The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) has announced that it will extend active and associate memberships in the organization to self-published and small press authors. As SFWA President Steven Gould explained,
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.
That “decent amount” is at least $3,000 for a novel, or a total of 10,000 words of short fiction at 6 cents a word. (SFWA upped its qualifying short fiction pay rate in late 2013.) Now, the board has voted in favor of including writers who meet that benchmark through a combination of advances and income over a 12-month period. SFWA Vice President Cat Rambo said,
I’m very excited to see SFWA moving forward and adapting itself to the changing face of modern publishing. SFWA will be much richer for the influx of knowledge and experience that the new members who have focused on independent and small-press publishing will bring with them.
SFWA will release more information about its qualification changes on March 1, when applications for membership open.