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Membership Requirements

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Table of Contents

Effective with Bylaws 5/15/2014 – View Previous Requirements

Updated 11/12/2016

Active Members

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;  a SFWA Bulletin subscription, the SFWA membership handbook, and may recommend, nominate, and vote on works for the Nebula Awards.

Active member dues are $100.00 USD annually.

A candidate shall be eligible for Active Membership if:

  1. Three or more paid sales of different works of fiction (such as three separate short stories or half-hour scripts) totaling a minimum of 10,000 words to SFWA qualifying markets.We accept the following payment per word rates for these sales: 6c/word from 7/1/2014 – current, 5c/word from 1/1/2004 to 6/30/2014 and 3c/word before 1/1/2004; or
  2. Three or more paid sales of different works of fiction (such as three separate shorter works or half-hour scripts) that were self-published, indie published or sold to a small press at 6c a word after January 1st, 2013. Income verification will be necessary to prove those sales; or
  3. Any combination of three or more sales mentioned above, that meet their specific payment rates/dates; or
  4. 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
  5. One professionally produced full length (at least one hour) teleplay (dramatic script) with credits clearly shown on the work and paid at the rate established for works over 40,000 words , credited to no more than two individuals and with a minimum pay rate of 6c/word or higher (5c/word 1/1/2004 – 6/30/2014) (3c/word before 1/1/2004); or
  6. 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 or;
  7. Game writers*: One paid sale of a minimum of 40,000 words to a SFWA qualifying market, or three paid sales to SFWA qualifying markets totaling at least 10,000 words; or
  8. Game writers*: Providing documentation of net income of at least $3,000 from a game that includes at least 40,000 words of text (not including game mechanics) over the course of a 12-month period since January 1, 2013. Income can be in the form of advance, royalties, or some combination of the three; or
  9. Game writers*: (In the absence of word count) One professionally produced full-length game for which they were paid at least $3,000, and with credits to no more than two writers clearly shown on the work.

Qualifying works must be in the English language in science fiction, fantasy, horror and related genres. “Paid Sale” and “Qualifying Market” are as defined below.

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.). Collaborations among more than two people are not accepted.

*Game Writers: Rules for game writers are currently under revision. We will be updating them as soon as legal opinions, board discussion, and new language is completed. We encourage game writers to fill out a new member application while we strive to improve the process and will be waiving the $25.00 processing fee for game writers in the month of August. We thank the community for its valued feedback in this new endeavor. 

Associate Members

Associate Members receive access to private discussion forums, entry into SFWA suites at conventions, Bulletin subscription, SFWA Handbook, and may recommend and nominate works for the Nebula Awards but not vote.

Associate dues are $90.00 USD annually.

A candidate shall be eligible for Associate Membership after acceptance and a signed contract or letters of agreement for:

  1. One Paid Sale of a work of fiction (such as a short story) of a minimum of 1,000 words to a SFWA qualifying market. We accept the following payment per word rates: 6c/word from 7/1/2014 – current, 5c/word from 1/1/2004 to 6/30/2014 and 3c/word before 1/1/2004; or
  2. A work of fiction (such as a short story) of a minimum of 1,000 words that has been self-published, indie published, or sold to small press after January 1st, 2013 and paid at 6c/word.  Income verification will be required to process the application.

Works must be in the English language in science fiction, fantasy, horror and related genres. “Paid Sale” and “Qualifying Market” are as defined below.

Affiliate Members

Affiliate Members receive access to private discussion forums, entry into SFWA suites at convention,  Bulletin subscription, may recommend works for Nebula consideration, but not nominate or vote. Affiliate dues are $115.00 USD annually.

A candidate shall be eligible for Affiliate Membership if he or she:

    1. Must present credentials acceptable to the Membership Committee and must be able to provide the names of three current SFWA members as references.
    2. Has a professional involvement in science fiction or fantasy (such as academics, editors, agents, artists, graphic novelists, reviewers, etc,) but is not eligible to become an Active or Associate member.
    3. No Agent who charges authors an upfront fee of any kind is eligible for Affiliate membership. Agents may charge a commission on sales and nominal fees for office expenses, but only as a deduction from money earned.
    4. No editor or book doctor who is associated with or has a business relationship with an agent or publisher who refers authors to them and gets a kick-back is eligible for Affiliate membership.
    5. No publisher who receives more than ten percent (10%) of his or her revenue from author fees or sales to authors is eligible for Affiliate membership.
    6. All applications for Affiliate membership by publishers, editors, book doctors, or literary agents will be submitted to Writer Beware for approval before applicant is allowed to join as an Affiliate member. 

