Member Benefits

In keeping with its mission to defend writers’ rights and improve writers’ economic conditions, the NWU, through the collective efforts of its members, is able to provide a host of resources, benefits, and services to those who join us.

For more information about the membership benefits, read more below.

  • Press passes
  • Tools to Earn More from your WritingContract and grievance help
  • Advice along the way
  • Traveling to promote your work
  • Advocacy
  • Find a Union Writer
  • Share your writing story
  • Help with health insurance
  • Union Plus benefits

Press Passes

NWU is the only authorized source in the U.S. for the press pass offered by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). This is a “must have” for U.S.-based journalists covering events taking place outside of the U.S.

If you do your news reporting in the U.S., we offer the NWU Press Pass.

The passes are available for purchase by qualified working journalist-members. They are both invaluable in gaining press access to many events. And access means earning! Read more here.

Learn How to Earn More from your Writing

Get access to webinars and workshops on how to negotiate a digital publishing contract and how to earn money as a writer.  Online discussion groups for Book Authors, Journalists, Business and Technical Writers, Academic Authors, Screenwriters and Fiction Writers give every member the chance to learn from each others’ marketing savvy.

Contract and Grievance Help

Trained union members in NWU’s Grievance and Contract Division (GCD) and other divisions have prepared model contracts in several genres. These contracts are available to members. If you have been offered a contract, contact GCD before you sign it.

Contract Advisors can help you avoid pitfalls and probably even get a better deal. If a member believes his or her contract has been violated, Grievance Officers try to resolve the problem.

When multiple members have been affected by similar violations of their rights by the same publisher or employer, NWU may sue on their behalf.

Advice Along the Way

As a freelance writer you may work by yourself, but as a member of NWU, you are not alone. Our community of more than 1,300 freelance writers is a major benefit in itself. From advice on how to better market your writing, to tips on negotiating contracts, to job leads, members share experiences and expertise at events and membership meetings at the chapter level and through genre-specific e-mail discussion lists.

Traveling to promote your work

Book tours financed by a publisher are the exception these days, not the rule. NWU has something to fill that gap: the NWU Authors Network. Members in many locations open their homes, at no cost, for fellow members on tour to promote their books or stories. And if there is an NWU Chapter where you are going, they’ll help get the word out.

Advocacy

NWU speaks for writers in Congress, before the U.S. Copyright Office, in state and local legislatures and in the news media. We support copyright reform, a federal shield bill for journalists and “Medicare for All” single payer health care. Experts lobby, supported by member action. Read more on the “Issues We Care About” page.

This includes reports and case studies on the nuts and bolts of the business of freelance writing. As a member, you will have access to reports and case studies on other freelance writers and how they are dealing with contract issues and grievances. (Members Only): sign in now to read our GCD Coordinator’s Monthly Grievance Reports which chronicle and document other freelance writers’ challenges with compensation, payment, remuneration, and more.

Find a Union Writer – Post a Profile on our Searchable Writer Database to Connect with Publishers and other members and Find Work

Members may post on our web site a description of the kind of writing and related work they do and links to examples of their work. It is our hope that members will seek out other members for help with a story, a collaborator or an editor. We also hope employers looking for quality writers will use the site to find the right person. Click here to search our Find a Union Writer directory and connect with talent.

Get Publicity for Your Work

Our NWU newsletter and website both report on members’ accomplishments, in both short announcements and longer interviews. You can help promote your work by submitting a story. Simply click Submit a News Item or a Photo once you are logged in. All members are eligible to submit a story for publication. You can also fill out your Find a Union Writer profile to be listed in our searchable member talent database, a new member benefit. To do this, simply log in to the website, fill out your profile, and opt-in to make it publicly searchable.

Help with Health Insurance

NWU has a partnership with Working America Health Care (WAHC) to help members get the best possible deal on the health care exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act. NWU members have already saved an average of $235 a month by applying through Working America brokers. Members who sign up for health insurance through WAHC also have access to a Health Advocate, at no charge, to help resolve problems with insurance companies and doctors.

NWU members can purchase d­­ental and vision coverage at group rates. 

NWU members and their families receive, free, the RX Well Card prescription drug discount card, providing savings at tens of thousands of neighborhood pharmacies.

Union Plus Benefits

As members of the UAW and AFL-CIO, NWU members are entitled to a cornucopia of discounts and special programs through the Union Plus program.

Union Plus programs use the consumer buying power of over 13 million members of AFL-CIO unions to provide a wide range of money-saving benefits and services. These include:

  • Legal Services. Free and discounted legal assistance.
  • Loan Programs. Lower-rate, longer term loans.
  • Home Mortgages. Hassle-free mortgages, with low down- payments.
  • Scholarships. Academic scholarships are presented annually to union members or members of their families.
  • Discounts. Savings on car rentals, moving charges, pet products and more.

They’re available to freelancers, not just employees.

Remember we are members of UAW Local 1981 when seeking Union Plus benefits. To find out more about these benefits, visit unionplus.org.

Union Plus Page