SFWA Votes Approval of New Membership Eligibility Requirements

SFWA members have overwhelmingly passed five Bylaws revisions that will allow changes to membership eligibility qualifications.

The new membership eligibility requirements, across all membership categories (e.g., prose, game writing, comics, etc.), are intended to set Associate membership eligibility at $100 earned professionally and Full membership at $1000 earned professionally over a career, attested by sworn affidavit.

Additionally, with this change, a full catalog of works (prose and game writing in one application, for example) can be submitted for consideration instead of having to meet SFWA’s current entry requirements in only one category. This recognizes that income streams are diversifying for creators, and provides a single and clear path to membership.

Over the next 24 to 48 hours, SFWA staff will make the necessary changes to allow membership applications using these new criteria. They request patience as they roll out the new system. An influx of new applications is expected.

Two of the amendments coordinate the meaning of “member” between the Bylaws and California nonprofit law. (SFWA is a California nonprofit corporation.) One makes explicit “that Full members have all of the rights afforded to them under the California NPBC Law, including those that are not specifically enumerated in these Bylaws.” The other change removes confusion via applicable California non-profit law about the usage of the term “member.” “As per California law, only ‘members’ of a non-profit corporation have the legal right to vote in corporation elections and referendums. All other classes shall be named accordingly as set by the SFWA board (or a committee thereof).”

Members were notified of the voting results today. While both current and past Boards and committees have been discussing various changes to the bylaws for many years, the bulk of these inclusive and simplified changes were ushered in under the leadership of Presidents Cat Rambo and Mary Robinette Kowal.

[Based on an announcement.]

12 thoughts on “SFWA Votes Approval of New Membership Eligibility Requirements

  1. That’s a good decision.

    I guess I will be applying for membership soon then. I very likely qualified under the old rules, but with many self-published titles, it’s almost impossible to prove exactly which title earned how much money.

  2. Is there a page somewhere for SWFA’s requirements on game writing? I know some tabletop rpg writers who may qualify (indeed, I may be one of them) but the only google links I found were from 2016 and referred to video games.

  3. Nancy, the membership requirements across all categories are now the same, and can be read at https://www.sfwa.org/about/join-us/sfwa-membership-requirements/. Full membership = $1000 earned over a career, and Associate = $100 earned over a career, regardless of the type of storytelling involved. We’ll be sending out a press release that announces the changes once all the kinks are worked out of the new application system as well.

  4. Curious whether earnings to be counted include only royalties and story payments, or also include literary awards, residencies received, and the like.

  5. How did you find this out, Mike? I didn’t see any kind of announcement on the website.

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