Potato salad ... is that what that was?
Faramond, the National Writers Union is ... a union
that represents about 15,000 professional writers on a variety of issues such as finding agents, negotiating contracts, marketing and distribution, lobbying, and even court cases that affect us. They serve all categories of writer and I joined on the strength of my academic writing. It is something of an issue at my University, because the U. tries to claim my curricula as their intellectual property. Sometimes this is justified, but not always, and I wanted to have access to legal advice, and to agents, if I needed it.
When I joined, the requirements for entry were not very stringent. For fiction writers, for example, having a novel-length work in progress was sufficient. I guess they are presuming that no one will pay union dues unless they are serious about publishing. There would be no point if one were just writing for fun.
Intellectual property rights are the big deal right now - making sure that writers get paid for their work when the work is transformed to other media. We're a local of the UAW, which gives us some muscle in lobbying and lawsuits, etc.