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Membership Requirements

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Table of Contents

Effective with Bylaws 

Updated 3/2022

Full Members

Full members can and are encouraged to attend business meetings, vote in elections, and receive access to private discussion forums, the Member Directory, SFWA exclusive events and suites at conventions, and publications such as the SFWA Bulletin, the Singularity member newsletter, and the SFWA membership handbook. They may also recommend, nominate, and vote for works to receive the Nebula Awards.

Full member dues are $100.00 USD annually.

A candidate shall be eligible for Full Membership if:

  1. Their catalog of paid work in science fiction, fantasy, or related genres equals or exceeds an industry standard set by the board. ($1000)
  2. For co-authored works or team projects, the candidate’s share must equal or exceed an industry standard set by the board ($1000)
  3. Proof of earnings will be guaranteed by affidavit.

Works must be in the English language in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and related genres.
Genre nonfiction and poetry are not accepted as payments towards membership at this time.

Associate Members

Associate Members receive access to private discussion forums, the Member Directory, SFWA suites at conventions, and publications such as the SFWA Bulletin, the Singularity member newsletter, and the SFWA membership handbook. They may also recommend, nominate, and vote for works to receive the Nebula Awards.

Associate dues are $100.00 USD annually.

A candidate shall be eligible for Associate Membership if:

  1. Their catalog of paid work in science fiction, fantasy, or related genres equals or exceeds $100 USD.
  2. For co-authored works or team projects, the candidate’s share must equal or exceed $100 USD.
  3. Proof of earnings will be guaranteed by affidavit.

Works must be in the English language in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and related genres.
Genre nonfiction and poetry are not accepted as payments towards membership at this time.

Affiliate Members

Affiliate members work in fields adjacent to the business of science fiction and fantasy writers. These roles include people working in professional or developmental support of writers such as publishers, copyeditors, educators, librarians, editors, agents, assistants, artists, public speakers, essayists, podcasters, streamers, and the like.

Affiliate members receive access to private discussion forums, the Member Directory, entry into SFWA suites at conventions, the SFWA Bulletin, and the Singularity member newsletter. They may also recommend works for Nebula Award consideration, but may not nominate or vote for the Awards. Dues are $100.00 USD annually.

A candidate shall be eligible for Affiliate status if they:

  1. Presents credentials acceptable to the Membership Committee and provides the names of three current Full SFWA members as references, or, alternatively, provide an affidavit that shows professional or developmental support to science fiction and fantasy writers.
  2. Are working in the science fiction and fantasy publishing stream of commerce as a trade professional (publishers, copyeditors), in service to career development of writers (educators, librarians), professional support to writers (editors, agents, assistants, artists), or in related careers that illuminate, inspire, or educate writers in the field (academics, broadcasters, film producers, astronauts).
  3. Are not eligible to become a Full or Associate member.
  4. Do not charge an upfront fee in return for promise of publication. Agents may charge a commission on sales and nominal fees for office expenses, but only as a deduction from money earned. Editors, proofreaders, and artists may charge a fee for freelance work in alignment with standard industry practices.
  5. Do not engage in predatory practices and are not the subject of warnings from Writer Beware or unresolved complaints to the SFWA Grievance Committee.

Estate Members

Estate Members receive access to private discussion forums, SFWA suites at conventions, the Member Directory, the SFWA Bulletin, the Singularity member newsletter, the member handbook, 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 a Full or Active member or who was qualified to be a Full or Active member at any time during their writing career.

Life Members

SFWA shall honor the one-time 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 (Full or 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 Full or Active members, each member so requesting on an annual membership-renewal notice, will be granted free Associate membership for the rest of their life.

If the member wishes to return to Full or Active status, they may do so at any time by recommencing to pay dues, provided they qualify for Full or Active status under the then-current membership rule.

Family/Group Memberships

Full Family:  Full-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 and vote for the Nebula Awards.

Affiliate Group: Affiliate level members working for the same parent company are eligible to combine their memberships into a group discounted rate. Dues would be $150 for two members plus $75 each additional member. Limit five members in one group.

Members who inhabit two different levels are not eligible for family/group memberships at this time. (e.g. Associate and Full 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.

Qualifying Markets

In January 2022, SFWA unveiled a plan to create a comprehensive market matrix or scorecard to better guide creators toward professional publishers. We are starting with short fiction markets on this rollout, and while the committee makes the finishing touches, we are suspending  the short fiction qualifying markets list. If you were a short fiction market that submitted an application in the last few months, we appreciate your enthusiasm to be a part of the list.

While we await the release of the new market matrix, writers seeking venues to submit their work are invited to peruse the lists provided on SFWA’s Monthly Market reports.

Application FAQs

Q: Do I need to provide SFWA with my entire catalog of published works even though my earnings on just a few titles meet the minimum required amounts needed to join? 

A: No. All we ask is that you provide us with the details of the published works that meet those required minimum amounts. (e.g. $1000.00 Full/$100 Associate).

Q: What would qualify as proof I was paid for my sales? 

A: Whether you are a traditional, hybrid, or independent author, all we require is that you’ve been paid for the published works that you are listing on your application. For example, include your payment from a publisher, made out to you via a bank or Paypal statement. If you are an independent author, provide proof of earnings on your titles through a third party platform, such as Amazon or Kobo, that details that the minimum $1000/$100 has been met on the titles you’re using to apply.

Q: Does genre nonfiction count toward credentials? 

A: Genre nonfiction does not count toward Full or Associate membership. Consider applying as an Affliate member.

Q: Does poetry count towards credentials? 

A: Poetry does not count toward membership. A past referendum asked members if poetry should be allowed to count toward membership, and it was rejected.

Q: I’ve entered a contest and my fiction has been published as a result of winning that contest. Can I use that toward SFWA membership? 

A: Income made from the publication of works in a contest can be used toward SFWA membership. However, the contest must not have asked for an entry or submissions fee and must not have been issued warnings from Writer Beware or advisories from SFWA. The contract must show that the author is receiving payment for publication rights separately from any monetary contest prize that may also have been received.

Application/Upgrade Form

New member applications: https://www.sfwa.org/about/join-us/application-form/

Existing SFWA Membership Upgrades: https://www.sfwa.org/member-links/faq/how-do-i-upgrade-my-membership/

If you are a lapsed or archived member of the organization, please send a note to office@sfwa.org first before filling out a new membership application. Please include the dates that you were once a member. Chances are, your membership record still exists! You do not have to pay backdues to re-engage your SFWA membership.