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Previous SFWA Membership Requirements

In Effect Until 5/14/2014

These have been replaced with the newest Membership Requirements found here.

Table of Contents

Membership Requirements

To become an Active member of SFWA, applicants must demonstrate either:

  1. Three Paid Sales of prose fiction (such as short stories) to Qualifying Professional Markets, with each paid at the rate of 5¢/word or higher (3¢/word before 1/1/2004), for a cumulative total of $250, minimum $50 apiece; or
  2. One Paid Sale of a prose fiction book to a Qualifying Professional Market, for which the author has been paid $2000 or more; or
  3. One professionally produced full length dramatic script, with credits acceptable to the Membership Committee.

“Paid Sale” and “Qualifying Professional Market” are as defined below. To become an Associate member of SFWA, applicants must demonstrate:

  • One Paid Sale of prose fiction (such as short stories) to a Qualifying Professional Market, paid at the rate of 5¢/word or higher (3¢/word before 1/1/2004), minimum $50.

To become an Affiliate member of SFWA, applicants who have a professional involvement in science fiction or fantasy (such as academics, editors, agents, artists, graphic novelists, reviewers, etc,) but are not eligible to become an active or associate member may join as affiliates. No agent, editor, or publisher who charges authors an upfront fee in exchange for representation or publication is eligible for affiliate membership.

To become an Institutional member, applicants must be organizations with legitimate interest in science fiction and fantasy (such as high schools, colleges, universities, libraries, and similar institutions, as well as broadcasting organizations, film producers, futurology groups and similar organizations) or individuals associated with these groups. Applicants must present credentials acceptable to the Membership Committee and must be able to provide the names of three Active members as references.

To become an Estate member, applicants must be the legal representative for the estate of an Active member. While every attempt is made here to detail the membership requirements, ultimately the SFWA Membership Committee’s decision on criteria and qualifying for membership is final.

Paid Sales

Paid sales are those which have been accepted for publication by a Qualifying Professional Market and paid for, either in advance or on publication, and sold to markets on the list below. (Note that this list is not exhaustive. Many markets not yet listed here may qualify as professional markets. If you do not see a particular market listed and you believe it meets the qualifying criteria, please query sfwa using this form.)

The works must be print- or electronic- prose fiction or drama in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, or horror, in the English language and be published in the qualified professional venues as described below.

Contest prize money does not count toward determining the payment rate unless publication rights are required to receive the prize. (That is, only payments tied to publication are considered.) Note all amounts are in US Dollars/cents; equivalent payment in other currencies will be determined by the Membership Committee.

The Membership Committee, at its discretion, may also accept sales that met prior criteria for SFWA membership at the time of sale.

Collaborations between two persons are counted as half (two novels or six short fiction collaborations, or one collaborative novel plus three collaborative short stories, etc.). Note that collaborations among more than two people are not accepted.

Qualifying Professional Markets

The following markets have been qualified by the SFWA Membership Committee as meeting the SFWA bylaws and other membership criteria. (Other markets not listed may not be used for application credentials until they become listed. If you wish to use a market not listed, first seek to get the market listed then send in your application. Do not send in an application listing unqualified markets; applications listing unqualified markets will be returned.) [Top]

Qualifying Novel Venues

Novels sold to the following publishers are considered qualified (list last updated 6/29/2011):

  • Ace
  • Angry Robot (guidelines)
  • Baen
  • Bantam Spectra
  • Black Library
  • Constable and Robinson
  • DAW
  • Del Rey
  • Design Image Group
  • Dorchester/Leisure – (Only work contracted prior to December 10, 2010) Details
  • Elder Signs Press
  • Eos
  • Fitzhenry & Whiteside
  • Flux Publishers
  • Green Knight
  • Harlequin (except for work contracted between November 1, 2009 and April 30, 2010).
  • HarperCollins
  • Head of Zeus
  • Kensington Publishing
  • Lee & Low Books/Tu Books
  • Meisha Merlin
  • Orbit
  • Paizo Publishing
  • Phobos
  • Prime Books (from May, 2009 forward)
  • Pyr Books
  • Quercus Books UK/Jo Fletcher Books UK
  • Roc
  • Serpent’s Tail
  • Shadow Mountain Publishing
  • Tanglewood Press
  • Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show
  • Solaris
  • St. Martin’s Press
  • Tor / Forge
  • Ulysses Press
  • Warner Aspect
  • White Wolf
  • Wizards of the Coast

Other large independent publishers and US imprints of large conglomerates  that clearly meet the qualifying criteria such as Bertelsmann, Penguin Putnam, von Holtzbrinck, Time Warner, etc. (thus, Harcourt, Vintage, Farrar Strous & Giroux, Random House, Scholastic, Viking, Doubleday/Nan Talese, Houghton Mifflin/Clarion, etc.)

NOTE:  The all-electronic imprint Hydra from Random House is not a qualifying venue.

NOTE: As of Apr 3rd, 2013, Night Shade Books is no longer a qualifying venue. This action refers to Night Shade Books, the company owned by Jeremy Lassen and Jason Williams. We are aware of current negotiations by Night Shade with other companies to continue the brand name under other ownership. If in the future that new company meets SFWA requirements, we will be happy to consider it becoming a SFWA qualifying market. Please see below to qualify markets not listed. [Top]

Qualifying Short Fiction Venues

Short fiction sold to the following markets are considered qualified. Please note the $50 minimum sale requirement as listed above.

