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

Problems with your book contract? You have options.

Many people have contacted us in the last few years about getting out of book contracts. Maybe they want to self-publish an e-book. Maybe the publisher isn’t promoting their book properly. Maybe their editor left and they’re unhappy with the new cast of characters. If you want out, the first step is to ask. If […]

Work-for-Hire: A Great Market

Copyrights are important to a writer’s success, but so is money. Sometimes work for hire (WFH) is a great way to earn money. Freelancers can make good incomes writing promotional materials, product manuals, grants, or books in series (think Dummies). Without owning the copyrights they can’t sell the movie or smartphone app rights, but how […]

Want to Know More About Contracts?

One of the most vital things the GCD (NWU Grievance and Contract Division) does is review contracts and advise members on terms. But we don’t tell members what to do. We expect members to become proactive after reading the NWU Guide to Book Contracts and learning why terms are good or bad. For instance, a […]