The NWU has a number of organizational structures for carrying out the work of the union and for governing the organization.
Roughly 1,300 journalists, book authors, technical and business writers, poets, fiction writers, (do your whole list here), are members of the National Writers Union. The members are the ultimate authority in the union.
The legislative and policy-making body of the NWU is the biennial Delegate Assembly, consisting of the National Officers and delegates elected from the Chapters. The Delegate Assembly meets as a body once in two years, but may be called upon to make decisions between biennial meetings.
National Executive Board:
The National Executive Board meets in the year between Delegate Assemblies. The NEB consists of the National Officers and the Chairs of each Chapter. The NEB has the authority to make decisions binding on the Union.
National Executive Council:
The National Executive Council consists of the following National Officers, elected every three years: President, 3 Vice Presidents, Financial Secretary/Treasurer, Recording Secretary, 3 Trustees, Sergeant at Arms, Guide. The NEC meets monthly by conference call, or more frequently if necessary, to carry on the work of the NWU between meetings of the DA and NEB. The calls are open to all members, but only NEC members may vote.
NWU Members belong to one of 13 chapters across the country. Except for the At-Large chapter, each chapter has a defined geographic jurisdiction, usually a metropolitan area or a state. Much of NWU activity and most membership gatherings take place at the chapter level. Each chapter has an elected chair (or co-chairs), treasurer, and steering committee, plus delegates to the Delegate Assembly. All local officers and activists are unpaid volunteers.
Members who do not reside within the geographic jurisdiction of any of the other chapters belong to the At-Large chapter. NWU members living outside of the United States also belong to the At- Large chapter.
NWU Members can belong to any of three genre-based divisions, each working on issues relevant to that genre. In addition there is a special Grievance and Contract Division which works to defend contract rights of union members.
Book Division. Handles all issues and matters regarding book authors who publish in American markets.
Journalism Division. Handles all issues and matters regarding freelance journalists who write articles for American newspapers and magazines and online.
BizTech Division. Handles all issues and matters regarding business and technical writers, many of whom “work for hire” under contract to their clients. BizTech also represents all other writers who are not book authors or journalists.
Grievance & Contract Division (GCD). Consists of volunteer Contract Advisors who help NWU members understand and negotiate their contracts with publishers and employers, and volunteer Grievance Officers who go to bat for members who have been abused or cheated by publishers or employers.
NWU members may volunteer or be elected or appointed to a number of committees that address specific concerns of the union.
Elections Committee. Supervises the election of national officers. Members of this committee are elected by the Delegate Assembly.
Community Action Program (CAP) Committee. Addresses legislative and political issues in the areas of writers rights, free speech, human rights, health care and general labor issues.
Civil Rights Committee. Committed to diversifying the union at all levels of activity and leadership and addressing the issues of writers of diverse cultural, ethnic, racial and religious heritage; writers of all sexual/gender orientations; and writers with disabilities.
Women’s Committee. Addresses issues of particular concern to women members.
Since 1992, the National Writers Union has been affiliated with the United Automobile Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW).
Over the years, the UAW has provided crucial resources supporting the work of the NWU in advancing the economic status and working conditions of writers. The UAW has supported major litigation efforts on behalf of the NWU and our members, has provided research for NWU on a variety of issues and provides the services of its full-time legislative office in Washington, DC.
Affiliation with the UAW also puts the NWU into the AFL-CIO, the largest labor federation in the United States, harnessing the clout of their 13 million members.
Through affiliation with the UAW, working writers can help shape the political and economic conditions that impact writers’ working lives. Affiliation also recognizes the common aspirations that writers share with other working people, and our common needs for peace and justice, health care, education, good jobs and democratic institutions.