SFWA Clears the Way for Self-Published & Indie Author Membership

SFWA LogoThe Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) has voted in favour of changing its bylaw which prevented self-published and small press authors from applying for active and associate membership in the organisation. A third of members of the SFWA participated in the vote which resulted in an overwhelming 6 to 1 majority. The result of the vote was not entirely a surprise because the organisation has in recent times been more positive and open to self-publishing with an increasing number of authors choosing to pursue this route to publication. Self-published and small-press works were already eligible for the Nebula and Norton Awards, SFWA’s member-voted genre award.  Applications from self-published authors will be accepted from the beginning of March 2015, but will be subject some stipulations of income earned over a period of 12 months, just like traditionally published author members.

While this is a very positive move by the SFWA, it remains to be seen how many self-published authors will apply for membership.

 

Press Release:

In a referendum with a third of voting members participating and over 6 to 1 in favor, the membership of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has approved bylaw changes that enable SFWA to accept self-publication and small-press credits for Active and Associate memberships in the organization. We are using existing levels of income but are now allowing a combination of advances and income earned in a 12 month period to rise to the qualifying amounts.

SFWA President, Steven Gould, states, “Writers write. Professional writers get paid a decent amount for what they write. For the past five years it’s been apparent that there are ways to earn that decent amount that were not being covered by our previous qualification standards. Though these changes took a substantial amount of time, I’m grateful to everyone who worked toward this end.”

According to SFWA Vice President Cat Rambo, “I’m very excited to see SFWA moving forward and adapting itself to the changing face of modern publishing. SFWA will be much richer for the influx of knowledge and experience that the new members who have focused on independent and small-press publishing will bring with them.”

Specific details will be posted at sfwa.org by the first of March, but the basic standards are $3,000 for novel, or a total of 10,000 words of short fiction paid at 6 cents a word for Active membership. A single story of at least 1,000 words paid at 6 cents a word will be required for Associate membership. Affiliate, Estate, and Institutional membership requirements remain unchanged.

Self-published and small-press works were already eligible for the Nebula and Norton Awards, SFWA’s member-voted genre award, and will remain so.

SFWA will open to applications from small press and independent publishing qualifying members on March 1, 2015. Further information will be available at that time here: http://www.sfwa.org/about/join-us/sfwa-membership-requirements/

For membership questions not answered at the link above, please contact Kate Baker, at operations@sfwa.org. For information on SFWA or the Nebula Awards, or to request interviews or other information, please contact Jaym Gates, at communications@sfwa.org.

 

About SFWA

Founded in 1965 by the late Damon Knight, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America brings together the most successful and daring writers of speculative fiction throughout the world.

Since its inception, SFWA® has grown in numbers and influence until it is now widely recognized as one of the most effective non-profit writers’ organizations in existence, boasting a membership of approximately 1800 science fiction and fantasy writers as well as artists, editors and allied professionals. Each year the organization presents the prestigious Nebula Awards® for the year’s best literary and dramatic works of speculative fiction.

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