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

EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT THE GCD

The Grievance and Contract Division’s semi-annual report for the second half of 2015 has just been posted here. We hope you’ll take the time to peruse it. The GCD is made up of about twenty volunteers at any given time. A lot of people think that all we do is collect money for writers who […]

Tax Tips for Writers

NWU member and tax accountant Therese Francis spoke at a recent NorCal event. These are points she covered in her talk on taxes for writers: Think like a business, look like a business, be seen as a business and, most of all, take advantage of tax laws for businesses. The IRS recognizes two types of […]

“Freelance Isn’t Free” Advances in the NY City Council

New York City – February 29: “The company closed, the owners took the furniture and equipment out of the office and disappeared. There was no bankruptcy, no one was notified—they simply closed…Freelancers got nothing! The total loss to 40 workers exceeds $300,000. I was owed more than $20,000.” That was a part of NWU VP […]