SFWA Allows Self-Published Authors

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America have approved a change to its bylaws that will allow self-publishing and small-press credits to qualify writers for active and associate memberships. SFWA members voted on the issue, with a third of voting members taking part, and they favored loosening membership standards by more than six to one.

The membership requirements still have a benchmark based on income, but SFWA is “now allowing a combination of advances and income earned in a 12-month period to rise to the qualifying amounts.” The standards are “$3,000 for novel, or a total of 10,000 words of short fiction paid at 6 cents a word for Active membership. A single story of at least 1,000 words paid at 6 cents a word will be required for Associate membership. Affiliate, Estate, and Institutional membership requirements remain unchanged.”

SFWA president Steven Gould says, “Writers write. Professional writers get paid a decent amount for what they write. For the past five years it’s been apparent that there are ways to earn that decent amount that were not being covered by our previous qualification standards. Though these changes took a substantial amount of time, I’m grateful to everyone who worked toward this end.”

For more, see SFWA’s statement.