Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Have any of you (who are based in the U.S.) joined the National Writing Union? Looking ever their actions I find a lot of causes I support including:
* Protesting Simon & Schusters rights grab in redefining "out of print".
* Opposing the requirement to register copyright to sue for statutory damages when copyright is infringed.
* Opposing the "orphaned works" bill (one of the few writers groups that did).
* Supporting single payer health insurance which would increase coverage of freelance writers.
They also offer grievance assistance, publisher warnings and contract advice as well as a lot of educational resources for members in good standing. The fees are in line with standard union dues at $120 if you earning up to $5000 from writing, and $195 if you earn up to $15,000.
I often hear writers on panels talk about investing proportion of your earnings in publicity and marketing, but what about union membership. I have been a member of my student unions, and unions at every job that had one--even a minimum wage cleaning job. But I have never joined a writers union, perhaps it is time I did?