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The National Association of Writers' Groups

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Personal Data

This document forms part of our privacy portal, a collection of articles
describing our privacy policy and how we protect your personal data.

(PDF: viewdownload)

National Association of Writers' Groups

Privacy & Personal Data

About Your Personal Data


The National Association of Writers' Groups (NAWG) has a privacy policy which is reviewed regularly. In order to help us uphold the policy, we have created the following procedures which outline ways in which we collect, store, use, amend, share, destroy (paper) and delete (electronic) personal data.

These procedures cover the main, regular ways we collect and use personal data. We may from time to time collect and use data in ways not covered here. In these cases we will ensure our privacy policy is upheld.

Types of Data

This section gives details of what kinds of personal data we collect and retain about you.

Contact Information

For the purposes of communicating with you, we use the following kinds of contact information:

  • Your full name and any title.
  • Your pseudonym or pen name if you use one.
  • Your full postal address including postcode.
  • Your telephone number(s).
  • The name of your writing group, or
  • Whether you are an individual member of NAWG.

Financial Information

For members and customers of NAWG, we use financial information relating to you, in order to conduct our business. These include:

  • Bank account number and sort code.
  • Cheque numbers.
  • Bank transfer details, e.g. for BACS payments.
  • PayPal transaction numbers.

Internet Information

Also for the purposes of communication, we keep the following kinds of information about your internet presence:

  • Your email address.
  • The location (URL) of your website or blog, if you have one.
  • Your Internet Protocol (IP) address. This is used, for example, when you leave a comment on our website, for purposes of reducing unsolicited advertising, "spam" and other unwanted communications.
  • Your user agent (browser) identifier, also for anti-spam measures.


This section gives details about when and where we collect your personal data, and for what purposes.


We maintain various lists of groups, individuals, associates and service providers. This is done for operational and administrative purposes, including:

Membership • Subscriptions • Distribution of publications • Provision of goods & services

Membership List

We maintain a membership list in the form of a database.

When people join our membership, we will explain what details will be placed in the database, how they will be stored, and that they may ask to be removed from the list at any time.

We will only include information in the database which is required to manage membership and ensure the member has access to the benefits we offer.

Within a specified time of your membership not being renewed (see the data retention policy below), your data will be removed from the database and any paper records will be destroyed.

The database contains membership information including the following:

  • Group or individual's website address.
  • Group or individual's contact details including name, address, telephone and email.
  • Dates for: last payment, renewal, leaving.
  • Gift Aid declaration.
  • Which information is to be displayed in the website directory.
  • How they heard about NAWG.

The database contains records for:

  • Individual members.
  • Groups that belong to the association.
  • Patrons.
  • Supporters who regularly work with us and who are kept informed of what we do.
  • The contact person for each group that belongs to the association.
  • Members who belong to these groups and who have asked for individual communications.

It is used to:

  • Manage membership.
  • Manage the writing groups directory on the website.
  • Distribute Link magazine.
  • Circulate the e-newsletter.
  • Check membership in order to ensure that event bookings, advertising and other services are charged at the correct rate.

Writing Groups Directory

We maintain a membership directory which appears on our website. This lists the names and town/city of all groups who are currently members. The directory is derived from the membership list database.

When a group joins, they may choose to have additional contact information displayed in this directory. We will only include information in the directory which the group contact has expressly consented to be displayed.

They may ask for any or all of this information to be removed from the list at any time. This will be done as soon as possible and certainly within the time specified by our data retention policy.

The directory shows:

  • Group name.
  • Approximate location, based on area code (leading letters from the postcode).
  • Website address, if available.
  • Other contact information or comments, according to permissions given by group contact.

Mailing List

We will maintain a mailing list. This will include the names and other contact details of people who wish to receive Link magazine, e-newsletters, membership offers, publicity and fundraising appeals from National Association of Writers' Groups.

When you sign up to the list we will explain how your details will be used, how they will be stored, and that you may ask to be removed from the list at any time. We will only send you messages which you have expressly consented to receive.

We will not use the mailing list in any way that the individuals on it have not explicitly consented to.

We will provide information about how to be removed from the list with every mailing.

List of Volunteers & Associates

In the future, we may maintain one or more lists to manage people such as:

  • Volunteers who offer their services to help with the running of the association.
  • Critiquers who help facilitate our critiquing service.
  • Commercial providers such as venue and event managers, advertisers, printing services, etc.

We will document all personal data related matters concerning such lists in this space here.

Goods and Services

We provide a range of goods and services for the general public and for our members, often at reduced prices. These include:

  • Writing festivals, retreats, workshops and other events.
  • Writing competitions, both public and members-only.
  • Publications such as books and magazines, plus other merchandise.
  • Professional critiques, editing and other services.

To book events, enter competitions, order merchandise or services, you fill in a form and send it to us together with any payment details.

