate two founding tenets of our Constitution that outline, amongst the principle aims of the SRN, “to promote policies which encourage full participation in screenwriting studies by all sections of society; and which address issues of gender and sexual orientation, ethnicity and disability” and “to establish, maintain links with, and encourage dialogue with similar Associations and other appropriate bodies, both nationally and internationally.”

First of all then, rather than simply showing off how good we are, we felt we wanted to renew our support to all colleagues who might be experiencing difficult work and/or life situations, wherever they are and for whatever reason.

When the C19 crisis is over and we are finally able to officially confirm SRN2021, the plan is to make our next Annual Conference into a champion of inclusivity: the theme is “Pushing boundaries” – let’s push them! The following year in Vienna, it will be about “Global” issues; in Missouri in 2023 the conference will tackle “Gender inequality”; and as for Rio de Janeiro in 2024 we’d like to borrow Stuart Hall’s words to consider “colonization as part of an essentially transnational and transcultural global process”. In other words, we have already set a four-year path that calls out to submit bold papers to advance and establish our field at the forefront of the challenges of our times.

What about now? In the last academic year, one of the long-term actions introduced and pursued by the Executive Council has been to reach out and encourage more and more active participation from members from so far underrepresented regions. This is an ongoing, systematic commitment, also reflected in the new role of Membership and Inclusion Officer (currently, Rose Ferrell). We invite all members to participate in and contribute to this effort: any suggestions to take down barriers and make our members feel “at home” and valued in the SRN will be most welcome.