Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, known as “SFWA,” is a professional organization for authors writing professionally in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Up until recently full or “Active” membership in SFWA required fiction sales (three stories or one novel) to a list of qualifying professional markets–all of which were traditional publishers and magazines.
SFWA has changed its eligibility requirements to reflect the current state of publishing, however, and now allows for qualifying self-published authors to join their ranks. The eligibility requirements are relatively simple, and are reproduced below:
Active members can and are encouraged to attend business meetings, vote in elections, receive access to private discussion forums, gain entry into SFWA exclusive events and suites at conventions, receive publications such as; the Member Directory, a SFWA Bulletin subscription, the SFWA membership handbook, the SFWA Forum, and may recommend, nominate, and vote on works for the Nebula Awards. Active member dues are $90.00 USD annually.
Detailed documentation of payment will be required. A candidate shall be eligible for Active Membership after acceptance and signed contracts or letters of agreement for:
- Three or more paid sales of different works of fiction (such as three separate short stories) totaling a minimum of 10,000 words to eligible markets, was self-published or sold to a small press for each of which the candidate can prove the sale at the minimum rate of 6c/word or higher (5c/word 1/1/2004 – 6/30/2014) (3c/word before 1/1/2004); or
- One Paid Sale of a work of fiction (such as a novel) of a minimum of 40,000 words to a qualifying professional market, for which the candidate has been paid at least $3,000 as a non-returnable advance before or at the time of publication ($2000.00 if sale made on or before 12/31/2014); or
- A published work of fiction of a minimum of 40,000 words either sold to a small press or self-published for which the author can demonstrate net income of at least $3,000 over the course of a year since January 1, 2013. Income can be in the form of advance, royalties, or some combination thereof.
- Qualifying works must be in the English language in science fiction, fantasy, horror and related genres. “Paid Sale” and “Qualifying Professional Market” are as defined below.
TL;DR: If you have three self-published short stories totaling a minimum of 10,000 words for which you received the equivalent of 6¢ per word, or a novel or other long work of fiction of 40,000 words or more for which you can prove $3,000 of net income in one year, you can now join SFWA as a full, Active member.
This is exciting news, as it’s yet another example of the publishing world taking self-published authors more seriously. Don’t pass up this opportunity, as it could open some doors for you. SFWA dues are $90 annually.