The form can be obtained:

  1. By downloading it from our website.
  2. By requesting it to be sent by email.
  3. By requesting it to be sent through the post.

You fill in the form, either electronically or on paper, then send it to us by email or by post.

This process includes providing us with your contact details, so that we can book your event attendance, send competition results, process your merchandise order, etc. It enables us to send the goods or receipts to the address you specify.

When making your booking or completing your order, you'll be asked if you wish to be added to our mailing list. If you choose not to be on the mailing list, your details will be deleted within a certain time of processing your transaction, and will not be used for any purpose other than communicating with you about your order. How we retain your details, will depend on the type of transaction. See the sub-sections below for details.


If you choose not to be on the mailing list, your details will be deleted/destroyed within a specific time after attending the event, according to our data retention policy (see below), and will not be used for any purpose other than communicating with you about the event.


When you enter a competition, we will explain how your details will be used, how they will be stored, and what information we will publish. We will explain the rules and terms and conditions, which you must consent to.

We will not use the details included in the entry form in any way that you have not explicitly consented to.

If you choose not to be on the mailing list, your details will be deleted/destroyed within a specific period of the final results of the competition, according to our data retention policy (see below), and will not be used for any other purpose other than communicating with you about the competition entry.


If you choose not to be on the mailing list, then within a specified period of your goods being despatched, according to our data retention policy (see below), your personal data will be deleted/destroyed.


If you choose not to be on the mailing list, then within a specified period of the service you purchased being completed, according to our data retention policy (see below), your personal data will be deleted/destroyed.


Communication with Individuals

You may contact us for a variety of reasons. For example, you may ask us to put you in touch with writing groups or other writers in your area.

We will request explicit, signed consent before sharing any personal details with any third party.

We will not keep information relating to your personal situation for any longer than is necessary for the purpose of providing you with the support you have requested.

Communication with Volunteers

We will maintain a list of contact details of our recent volunteers. We will share volunteering opportunities and requests for help with the people on this list.

You will be removed from the list if you have not volunteered for a specified time according to our data retention policy (see below).

When contacting people on this list, we will provide a privacy notice which explains why we have your information, what we are using it for, how long we will keep it, and that you can ask to have it deleted or amended at any time by contacting us.

To allow volunteers to work together to organise for the group, it is sometimes necessary to share volunteer contact details with other volunteers. We will only do this with explicit consent.

Communication with Committee Members

The committee need to be in contact with one another in order to run the organisation effectively and ensure its legal obligations are met.

Committee contact details will be shared among the committee.

Committee members will not share each others' contact details with anyone outside of the committee, or use them for anything other than National Association of Writers' groups business, without explicit consent.


Whenever you use our website, some or all of your internet information and other personal data may be used. This happens in the following circumstances:

  • Whenever you visit any part of the site, the following information is saved in a server log:

    • Your IP address.
    • Your User Agent (e.g. browser) identifier.
    • The web address (URL) of the page you visited.
    • The date and time of the visit.

    Note that server logs are accessible only to administrators, via a strong password, and to hosting company technicians.

  • When you carry out certain actions on the website, information may be stored in a cookie, for operational purposes. These actions include:

    • Submitting a comment or reply to a comment.
    • Using the contact form to send us a message.
    • Logging in to the website's content management system (currently restricted to staff only).

    Please see our article on cookies for more details.

Embedded Content from Other Websites

Articles on this site may include embedded content, e.g. videos, images, articles, etc. Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited that other website.

These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracing your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.


This section describes where and how we securely store your personal data.

Where third party storage is required, we will use trusted services who are committed to complying with the EU General Data Protection Regulation.

We will keep records of consent given for us to collect, use and store personal data. These records will also be stored securely.

Storage Locations

Your personal data are stored in the following locations:

  • On the internet:
    • On our own website and its associated services, such as electronic mailboxes.
    • On third party websites, mainly for backup and other administrative purposes, such as: Google drive, Dropbox, Mailchimp.
  • On staff personal computers & mobile devices.
  • On paper.

Secure Storage Methods

Here's how we securely store your personal data:

  • In electronic documents, databases and mailboxes. These are all protected by strong and unique passwords.
  • In paper documents. These are kept in locked filing cabinets.


This section states how long we keep your personal data, and the reasons for doing so.

Retention Policy

Here is our policy on personal data retention.

Data are retained, for operational reasons, for a period which relates to the duration of the benefit/service/transaction concerned. Please refer to the table below for details.

Item Data Retention Period
Membership Within six months of your membership not being renewed, your data will be removed from the database and any paper records will be destroyed.
Writing groups directory (website)

When a group does not renew its membership, its data will be removed from the directory within six months (see above).

If a group requests to be removed from the directory, then we will attempt to do this immediately, but in any case no longer than one month after the request is made.

