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

End the War and Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen

New York, NY March 13 — Tonight NWU joined with the Arab-American Association of NY (AAANY) and the Arab-American Family Support Center (AAFSC) for a panel on ending the war and humanitarian crisis in Yemen. The event was also sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace, Brooklyn Peace and the International Committee of the Professional Staff […]

NWU and ITT Sign Freelancer Agreement

NEW YORK, NY (March 13, 2018) – The National Writers Union (UAW Local 1981) announced today that they have reached an agreement with In These Times over a contract that covers freelancers for the publication’s print magazine and website. The agreement follows a similar agreement negotiated last fall with The Nation, and provides a template for freelance digital writers […]

NWU Reaches Final Settlement Agreement with Ebony

CHICAGO, IL – The National Writers Union has reached a final settlement agreement with the Ebony Media Organization and CVG Group LLC (which acquired Ebony magazine in 2016), over the magazine’s failure to pay freelance writers, editors and designers for contracted and published work. This settlement covers 45 freelancers who are collectively owed $80,000 by […]