Institutional Members

Institutional Members receive entry into SFWA suites at conventions, and Bulletin subscription. Institutional dues are $115.00 annually.

A candidate organization shall be eligible for Institutional Membership if it:

    1. Has a 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). Individuals representing the above groups may also join as Institutional Members.
    2. Applicants must present credentials acceptable to the Membership Committee and must be able to provide the names of three current SFWA members as references, or, alternatively, provide documentation that shows a long standing beneficial presence to science fiction and fantasy writers.
    3. All applications for Institutional membership by publishers, editors, book doctors, or literary agents will be submitted to Writer Beware for approval before being allowed to join as Institutional members.

Estate Members

Estate Members receive access to private discussion forums, entry into SFWA suites at conventions, Member Directory, Bulletin subscription, SFWA Handbook, electronic SFWA Forum, and a place in SFWA’s Estate Listings database. Estate dues are $90.00 annually.

A candidate shall be eligible for Estate Membership if he or she is the legal representative for the estate of a deceased author who was an Active member or who was qualified to be an Active member at any time during their writing career.

Life Members

SFWA shall honor the onetime dues assessment that Life Members, at the time of reincorporation, made to the organization. SFWA shall keep those Life Members in good standing with the rights of their respective classes (Active, Associate, and Affiliate) during their lifetime.

Senior Members

After thirty (30) years of continuous membership, at least twenty-five (25) of which have been as Active members, each member so requesting on an annual membership-renewal notice, will be granted free Associate membership for the rest of his or her life.

If the member wishes to return to Active status, he or she may do so at any time by recommencing to pay dues, provided he or she qualifies for active status under the then-current membership rule

.

Family/Group Memberships

Active Family:  Active-level members who live at the same address may choose a family  membership. Benefits will be the same for each member, except that only one Bulletin subscription will be included.Family dues are $150 for two members plus $60 for each additional family member. Voting rights retained for each member.

Associate Family:  Associate-level members who live at the same address may choose a family membership. Benefits will be the same for each member, except that only one Bulletin subscription will be included.Family dues are $140 for two members plus $50 for each additional family member. Associate members in this group will still have individual rights to nominate in the Nebula Awards.

Affiliate Group: Affiliate level members working for same parent company are eligible to combine their memberships into a group discounted rate. Dues would be $175 for two members plus $80 each additional member. Limit five members in one group.

Additionally, members who inhabit two different levels are not eligible for family/group memberships at this time. (e.g. Associate and Active levels would not be able to combine at this time.)

If any member wishes to take advantage of the family/group rates, please email office@sfwa.org for more information.

 

Paid Sales

    1. Paid sales are works that have been accepted for publication by an eligible market and paid for, either in advance or on publication; or
    2. Are works of fiction in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, or horror, in the English language and be published in qualified professional venues as described below.
    3. 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.)
    4. The Membership Committee, at its discretion, may also accept sales that met prior criteria for SFWA membership at the time of sale.
    5. Applicants must submit proof of net income at the time of application. For qualifying professional markets, no proof of payment is required.
    6. For Rule III sales*, proof of payment must also be submitted at the time of application, such proof to consist of photocopied checks, etc. The SFWA Membership Committee, at its discretion, may accept or reject any documentation as proof of an applicant’s credentials.
    7. For sales that qualify under Rule III* for Active Membership; All amounts are in US Dollars/cents; equivalent payment in other currencies will be determined by the Membership Committee.
    8. The Membership Committee shall have discretion to decide whether any publication and/or proof thereof is acceptable as qualification for active or associate membership in the Corporation, consistent with the Bylaws.
    9. All documentation submitted with applications will be archived at SFWA’s office and may be used to conduct statistical and contract term analysis, but authors’ identities will not be revealed.

*Rule III sales: As stated in the SFWA Bylaws:

For work(s) of fiction submitted as credentials for membership that have been published by a non-qualifying market or by the individual author acting independently and not by any company or any entity, the author must show Proof of Earnings for one written work of fiction of a minimum of 40,000 words, or at least three different written works of fiction which total a minimum of 10,000 words.  The Proof of Earnings must meet the minimum rate of pay and accounting standards as set by the Board (or a selected committee thereof).  

Qualifying Markets

The following markets have been vetted by the SFWA Membership Committee as meeting the SFWA bylaws and other membership criteria. Other markets not listed will be determined on a case by case basis.

List updated as of Sep 5th, 2014.

