A message to NWU members from Edward Hasbrouck (co-chair Book Division):
We saw many lapsed and former NWU members at recent events about the Google Book settlement in New York and Berkeley. Here's what one of them, a member of the Authors Guild, wrote to the court after the NWU event:
Our work on this has been for all writers, not just our members.
Please tell your friends about what we've been doing, and let them know: If you want to make a living from writing -- books, articles, blogging, technical writing, Web content, any kind of writing in any medium, genre, or format -- the NWU wants and *needs* you back!
As our work on this issue shows, we're actively defending and speaking out for writers' rights. But this is just one of many issues, and one of many things we could be doing if we regained our former numbers and level of participation. If there are things you'd like to see the NWU doing, please share your ideas -- with chapter and/or division officers, or the national office --and please come out to help make them happen.
As a longtime NWU member who has only recently become active in NWU organizing, I really believe that the NWU is back on course, and has reversed many of the things that led to the decline in membership numbers. But we're a union, not a commercial fee-for-service bureau. We have
minimal paid staff, and rely on our own efforts and on working together.
The ongoing rights grabs by print and electronic publishers demonstrate that writers need the NWU now more than ever. Please use this opportunity, while we are in the news and taking a leading role on a key issue, to let writers outside the current membership, including lapsed members, know about the NWU, and encourage them to join or rejoin the NWU.