SFWA Opening Doors to Self-Published Authors

SFWA, AKA Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association of America, held a referendum regarding the admittance of self-published authors and small presses for membership into the organization. The referendum passed in a 6 to 1 in favor of expanding membership.

You can read all about the upcoming changes, effective March 1, 2015, here.

Inquisitor by RJ BlainIn May, 2014, I released my first urban fantasy, Inquisitor. It is the first novel of the Witch & Wolf series. The Witch & Wolf series tells the stories of those who have been impacted by the Inquisition, the organization responsible for controlling and containing all things supernatural and paranormal.

Unlike most UF series, the first three novels (#3 expected in 2016) are told from different perspectives.

SFWA membership has been a long-time dream for me. It's also been a dream I never thought would actually happen. Traditional publication is something I flirted with. I was in talks with an agent for quite a few months about a book, but we ultimately didn't work together. While he invited me to resubmit things to him later, I never did. Why?

I wanted to get to what I like doing: writing. While there are a lot of great things about traditional publication, I like doing things at my own pace. I like controlling my cover art. I like coming up with new stories, and having the ability to step back from what I'm currently working on to let my creativity take wing and soar.

I enjoy almost the every aspect of being an author.

According to SFWA's new rules, effective March 1, 2015, Inquisitor qualifies for membership.

I almost cried last night. I'm not sure how I avoided it, really–I suspect it is due to trying not to get my hopes up way too high–after all, they could reject my application when I apply! (That would break me.)

None of my other novels qualify at this moment, but Winter Wolf is getting close. I'd love for all of my novels to qualify! That would be so amazing. Will they? Who knows. I guess one day I'll find out.

But this is such good news for SFWA–and for me. One of my dreams, something I really wanted but hadn't been able to accomplish, is now in my grasp. I looked at the requirements and realized I was actually making progress.

I could play with the big boys and girls.

SFWA membership, in the grand scheme of things, probably won't mean all that much to me. I'm very independent. I do things at my own pace. But I got there.

Hard work sometimes does pay off, and this makes me hopeful for my future as an author.

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1 comment
susan emans says February 5, 2015

Congratulations! I was not aware that the SFWA did not already allow indies and small press authors membership. I am glad they have corrected this mistake.

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