And these markets which are on hiatus or no longer publishing, or which SFWA no longer accepts for new sales, but were acceptable during the dates shown:

  • Aboriginal SF (to 2001)
  • Absolute Magnitude (12/2001-9/2004)
  • Amazing Stories (1926-2000)
  • Artemis (to 12/2004)
  • Baen’s Universe (to April 10, 2010 – article available here)
  • Brutarian (to August 30, 2013)
  • Bull Spec 
  • Chizine 
  • Dark Wisdom
  • Dead of Night (1989-1995)
  • Fantastic (1952-1980)
  • Fantasy Magazine (merged with Lightspeed Magazine in 2012)
  • Galaxy (1950-1995)
  • Galileo (1976-1980)
  • Gothic.net (2/1999 to 2/2003)
  • iBooks / Byron Preiss (to 2/2006)
  • If (1952-1974)
  • Interzone (to 4/2006)
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine (to 2000)
  • Nerve
  • Nightbird Unique Magazine (1990)
  • Omni Magazine (1979-1995)
  • The Pedestal Magazine
  • Penumbra
  • Postscripts (to 3/2007; only sales at 5c/w or more)
  • Pulphouse (1988-1995)
  • Realms of Fantasy
  • Redstone Science Fiction
  • Science Fiction Age (1992-1998)
  • SciFiction / SciFi.com (to 12/2005)
  • SFF.Net Darkfire anthology series (through final volume 2002)
  • Shadowed Realms (to 4/2007; and applicants should note the $50 minimum sale requirement above)
  • Speculon (to 2/2003)
  • Starshore (1990-1991)
  • Story House Coffee (to 12/2005)
  • The Third Alternative (to 4/2006)
  • Twilight Zone Magazine (1981-1989)
  • Weird Tales (to 12/2004)
  • Would That It Were (2000-2006)

(Other defunct professional markets as determined upon request)

Please see below to qualify markets not listed. [Top]

Venues Other Than Those Above

The following markets may not currently be used for membership purposes. If/when any of these are determined to meet the applicable criteria, they will be moved to the list of qualifying markets. No judgment as to the quality of these markets as publishing venues is in any way expressed or implied by their inclusion on this list.

  • American Book Publishing
  • Armitage House
  • Barbour Publishing
  • Creeping Hemlock Press
  • Crossquarter Publishing Group
  • Embiid Publishing
  • Fairwood Press / ElectricStory.com
  • Fictionwise.com
  • Gardenia Press
  • Great Plains Publications
  • Golden Gryphon
  • Gothic.net (for dates after 2/2003)
  • Harlequin (for dates after 11/2009)
  • ImaJinn
  • iUniverse
  • Medallion Press
  • Oak Tree Press
  • Oceans of the Mind
  • OnSpec
  • Paradox
  • PublishAmerica
  • Silver Lake Publishing
  • Small Beer Press
  • Spectrum SF
  • Unbelievable Stories (Quill-Pen Press)
  • The Urbanite
  • Vestal Review
  • Wheatland Press (e.g. Polyphony anthology series)
  • Wildside Press
  • Xlibris.com
  • Zumaya Press

[Top]

To Qualify a Venue

To qualify a new Qualifying Professional Market, it must be found acceptable to the Membership Committee. In particular, it must satisfy the following criteria for a given date range to qualify for membership purposes:

  • Payment for all works of fiction (other than reprints or serializations), either in advance of publication or on publication, at the rate of either (a) at least $2000 for a single work or (b) at least 5¢/word (3¢/word before 1/1/2004); and
  • Must have published consistently for a period of at least one year before the market will be considered qualifying; and
  • Must have a print run or circulation of at least 1000 copies, or the equivalent in other media (e.g., demonstrated downloads in electronic media); and
  • Is not self-publication, vanity press, or other type of author-paid or fee-charging press, as demonstrated such as (1) by having published at least ten distinct works by different natural persons during the date range; and (2) by authors not having paid or been requested to pay fees or give consideration of any kind.

Any party may request a venue be evaluated (an applicant, the publisher, another author, etc.) but must submit proof that the market meets the criteria. Please submit requests for new markets and evidence of meeting the above criteria via this form. The SFWA Membership Committee will evaluate the material and add it to the list of qualifying markets if/when it meets the criteria. (Do note that, once qualified, the qualification date will be set back to the earliest date for which the criteria were met; thus, for example, allowing sales during the year in which a market has demonstrated consistent publication, not just from year two onward.) If you have an older sale, for example to a long-dead market not already listed, please use the market query form. A venue may become disqualified for membership purposes at the discretion of the Membership Committee if it meets the disqualification criteria. To request qualification of a new market, use the form here.

Membership Application Form

The membership application form is here. We respond to membership applications in the order they are received. If it’s been more than five (5) business days since you submitted your application and you haven’t heard from us yet, you may query on the status of your application here. Best wishes in your writing!


Legal notices, etc.: Note that this is current as of 2/25/2014 but that changes may have taken place since. The information on this page is for informational purposes only; the decisions of the Membership Committee are the final authority.