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

Saying Goodbye to Susan: Writer, Editor, Activist, Comrade

Susan E. Davis, a beloved National Writers Union (NWU) leader who championed a better world, died peacefully in her sleep on September 26. A month earlier she’d suffered a massive stroke in her Manhattan home. She gave generously to her NWU sisters and brothers by serving in a multitude of roles for upwards of two […]

What is the Internet Archive doing with our books?

The NWU presented a public informational webinar on “What is the Internet Archive doing with our books?” on April 27 and May 5, 2020. The webinar explains “Controlled Digital Lending”, the “National Emergency Library”, and “One Web Page for Every Page of Every Book”: Video of webinar Slides from webinar Related articles: We Need Federal […]

Internet Archive removes controls on “lending” of bootleg e-books

Using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse, the Internet Archive has — without permission or payment — removed all limits on how many people can simultaneously “borrow” digital copies of some of its bootleg e-book editions scanned from printed books. Included in this co-called National Digital Library are bootleg e-book editions of 1.4 million books, […]