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Coronavirus: Struggling Writers Offered Financial Aid by Society of Hungarian Authors

Tamás Vaski 2021.02.02.

The Society of Hungarian Authors has announced that it will be setting aside the majority of its income to provide financial aid for struggling writers, reports Index.

In an interview with the online newspaper, Endre Szkárosi, president of the society, said that the idea of offering members financial aid did not stem from the coronavirus pandemic.

Still, he says, support is especially important now, since “there are no book exhibitions, reader-writer meet and greets, or roundtable talks from which writers can make money.”

Writers who are in more secure positions are either university professors or federal employees who still get paid during the pandemic. For independent writers who make their money solely from the royalties on their books, the situation is dire.

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Szkárosi plan is to offer three payments over the course of five years for each writer who applies for aid. The amount which the society provides will be between 140 and 700 euros, depending on the applicant’s situation.

Out of the Society of Hungarian Authors’ roughly 400 members, Szkárosi assumes 50-60 will request such payments.

Financial aid for Hungarian writers from such societies is not a new phenomenon. Others, such as Society Artisjus, have similar platforms which provide between 140 to 840 euros to writers who request support.

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While it is definitely not a significant sum, the relief payments the organization provides are surely better than nothing.

Featured photo illustration by Tamás Sóki/MTI