Get to Know Us

More than 40 people joined the NWU to get grievance assistance or contract advice during the first six months of 2018. And roughly half of all members who request service—not counting group grievances—are new members. If you’re one of them, welcome to the National Writers Union! 

If you joined to pursue a grievance, you may not know that most of the GCD’s work is in contract advice: Ensuring you negotiate a fair contract in the first place, so you don’t need to file a grievance later. We’re not lawyers and can’t give legal advice, but our grievance officers and contract advisors really know the business of writing.

We have model contracts and guides to contracts, including our Guide to Book Contracts, that many members find invaluable. You can also contact for information on best business practices, particular publishers and rights issues. 

While our valuable contract advice and grievance assistance may have been why you joined, there are plenty of reasons to stay. They include:

  • Our press passes, which are proven invaluable to journalists.
  • Union Plus benefits, which range from car rentals to online college courses to prescription drugs.
  • You can sign up and be part of our “Find a Union Writer” searchable database. 
  • You can join our online discussion groups, such as NWU-Book and Journalism Divisions, which are great places to ask questions and get answers on aspects of the writing business from colleagues who’ve been there.
  • If you’re near a city where we have a local chapter, there are educational and networking events you can attend with fellow writers.
  • You can take advantage of opportunities to work within our genre divisions on advocacy, such as the US Copyright Office’s initiative to establish a Copyright Small Claims Court.

So get involved, stay active, and let the NWU work for you!

Barbara Mende is the Grievance and Contract Division (GCD) Coordinator