Guild Membership Eligibility

Three Categories of Membership

Regular Membership. You may qualify as an author published by an established U.S. book publisher, as a freelance writer published by periodicals of general circulation in the U.S., or as a book author or freelance writer earning writing income, which may include income from self-published works, of at least $5,000 in an 18-month period:

Book authors published by established American publishers qualify for membership. Generally, book contracts from established publishers are expected to include a royalty clause with a meaningful advance, and allow the author to retain copyright. Exceptions to these requirements are sometimes made in the case of small literary presses of national reputation. Works published by foreign publishers are not accepted as a basis for membership. Co-authors, collaborators (including ghostwriters) and translators can qualify on the same basis as authors. Contributors to collections published by established American publishers can qualify if they have published at least three contributions within the past eighteen months.

Freelance writers must have published three works, fiction or non-fiction, by a periodical of general circulation within the 18 months prior to applying for membership. Publication in trade and professional journals is generally not accepted. Online publication at the same rate (at least three works within the past eighteen months) can qualify an author for membership if the website has substantial traffic, editorial oversight, and if the author is paid significant compensation for the work. Exceptions to these requirements are sometimes made in the case of periodicals or websites of national literary reputation.

Writers (including self-published writers) earning at least $5,000 in writing income as a book author or freelance writer in the 18 months prior to applying for membership. Writers earning at least $500 in writing income in the 18 months prior to applying for membership may qualify for acceptance as Associate members of the Authors Guild.

Dues: First year dues are $90. (After the first year, dues are charged on a sliding scale, depending on your writing income. Most members continue to pay $90.) Application form.

Associate Membership. You may qualify as an Associate member if you’ve been offered a contract with an established American book publisher, if an established literary agency has offered to represent you, or if you have earned at least $500 in writing income (including self-published writing income) as a book author or freelance writer in the 18 months prior to applying for membership. Associate members are eligible for the same benefits and services as Regular members with the exception that they cannot vote in Guild elections. Once an Associate member’s book is published they can become a Regular member.

Dues: First year dues are $90. (After the first year, dues are charged on a sliding scale, depending on your writing income. Most members continue to pay $90.) Application form.

Membership-at-Large is a non-voting membership category available to:

Heirs, trustees, or executors representing the estate of a deceased author whose literary work would have qualified the author for Regular membership.

Literary agents who have placed work with established American publishers.

Attorneys and accountants who represent authors.

Dues: First year dues are $90. (After the first year, dues are charged on a sliding scale, depending on your writing income. Most members continue to pay $90.)  Application Form.

To learn more about Authors Guild membership, e-mail us your mailing address and we’ll send you an informational packet.