Events If you choose not to be on the mailing list, your details will be deleted/destroyed within one month after attending the event.

If you choose not to be on the mailing list, your details will be deleted/destroyed within one month of the final results of the competition.

In the case of the "100" competition, data are retained for the duration of the entire competition, not just a single round.


If you choose not to be on the mailing list, then within one month of your goods being despatched, your personal data will be deleted/destroyed.

Services If you choose not to be on the mailing list, then within one month of the service you purchased being completed, your personal data will be deleted/destroyed.
Volunteers list

People who have not volunteered for twelve months will be contacted and asked if they wish to remain on the list. We will remove them if there is no reply within a further three months.

Financial data are retained, for legal and tax reasons, for at least seven years.

If you leave a comment on this website, the associated personal data are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognize and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.

If you have an account on our website (staff only at the time of writing), we also store the personal information you provide in your user profile. You can see, edit, or delete your personal information at any time (except you cannot change your username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.

When we no longer need data, or when you ask for your data to be removed, it will be done so securely. We will ensure:

  1. Your data are permanently deleted from storage on computers.
  2. You data stored on paper are shredded.


The above data retention policy applies to our live systems. In addition, many of these systems have automated or manual backups. These are essential to avoid the risk of catastrophic failure causing permanent data loss, which could render our systems inoperable.

When data are removed from the live systems, for example when you request that we remove your personal data, those data are not removed from the backups. This is partly due to practical considerations, but mainly to avoid the potential catastrophes described above.

In order to reassure you that this is not a weakness, please note the following:

  • All backups are strongly encrypted.
  • Backup archives are kept on a rotating basis, and retained for no more than one year.
  • Should we need to restore data from a backup, we will reapply any data correction and data removal requests that took place since the time the backup was created.

Sharing Your Data

This section lists the organisations with whom we share some or all of your personal data.

For operational purposes, we share your data with the following:

  • Mailchimp – a bulk emailing service used to distribute our newsletter.
  • Akismet – an anti-spam service used for handling comments and the contact form on our website.
  • Gravatar – a photo/image service sometimes used with website comments.
  • Event organisers and venue managers. For example, the University of Warwick, for managing booking, registration and accommodation for festival delegates.

We do not share your personal data for any other reasons, neither commercial nor otherwise.


This document, along with associated procedures, will be reviewed as necessary. It was last updated on 20th August 2018.

Pam Fish, Chairman.

Document History

Version Date Who Description / Changes
1.0.2 20-Aug-2018 KJM PDF conversion now has footers with title and page numbering.
1.0.1 31-Jul-2018 KJM Public release.
1.0.0 23-Jul-2018 KJM
  • Public release candidate.
  • Removed the sentence about only using mailing management services that store data in the EU.
  • Section "Volunteers & Service Providers" renamed as "Volunteers & Associates". Added a paragraph about how we'll document those details in the future.
  • In the "storage" section, the sentence about ensuring third parties are GDPR compliant has been replaced with a more workable statement.
  • In the "data retention" section, the part about the volunteers list has been modified to allow extra time for people who are more occasional helpers.
0.4.1 10-Jul-2018 KJM Preparations for converting to downloadable and printable documents.
0.4.0 29-Jun-2018 KJM
  • Completely reorganised document structure, reusing original material but under new headings. The intention is to make things easier to find and navigate to.
  • Added several new sections.
  • Reworded some sections.
  • Applied much of the feedback from Catherine. The remaining questions and remarks have been added as annotations.
  • Edited for consistency so that:
    • Readers are referred to in the second person.
    • The word "data" is treated as a plural (of datum).
  • Added "who" column to this table.
0.3.0 15-Jun-2018 KJM
  • Changed title from "Data Protection Procedures" to "Information About Your Personal Data".
  • Changed some ambiguous terms to their correct ones, e.g. "data protection policy" → "privacy policy".
  • Clarified the difference between deleting (electronic) and destroying (paper) information.
  • Changed the long heading to "Booking & Purchasing Goods & Services".
  • The document will now be reviewed "as necessary" rather than every two years, which was somewhat arbitrary. A "last updated" date follows that review statement.
  • The document now ends with the Chairman's name and title, rather than a signature.
0.2.0 13-Jun-2018 KJM
  • Split the original larger document covering privacy policy and personal data protection, into several smaller ones, including this one.
  • Removed section numbering. As we review and update the document over the coming months and years, the numbers are likely to change, making references to them of little or no use.
0.1.1 24-May-2018 KJM Converted to HTML and annotations for comments, questions and review added by Kevin. Also minor spelling and punctuation corrections.
0.1.0 23-May-2018 VLL Original document provided in DOCX format.
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Posted by: Kevin Machin Date: June 13, 2018 6:45 pm
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