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National Writers' Union Records
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Scope and Contents
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Arrangement

  • Contributing Institution: California State University Dominguez Hills, Gerth Archives and Special Collections
    Title: Records of the National Writers Union
    Creator: Hartford, Bruce (Civil rights activist)
    source: Tasini, Jonathan
    source: Dubro, Alec
    Identifier/Call Number: SPC.2019.051
    Physical Description: 7 Linear Feet
    Physical Description: 7 boxes
    Date (inclusive): 1972-2004; undated
    Date (bulk): 1983-2000
    Abstract: This collection contains correspondence; memorandums; reports; notes; meeting minutes; resolutions; newsletters; budget and financial information; and other documents from the National Writers Union (NWU).
    Language of Material: English .

    Conditions Governing Access

    Material marked as confidential, as well as some personal and finanical information is restricted.

    Conditions Governing Use

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Archives and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials and not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    For information about citing archival material, see the Citations for Archival Material  guide, or consult the appropriate style manual.

    Processing Information

    Material was removed from original folders and placed into archival folders with reference to original folder titles. Although material has been arranged chronologically and into series by subject; original order was maintained in regards to material within each folder and folder titles, meaning that documents have been placed in the same order within each folder, and folder titles were authored by the collection's creator.

    Scope and Contents

    The Records of the National Writers Union (1972-2004; undated) contains seven boxes of material related to the National Writers Union (NWU). This collection is arranged into fifteen series and contains: correspondence; memorandums; reports; notes; articles; meeting minutes; resolutions; budget and financial information; grievances; proposals; and other documents. The bulk of the collection relates to National Executive Board (NEB), Delegate Assembly meetings, and Technical Writers Job Hotline, but also contains correspondence, memorandums, and reports collected and generated by Bruce Hartford- President of Bay Area Local 3 (1985-1987) and Secretary-Treasurer (1990-2001) and generated by NWU National Presidents Andrea Eagan (1983-1987), Alec Dubro (1987-1990), and Jonathan Tasini (1990-2003), as well as files from other local and national chapter officers.

    Biographical / Historical

    The National Writers Union (NWU) was founded on November 19, 1981 after a meeting of two conferences of freelance writers organized by "The Nation" magazine in 1980- one in New York and the other in San Francisco. According to NWU's mission statement "The purpose of the NWU, Local 1981 shall be to promote and protect the rights, interests, and economic advancement of members; to organize writers to improve professional working conditions through collective bargaining action; and to provide professional services to members. The NWU, Local 1981 commits itself to representing the interests of the full range of writers in the US. in all genres, media and formats. These include writers of diverse cultures, ethnicities, politics, religions and racial identities; writers of all ages and all sexual/gender orientations; writers with disabilities; and writers at all levels of economic and commercial success." ("Mission", NWU) As of 2020, NWU has 13 local chapters; and three genre-based divisions- book, journalism, and BizTech as well as a grievance and contract division (GCD). There are approximately 1,300 members of the NWU who are journalists, book authors, technical and business writers, poets, playwrights, editors, fiction writers, and other mediums. Since 1992, NWU has been affiliated with the United Automobile Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW). Along with members, the NWU has three other organizational structures that govern and carry out the work of the organization:
    "Delegate Assembly:
    The legislative and policy-making body of the NWU is the biennial Delegate Assembly, consisting of the National Officers and delegates elected from the Chapters. The Delegate Assembly meets as a body once in two years, but may be called upon to make decisions between biennial meetings.
    National Executive Board:
    The National Executive Board meets in the year between Delegate Assemblies. The NEB consists of the National Officers and the Chairs of each Chapter. The NEB has the authority to make decisions binding on the Union.
    National Executive Council:
    The National Executive Council consists of the following National Officers, elected every three years: President, 3 Vice Presidents, Financial Secretary/Treasurer, Recording Secretary, 3 Trustees, Sergeant at Arms, Guide. The NEC meets monthly by conference call, or more frequently if necessary, to carry on the work of the NWU between meetings of the DA and NEB. The calls are open to all members, but only NEC members may vote." ("Governance/Committees", NWU)
    Nwuatlarge. "How Is a Writers' Union Different from a Writers' Association?" World Organization of Writers, 22 July 2014, worldorganizationofwriters.org/2014/07/22/how-is-a-writers-union-different-from-a-writers-association/.
    "Home." NWU, nwu.org/about/governance-committees/.
    "Home." NWU, nwu.org/about/mission/.


    This collection is arranged into fifteen series
    1. Series I: National Writers Union, General Files, 1972-2004; undated
    2. Series II: National Executive Board, February 1984-August 2001
    3. Series III: Delegate Assembly, 1983-2001
    4. Series IV: Financial Files,1982-2003
    5. Series V: Committees, 1985-2001; undated
    6. Series VI: Affiliations, 1978-2001
    7. Series VII: Agreements, 1983-2001; undated
    8. Series VIII: Publications, 1982-2004; undated
    9. Series IX: Material related to membership and members, 1986-1996; undated
    10. Series X: Technical Writers; 1984-1998; undated
    11. Series XI: Correspondence, 1984-1997
    12. Series XII: Grievances and Lawsuits, 1984-1996
    13. Series XIII: Events, 1985-2001
    14. Series XIV: Elections, 1987-2001
    15. Series XV: Subject Files, 1982-2000; undated

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Labor unions -- United States
    Authors and publishers -- Law and legislation
    Authors -- Labor unions
    San Francisco (Calif.)
    Grievance procedures
    Authors and publishers
    National Writers Union (U.S.)
    Tasini, Jonathan
    Dubro, Alec