How to Apply for SFWA Membership with Small Press or Self-Published Credentials

Photo of Cat Rambo with Dark Vader and stormtrooper

Preparing to take on even more challenges ahead.

As you may know, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, (aka SFWA) had a membership vote and changed their membership criteria pretty drastically, admitting self-published and small press members to apply if they can prove they’re making an amount of money equivalent to the advance a writer would make from a traditional publisher and qualify for SFWA: three thousand dollars over the course of a year. The year does not need to be Jan-Dec, and it can be any period after January 1, 2013.

Income can come from crowdfunding, but in that case, the book must have been delivered to the funders in a timely fashion. You can combine advance and royalties, but they must fall in the same twelve months.

The income is net, not gross. If you spend ten thousand bucks printing books and then sell them for three thousand dollars, that would not count. Mainly this is there to keep people from faking their way in and I’m not too worried about small publishing expenses counting here, myself.

How do you prove income? Right now, we’ll look at whatever people think is reasonable. As the month progresses, we’ll start knowing what is and isn’t reasonable.

This is all very new, and I know we’ll be deciding many cases as we go along. I also expect there will be delays at first as we get the process working and people flowing through the pipeline.

You can find out more on the SFWA site. The application form is there. I apologize for the fact that it’s not entirely suited to self-pub apps so far – we’re working on that, and I’d be glad to hear your suggestions.

Got questions? I can answer them here if you like.

Note from a question that arose in this morning’s e-mail: Active members CAN qualify through self-published short fiction; that got left out of the official webpage and I’ve got a request in to add it.

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About Cat Rambo

I am a science fiction and fantasy writer and editor. My three collections of short stories are THE SURGEON'S TALE AND OTHER STORIES (with Jeff VanderMeer), EYES LIKE SKY AND COAL AND MOONLIGHT, and NEAR + FAR (forthcoming this September).
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