The iconic science fiction and fantasy writer’s guild, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, is opening its doors to self-published and small press authors, effective March 1, 2015. Changes to its membership requirements include an increase in advance and paid out royalty figures, alterations to short story membership requirements, and the inclusion of self-published and small press authors.
Traditionally published, self-published, and small press authors will share requirements. All groupings will be required to earn out a minimum of $3,000 (USD) in earnings from royalties or advances to be able to qualify for SFWA membership.
Short story authors need to have at least 10,000 words of short stories sold at a minimum payout rate of $0.06 per word to qualify for active membership. Associate membership for short story authors is one sale of at least 1,000 words at a rate of $0.06 per word.
In the grand scheme of things, this likely doesn’t mean a lot to readers. However, it could. In recent days, the SFWA has been plagued with issues, including the hot (and undesired) subject of sexism.
By opening its doors to self-published authors and small press authors, the SFWA will have an influx of new members. This influx will include minorities–including women. If the perceptions of women in speculative fiction are to change, women need to be involved. Women need to be willing to step up, get their hands dirty, and play ball on equal footing with other writers, with no care of race or gender.
The Lady part of Lady Scribe is an indicator of my gender. One of my novels qualifies for SFWA membership, with a second novel of mine gradually getting footing and drawing close to also qualifying. I also write science fiction, which makes me the equivalent of a loose cannon in the speculative fiction world.
On March 1, 2015, I will be applying for membership for SFWA.
I look forward to seeing how this impacts the speculative fiction world.