Overview: The Authors Guild Serves as an advocate for and represents over 8000 writers. Targeted toward published authors and co-authors, contracted authors and published freelance writers
Sample of Offerings: Free book contract reviews, discounted health insurance rates in some states, discounts on website services, access to free Back in Print service (makes out-of-print books available), a quarterly print bulletin, panels and seminars on writing business related topics.
Cost: First year dues are $90. (After the first year, dues are charged on a sliding scale, depending on writing income, but most members continue to pay $90.)
Note: The Authors Guild’s parent organization is the Authors League of America
Overview: Established in 1998 as an authors’ organization, “EPIC™ has expanded to include hundreds of professionals from all facets of the electronic publishing industry: authors, publishers, editors, artists, and others. Our members work together in a unique collaboration to further the industry.”
Sample of Offerings: Annual EPIC’s eBook Competition™, EPIC’s ARIANA Art Competition™, New Voices Young Writers™ competition, EPICon annual conference, member discounts with many promotional websites and softwares, newsletter is available to non-members via their homepage, weekly Spotlight blog featuring a member author
Cost: $30 per year payable through PayPal
Note: Author membership is available to authors with at least one electronically published book-length work of literature, fiction or non-fiction. If contracted but not-yet published, authors may apply for a contingent membership. Accepts international members
Overview: The Historical Novel Society focuses on historical fiction and includes over 900 published and unpublished members.
Sample of Offerings: Two issues of Solander, magazine including interviews, short fiction and more; four issues of The Historical Novels Review; small (300 person), annual North American conference; annual UK conference; member websites linked from the NHS site
Cost: Membership runs on calendar (January – December) year and ranges from $50 and up, depending on country of residency
Note: Access to Historical Novel Society Newsletter does not require membership, access to un-moderated Yahoo! Loops open to non-members, sample issues of Solander and The Historical Novels Review are available online
Overview: Over 400 authors and publishing professionals “dedicated to promoting dark literature and the interests of those who write it.”
Sample of Offerings**: Newsletter targeted to booksellers and librarians; lectures and signings; annual Bram Stoker Awards; directories of libraries, bookstores, reviewers and HWA members; monthly newsletter; discounts on some print advertising venues; web and email publicity; submission Horror Preview Club; industry updates; monthly e-newsletter; consideration for “Horror Writers Association” Presents anthology; mentor program; online chats and seminars; agent contact information; annual conference; online forums; regional chapters in select areas of the US, Canada and UK
Membership levels: Supporting (no membership requirement), Affiliate (minimal publication in horror or dark fantasy required), Associate (non-writers associated with horror and dark fantasy field, no publication requirement), Active (writers of horror or dark fantasy published through an HWA approved publisher)
Cost: Membership runs on a calendar year (January – December) and ranges from $45 to $65 per year, depending on membership level. Corporate and family memberships are also available
Note: Consideration for a Stoker Award does not require HWA membership
** – Many offering are available ONLY to active members
Overview: ITW members include fiction and nonfiction authors of books broadly classified as “thrillers.” Examples are: murder mystery, detective, suspense, horror, supernatural, action, espionage, true crime, war, adventure, and more.
Sample of Offerings**: The Big Thrill monthly newsletter and ezine; Big Thrill website; annual Thrillerfest conference with 1000+ writer, reader, publisher, editor and agent attendees; Craftfest writing workshop; AgentFest pitching opportunity; list of ITW recognized publishers; online listservs; ability to post video trailers; ability to be a featured author in weekly Thriller Roundtable discussions where writers and readers interact; ITW Debut Author Program; Thriller awards
Cost: Active membership is free. Associate Member annual dues are $95. (See below for details on associate and active membership.)
Note: Review benefits to each membership class carefully. Active membership is available to commercially published/produced thriller genre-related fiction and non-fiction writers, screenwriters and playwrights. Associate membership is available to “authors, readers, publishers, agents, reviewers, librarians, booksellers, experts such as criminologists and intelligence operatives, and anyone who is interested in and supports the thriller genre.”
** – Many offerings are available only to active members
Overview: MWA is open to current and aspiring mystery and crime writers and other professionals with an interest in the crime-writing field. By joining MWA, the member is automatically enrolled in the appropriate regional chapter.
Sample of Offerings: Eleven regional chapters (each regional chapter offers a newsletter, and some offer regular meetings and websites), ten issues annually of national newsletter—The Third Degree, access to Yahoo! Group list, Edgar© Awards for “books, short stories, television shows, and films in the mystery, crime, suspense, and intrigue fields,” author newsletter database, discounts on writing and non-writing related goods and services, one-day writing conference—MWA University, access to databases of bookstores and libraries
Cost: Annual membership is $95
Note: Open to international members. Active status requires US residency or citizenship, at least $1000 in advances/royalties and print run of 500+ copies, along with several other requirements.
Overview: Novelists, Inc. is devoted exclusively to the business needs of multi-published, professional novelists.
Sample Offerings: A monthly newsletter, a “members only” area on the website, an annual conference of industry professionals, a networking email loop, a legal fund, the Model Royalty Statement project, and a Digital Rights Management committee.
Costs: Annual dues are $65. Membership is available to authors who have published at least two novels (minimum of 50,000 words each) and have earned at least $2,000 per book (more for self-published).
Note: Members are published in fiction, non-fiction, short fiction, poetry, academia, drama, and graphic novels. The average number of books published per member is sixteen.
Overview: RWA has over 10,000 members, including writers and publishing industry professionals
Sample of Offerings: Special interest chapters based on geography and writing focus, annual national conference with attendance of 2000+, writing contests and awards for published and unpublished writers, communities of practice focusing on the business aspect of writing, access to Yahoo! Group lists, subscription to Romance Writers Report monthly magazine, access to lists of vetted agents and publishers
Cost: Initial membership rates range from $110 to $155, depending on residency and magazine mailing options. Renewal rates include $85 dues and magazine delivery fees outside the United States
Note: Open to international members
Overview: SFWA is “a professional organization for authors of science fiction, fantasy and related genres.” Membership of over 1800 authors, artists and allied professionals
Sample of Offerings: access to book promotion features such as Featured Books/Author on SFWA website, online discussion forums, a bi-monthly newsletter—Bulletin, Nebula Awards, Nebula Awards weekend including programs and workshops
Cost: Membership rates range from $60 to $100 (for institutional members), various membership levels based on paid sales
Note: A number of resources for writers, such as their Information Center and Writer Beware, can be accessed for free from the SFWA website
Overview: “The SCBWI acts as a network for the exchange of knowledge between writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, agents, librarians, educators, booksellers and others involved with literature for young people.” Regional chapters operate in the US and internationally.
Sample of Offerings: Two annual, international conferences; bi-monthly magazine—SCBWI Bulletin; several annual award programs, for fiction, non-fiction and humor; online forums; discounts on writing and non-writing related goods and services; grant programs; online resource library
Cost: Initial membership is $85 and renewals are $70, annually
Note: Different membership levels for published and unpublished writers
Overview: Founded in 1953 to promote the literature of the American West and bestow Spur Awards for distinguished writing in the western field. Today, WWA has more than 500 members who write Literature of the West for the World®, which encompasses mainstream fiction to local history as well as traditional western fiction.
Sample of Offerings: Monthly Roundup™ magazine, annual Spur Awards for distinguished writing about the American West and annual convention, participation in America Star Speakers Bureau, regional, state and local seminars and book signings available
Cost: Active and Associate members pay a $75 annual fee.
Note: Writers with one qualifying book or several magazine articles may apply for Associate Membership while authors of at least three qualifying books and numerous articles may apply for Active Membership.