"Welcome to Berlin! - We open this World Conference with a classic Movie and one of the first german sound films: „M – eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder“, released two years before the Nazis came to power. Its innovative film language shows the crisis which escalated in terror: War hysteria, a weak police which allows criminals to persecute another criminal, the stigmatization and destruction of a mentally ill for the „health“ of the majority. Writer-Director Fritz Lang and his Co-Author (and wife) Thea von Harbou knew what was coming. 1933 Lang flew with a Night Train to Paris, his wife got divorced and became Head of the german Writer's Guild (no, not ours). The shadows of the past have long gone. The modern city of Berlin welcomes our international colleagues in the autumn's sun. Nevertheless it is worth it to talk about the danger of authorative thinking in this City, that is full of history – and to talk about our role as storytellers, whose thoughts and minds must be free. Der German Writer's Guild and the german colleagues are looking forward to the exchange of ideas with you. Let's come together at the WCOS Berlin 2018, like before in Athens, Barcelona and Warsaw, in friendly, open minded and, yes, cheerful manner. Germans can laugh too. Promise."

Sebastian Andrae,
Executive Board Member, VDD, Germany

"As a writer, I love talking about writing. A screenwriters conference is a great opportunity to do it, and to share both success and tough experiences with other writers. In a moment of massive international productions, networking with writers from all around the world is also a chance to be ready for future job opportunities or joint ventures, as well as being aware of the important things to take into account when negotiating a contract, or creative ideas other countries have implemented to protect their writers' rights. And all of these combined with great food and drinks!"

Teresa de Rosendo, ALMA, Spain

"The Writers Guild of France believes the 4th World Conference of Screenwriters is the perfect opportunity to discuss the social role of screenwriters in writing inspiring and creative fictional narratives for society. In a context of globalisation, it is absolutely necessary today to think together on how organizing better working conditions for them being able to fulfill that role."

Denis Goulette, Executive Director of La Guilde Française des Scénaristes

"What is compelling for us as a country in participating in the conference, is the survival of the screen writer. Working in a climate where we haven't managed to secure even basic rights;to move from crappy working conditions and ridiculous pay - now in the rapidly changing media space, things look dire for the screen writer. The WGSA is mobilizing to have parliament review legislation pertaining to the status of the freelance writer so that they can have legislative coverage. In varying degrees, the cause for the fair treatment of the writer is a global conquest and our presence with writers from all over the world has been an empowering experience where we learnt strategies to bolster ourselves so we can build ourselves as a force for change. The theme for this years' WCOS resonates strongly because there is an urgent need for writers to position themselves in whatever way they can to be able to make and monetize work freely. We're excited to explore through the various panels ways that the writer can evolve creatively, politically and entrepreneurialy, to respond to the ongoing metamorphosis of the economy. With all the frustration of our working conditions we want to be phoenixes and keep doing what we love, what the world benefits so much from and get paid accordingly. The coming together of writers in this way continues the work we all do to endure for our craft and we look forward to having exchanges where we can contribute and receive useful nuggets to put in our back pockets and effect revolutions in our culture."

Makganwana Mokgalong, WGSA, South Africa

"There has never been a better time to be a writer. Thanks to new opportunities -- from Netflix to uploading a short film on YouTube and promoting it yourself on social media -- there are more platforms for our work than ever before. Content is King.

But new opportunities also bring new problems; global problems which require global solutions.  Our adversaries are rich, powerful conglomerates who conceal data and hide in the shadows. The only way to get just payment for our writing is to work together through our guilds and trade unions; sharing our information and brain power and acting as one. After all, writers are good at resolving the most impossible of plots.

Thank you, WCOS, for bringing us together."

Gail Renard, Chair of the WGGB

"At the end of The Thing From Another World, after Scotty the Newsman has witnessed our Yankee Flyboys save Planet Earth from the eponymous monster, an outsized vegetal vampire bent on turning humans into feedstock, he gets on the horn and implores everyone listening to him to tell the world, tell this to everybody, wherever they are, watch the skies, keep looking, keep Watching the Skies. And if you have been watching the skies over the US of A during the last couple of years you’ve seen that Amurrica has entered into the Long Night of the Stupid. The abominable, super-sized Orange Ogre, whom some call President, has declared war on the truth. Telling it like it is can now transform you into an enemy of the people, and what with Amurricans owning 40% of the world’s firearms that is not something you want wingnuts thinking you are.

Two years ago devoting a conference of screenwriters to the issue of freedom of expression seemed important but to this foolish Amurrican it presented as an intellectual exercise, but now, when anti-semitic fascists can march proudly through our streets and be declared fine people by our own personal Mussolini, when drunken rapist pharisees are elevated to Uncle Sam’s Sanhedrin, when children are ripped from the arms of mothers fleeing death squads and then thrown into cages, the notion of freedom of expression for artists, for everyone, has taken on for me a great urgency, and this conference should serve as a clarion call from writers to everyone -- it is once again time for all of us to watch the skies, keep looking, keep Watching the Skies."

Bob Schneider, Treasurer Writers Guild of America East