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

Free Manuel Duran

Manuel Duran Ortega is a well-known and respected journalist in Memphis, TN. A former TV station manager in El Salvador, he came to the US more than a decade ago as an undocumented immigrant after his life was threatened. Duran was arrested by Memphis police on April 3, while covering a local immigration rights protest […]

Consumers Digest: Pay Your Writers What You Owe Them

The National Writers Union/UAW 1981 is representing 17 freelance contributors to Consumers Digest Magazine who are owed more than $63,000 for stories that were contracted, completed and published. Some writers have waited more than a year to be paid by a publication that presents itself as a champion of consumers and ethical business practices. On May […]

Stop Racist Attacks on Immigrant Families

The National Writers Union strongly condemns the anti-immigrant policies and actions of the United States government that separates families and kidnaps children. It is outrageous to see immigrant children locked in cages and to hear the stories of thousands of families who have been separated on the southern U.S. border. These actions are inhumane, cruel, […]