SFWA Raising Pro Rate for Short Fiction to Eight Cents per Word

In accordance with our mission to support and empower science fiction and fantasy writers, SFWA periodically reviews and adjusts the minimum payment rates for professional short fiction markets, known colloquially as the SFWA Pro Rate. On September 1st, 2019, the minimum payment rate for short fiction will rise from six cents per word to eight cents per word, based on US dollar amounts.

This change is the result of market analyses conducted by SFWA Board members, along with a review of the effects of inflation on author compensation. The SFWA Pro Rate was previously changed in 2014, rising from five to six cents per word, and from three to five cents per word in 2004.

Writers applying for SFWA membership qualify on the basis of the SFWA Pro Rate effective on the date of contract. Stories sold before September 1st, 2019 at the then-current qualifying rate will continue to qualify a writer for SFWA membership.

SFWA supports fair compensation for writers. We hope the new Pro Rate will encourage short fiction publishers to increase their payment rates. Questions and comments can be directed to kelly.robson@sfwa.org.

2 Responses

  1. Lizzie Newell

    Has consideration been given to impact on female and minority authors? It seems likely that publications which favor the type of stories written by these authors may be paying lower rates. This might be occurring because these demographic groups are paid less and so have less money to spend on publications. If so raising rate requirements might result in systemic bias, keeping these authors out of SFWA. I have no indication that this is occurring but would like to know the issue has been taken into account.
    Thank you
    Lizzie Newell

  2. Kelly Robson

    Yes, we took this into account. We keep good records on what short fiction markets pay. Far from being a negative influence, past experience shows that increasing the pro rate benefits all short fiction SF and Fantasy writers.