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

(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

New Addendum To Book Contracts Guide

Over the past few years, we’ve had increasing numbers of inquiries about the treatment of electronic books (e-books) within book contracts. While they were traditionally considered subsidiary rights that compensated authors at 50 percent of net sales, many publishers have begun to see them as a windfall, and have tried to get members to accept […]

NWU and Nautilus Settle $60,000 Non-Payment Grievance

New York City, January 31 – Today the NWU announced that we have a signed settlement with Nautilus magazine resolving a non-payment grievance with twenty Nautilus freelancers. In mid-December, the freelancers filed the grievance with NWU for help in seeking payment of over $60,000 owed to them for articles published in the National Magazine Award-winning […]

President’s Column – Feb. Newsletter

Happy New Year and I hope you were all able to participate in the recent Women’s Marches. In NYC, the numbers were much larger than the stated 200,000, and thousands of people never got to actually join the march because the crowds were so big and due to NYPD crowd control. I was one, who […]