SFWA Raises Qualification Standard Payment Rates for Short Fiction

sfwa_square_logoScience Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) periodically reviews the criteria used to determine which markets will qualify new members for SFWA membership. Based on a market analysis conducted by Board members reviewing the effects of inflation on author payment, the Board has voted to adjust the standard payment for markets that will be recognized for professional short fiction. On July 1, 2014, SFWA’s rate for qualifying short fiction will rise from five cents per word to six cents per word.  It has been nine years since the rate was last increased, rising from three to five cents per word in 2004. The other criteria to qualify a market for use as credentials to join SFWA are unchanged.

SFWA considers it important to urge markets to pay writers more, and we hope this increase will encourage publishers to adjust their rates accordingly. Questions or comments can be directed to Jim Fiscus, Western Regional Director at [email protected].

9 Responses

  1. Steven Gould

    As always, works in qualifying markets are judged by the date they were purchased. Works sold to a qualifying market at 5 cents a word before 1 July 2014 are and will continue to be qualifying works.

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  3. Eli

    I fail to see how this will encourage any publishers to be more generous. Exactly what logic was used to come to such a conclusion?

  4. Elena

    Eli, some writers, especially those who have become successful enough that they can be very choosy about where they send their work, will only support SFWA-qualifying markets. So markets that want to acquire the highest caliber work will often strive to pay SFWA-qualifying rates in order to attract these more high-profile authors.

  5. LN

    I’m concerned for those who are only beginning to get their work published – unlike established authors, it may be difficult for them to qualify for membership under the increased pay rule.

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  7. Miramon

    As a point of reference: to make the US 2013 poverty level guideline income of $11,490, you’d have to sell 39 5,000 word short stories, or one sale every week and a half.

    I’m not sure that the difference between $0.05 and $0.06 is very significant for anyone who considers themself a professional. Heck, if you sold one such short story every week to Tor.com, at $0.25/word you’d only make $65,000 a year.