Novels

  • Ace
  • Abaddon Books
  • Angry Robot
  • Baen
  • Bantam Spectra
  • Black Library
  • Choice of Games
  • Constable and Robinson
  • DAW
  • Del Rey
  • Design Image Group
  • Disney Hyperion
  • Dorchester/Leisure – (Only work contracted prior to 12/10/2010)
  • Elder Signs Press
  • Eos
  • Fitzhenry & Whiteside
  • Flux Publications
  • Gollancz
  • Green Knight
  • Harlequin (except for work contracted between 11/1/2009 & 4/30/2010)
  • Haikasoru
  • HarperCollins
  • Head of Zeus
  • Kensington Publishing
  • Meisha Merlin
  • Orbit
  • Paizo Publishing
  • Phobos
  • Phoenix Pick
  • Prime Books (from May, 2009 forward)
  • Pyr Books
  • Quercus Books UK/Jo Fletcher Books UK
  • Roc
  • Serpent’s Tail
  • Shadow Mountain Publishing
  • Soho Press
  • 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 meet membership/income requirements 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, etc.)

Note: The all – electronic imprint Hydra from Random House is not a qualifying venue.

Note: As of 4/3/2013, 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.

Anthologies

The following markets are considered Qualifying Markets. Original short fiction sold to the following markets , as of May 23, 2015 and provided it meets the $60 minimum (1000 words x .06 word) sale requirement, may be used to qualify for SFWA membership. Markets not listed will be determined on a case by case basis.

  • Any anthology published by a qualified novel or magazine publisher listed
  • Flame Tree Publishing
  • Unidentified Funny Objects

Magazines and Short Fiction Venues

The following markets are considered Qualifying  Markets. Original short fiction sold to the following markets, as of June 16, 2014 and provided it meets the $60 minimum (1000 words x .06 word) sale requirement, may be used to qualify for SFWA membership. Markets not listed will be determined on a case by case basis.

  • AE
  • Analog Science Fiction and Fact
  • Apex (starting with June 2008 issue)
  • Arc Manor
  • Asimov’s Science Fiction
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies
  • Buzzy Mag
  • Cicada
  • Clarkesworld Magazine
  • Cosmos
  • Cricket
  • Crossed Genres
  • Daily Science Fiction
  • Diabolical Plots
  • Escape Pod
  • Fantastic Stories of the Imagination
  • Flash Fiction Online
  • Galaxy’s Edge Magazine
  • Grantville Gazette (starting with May 2007 issue)
  • Highlights
  • Interfiction Online
  • Lightspeed Magazine
  • The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
  • Nature
  • Nightmare Magazine
  • Odyssey
  • Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show
  • Star Citizen Jump Point Magazine
  • Strange Horizons
  • Tor.com
  • Uncanny Magazine
  • Unlikely Story
  • Writers of the Future Anthology

Note: As of November 1, 2016, Cemetery Dance is no longer a SFWA-qualifying market. In 2014, SFWA increased the standard of payment from 5¢/word to 6¢/word and this publication has not increased its pay rate to keep pace. In addition, payment for stories is capped at $250, regardless of length. Cemetery Dance was alerted in September about the issue and their upcoming de-listing and has declined to raise its rates or change the story cap. Should the magazine change its policy to meet SFWA standards, it will be reinstated to our qualifying list.

Other Qualifying Markets

SF/F/H short fiction sold to major non-genre magazines that clearly meet the qualifying criteria but that have not explicitly gone through the qualification process are eligible for qualification. Examples might include The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Boys’ Life, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and so on.

Markets Currently Dead or in Hiatus  

Short fiction sold during the dates shown to the following markets, which are on hiatus, no longer publishing, or which SFWA no longer accepts for new sales.

  • 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)
  • Brutarian (to August 30, 2013)
  • Bullspec
  • Chizine
  • Dark Wisdom
  • Dead of Night (1989-1995)
  • Dragon (sales are valid through 1/2013)
  • 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 (March 2007 to August 2012)
  • Penumbra
  • Postscripts (to 3/2007; only sales at 5c/w or more)
  • Pulphouse (1988-1995)
  • Realms of Fantasy (through final issue, 2010)
  • 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; for sales meeting the $50 minimum sale requirement)
  • Speculon (to 2/2003) Starshore (1990-1991)
  • Story House Coffee (to 12/2005)
  • Subterranean Magazine (through Winter 2014)
  • The Third Alternative (to 4/2006)
  • Twilight Zone Magazine (1981-1989)
  • Weird Tales (to 12/2004)
  • Would That It Were (2000-2006)

To Qualify a Venue

To qualify a new Qualifying 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:

  1. 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 $3000 for a single work or (b) at least 6¢/word and
  2. Must have published consistently for a period of at least one year before the market will be considered qualifying; and
  3. 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
  4. Is not 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.