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

NWU Crashes Ebony Power 100 Bash – Pay the Writers!

On December 1, NWU crashed the Ebony Power 100 Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. The Gala is Ebony magazine’s annual award ceremony to honor the leading African-American figures in politics, culture and sports. NWU’s action was organized by SoCal acting chapter chair Ismael Parra and NWU VP Pamela K. Johnson. Members […]

Make the ‘Freelance Isn’t Free Law’ Work for You

Freelancers in New York City, or those who work for an NYC publisher, have a valuable new business resource: the Freelance Isn’t Free Law, which went into effect last May. The National Writers Union’s Grievance and Contract Division, under the direction of NYC member and national contract advisor Susan E. Davis, will work with NWU […]

NWU Endorses U.S. Copyright Reform Bills

The NWU has endorsed two bipartisan proposals introduced in the current Congress for reform of U.S. copyright law. Neither of these proposed laws would adequately address the fundamental problems for writers with current copyright law, but each of them would be a step in the right direction.  One of these bills, H.R. 3495, would create […]