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

Reception for the NWUSO Legal Action Fund

In 2018, the National Writers Union collected more than $200,000 for almost 150 unpaid freelancers by waging Group Non-Payment Grievances. Most of these were settled directly and with the assistance of the UAW Legal Department , some had to go to court. All of the unpaid freelancers were paid 100% of what they were owed. […]

Reception for the NWUSO Legal Action Fund

In 2018, the National Writers Union collected more than $200,000 for almost 150 unpaid freelancers by waging Group Non-Payment Grievances. Most of these were settled directly by the union. And some, with the assistance of the UAW Legal Department, had to go to court. All of the unpaid freelancers were paid 100% of what they […]

Response to our appeal and FAQ from proponents of “Controlled Digital Lending”

There’s been no direct response from the Internet Archive in the month since the NWU and dozens of other organizations launched our campaign against so-called Controlled Digital Lending (CDL). Unauthorized scanning and distribution of digital copies of printed books continues, unchecked. The defenders of CDL have, however, posted their own new FAQ which is obviously […]