Grievance and Contract Division (GCD)

The GCD is:

  • Contract Advisors (CAs) who help NWU members understand and negotiate their contracts with publishers and employers
  • Grievance Officers (GOs) who go to bat for members who have been abused or cheated by publishers or employers

We are all volunteers, writers like you who are trained to understand publishing contracts and solve problems. We also offers seminars and other educational opportunities to hone your contract skills and then apply them to helping other union members; and we can answer your questions about contracts, rights issues, and the business of writing.

Contract Advice. Have you been presented a contract and don’t know what or how to negotiate? The NWU’s nationwide network of contract advisers assists members by reviewing their contracts (in all genres) with them. Contract advice is the first step in not being stiffed and learning about what makes a fair contract.

Grievance Assistance. Is your publisher refusing to pay you? Delaying the publication of a timely work? Misreporting your royalties? The NWU’s skilled grievance officers have recovered more than $1.5 million for writers from publishers through individual and group grievances, and have represented members in non-monetary grievances as well.

Writer Alerts. The GCD posts writer alerts on the NWU website from time to time, warning writers about unscrupulous publishers. Stay away from these folks.

Contract Resource Materials. The GCD also offers a host of written how-to documents that will save you time and money. Many of these resources can be found under Contract Resources in the Members Only section. (You must be logged in to view this.) If you don’t see something you’re looking for, contact advice@nwu.org.

(Members Only) – Read Our GCD Semiannual Reports to get an idea about what other writers are facing and read case studies of other freelance writers’ challenges with contracts, compensation, payment, remuneration, and more.

Latest Division News

NWU and Jacobin Reach a Freelancer Agreement

NEW YORK, NY (May 14, 2018) – The National Writers Union (UAW Local 1981) announced today that they have reached an agreement with Jacobin Magazine over a contract that covers freelancers for the publication’s print magazine and website. The agreement follows similar agreements negotiated last fall with The Nation and earlier this spring with In […]

Writers Ask U.S. Copyright Office for Copyright Registration Reform

Washington, DC, May 8, 2018 — Representatives of the NWU, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), and the Authors Guild (AG) converged on Washington this week to call on the US Copyright Office to create a “group registration” procedure by which a writer could […]

Checks Are in the Mail for May Day!

As of today, International Workers’ Day, checks for approximately $9.5 million are in the mail to almost 2,500 freelance writers whose works were copied and distributed in electronic form by publishers of print periodicals who had neither paid for nor acquired digital rights to these articles. These payments today of millions of dollars to thousands […]