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We’re at the most important page of all. When you fill out the form to apply, you’ll be asked for documentation that shows you qualify for the membership type for which you’re applying.

This page tells you what kind of documentation you will need. READ IT CAREFULLY. Failure to follow these guidelines may significantly delay your application or result in rejection.

For the complete rules, read our bylaws.

Your Documentation

You must provide proper documentation at the time of your application. We are a volunteer organization and don’t have time to track you down. If you’re unsure whether you have the right files, you may contact our Membership Committee via email.

What you can and cannot use:

IMPORTANT: PROOF OF PAYMENT IS REQUIRED. You must have already been paid for the work.

    ACCEPTABLE DOCUMENTATION:

    • Scan/photo/screenshot/copy of contract with scan/photo/screenshot/copy of corresponding payments.
    • Scan/photo/screenshot/copy of publisher royalty statements with scan/photo/screenshot/copy of corresponding payments.
    • Scan/photo/ screenshot/copy of Amazon KDP (or similar type venue) reports for a SINGLE book (Excel spreadsheet). Must also include screenshot(s) of the screen where the report is generated to show selected book title and totals.
    • Scan/photo/screenshot/copy of payments made to PayPal or other bank accounts. No personal data is required, so blocking account numbers and such out is fine.
    OCCASIONALLY ACCEPTABLE DOCUMENTATION:

    • Emails detailing contract terms or payment.
    • Emails from publisher.
    RARELY ACCEPTABLE DOCUMENTATION:

    • 1099s.
    • Crowdfunding campaigns.
    UNACCEPTABLE DOCUMENTATION:

    • Screenshots of your book on Amazon or anywhere else.
    • Links to your book (though these help in addition to any of the above acceptable documentation).
    • BookReport reports.
    • A list of your publications (though these help when you are submitting documentation for multiple publications).
    • Any altered documentation.
    • Book sales made in person.

To proceed, click on the type of membership you chose:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supporting Ally

You do not need to provide any documentation. You can proceed straight to the final step.

If you have any questions, please contact our Membership Committee via email.

Return to previous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Associate Ally

Persons working as professionals other than writers in the field of horror or dark literature (including, but not limited to, editors, illustrators, literary agents, booksellers, institutions with a legitimate interest in the horror genre, such as high schools, colleges, universities, libraries, broadcasting organizations, film producers, publishers, or an individual associated with such an institution) may join the Corporation as associates. Professionals are defined in this case as individuals or institutions able to demonstrate earned income from non-writing activities associated with horror or dark literature.

Members applying for this level should be able to show they are being paid for their services.

If you have any questions, please contact our Membership Committee via email.

How do you want to proceed?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Academic Ally

Persons working as Academics and who have an academic interest in the field of horror or dark literature may join the organization as Academic Members. Academics are defined in this case as individuals able to demonstrate an academic interest in the genre through research, teaching, writing or other appropriate activities.

Members applying for this level should be able to provide proof of their affiliation, research, and/or publication with academia.

If you have any questions, please contact our Membership Committee via email.

How do you want to proceed?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Affiliate Writer

Writers are defined as those who create original or adapted works of fiction or non-fiction of Horror or Dark Literature that are published in any of the following forms: books, periodicals, one-off printed material, stage plays, screenplays, graphic novels, comic books, computer games and internet-based material. (The HWA Board has the right by majority vote to alter this definition to reflect developments in the marketplace and future technologies for the delivery of fiction and non-fiction material.)

Affiliate membership requires one or more of the following:
i
One or more publications or sales of short or long fiction in excess of 500 words each, sold at qualifying rates and containing one or more elements of horror or dark literature. Qualifying rates are defined in this case as $25 or more. “Publications or sales” is defined to mean either publication, or the receipt of payment for future publication; the signing of a contract shall not constitute sale until the first payment has been received.

ii
One or more publications or sales of non-fiction, role-playing supplements, comic book scripts, computer gaming scripts, or theatrical plays in excess of 500 words each, sold at qualifying rates and containing one or more elements of horror or dark literature or study, scholarship, criticism, or commentary thereon. Qualifying rates are defined in this case as $50 or more. “Publications or sales” is defined to mean either publication, or the receipt of payment for future publication; the signing of a contract shall not constitute sale until the first payment has been received.

iii
The publication or sale of at least one book-length work, fiction, nonfiction, or translation, sold at qualifying rates and containing one or more elements of horror or dark literature or study, scholarship, criticism, or commentary thereon. “Book-length” is defined as being in excess of 40,000 words. Qualifying rates for works published in book form are defined in this case as the payment of any combination of monies from an advance and/or royalties of at least $200 – an advance may be against royalties of no less than 1% of the retail price of the volume, or it may be a flat-rate payment; or payments of at least $200 for self-published works, where those payments meet the requirements of clauses III 7 vi and ix. Note: the payment requirements are per book, and are not cumulative across a number of books. For works not published as independent volumes, such as magazine serials, qualifying rates shall be defined as one cent (1¢) or more per word. “Publication or sale” is defined to mean either publication, or the receipt of payment for future publication; the signing of a contract shall not constitute sale until the first payment has been received.

iv
The sale of one or more screenplays or the sale of one or more options for existing screenplays written by the applicant and related to the horror or dark fantasy genre(s) for television or theatrical film at qualifying rates. “Qualifying rates” are defined as $200 or more. “Sale” is defined to mean the receipt of payment; the signing of a contract shall not constitute sale until full payment has been received.

v
Three or more separate publications or sales of individual poems of at least 10 lines each, sold at qualifying rates and containing one or more elements of horror or dark literature. “Qualifying rates” are defined in this case as a combined total of at least $15. “Publication or sale” is defined to mean either publication, or the receipt of payment for future publication; a verbal promise or the signing of an agreement shall not constitute sale until payment has been received.

vi
Self-published works may be used in qualifying for Affiliate status. Payments so claimed must be made to the author from an external source such as Amazon, so that they can be verified. Payments must be received within two years after the work’s original self-publication date. Payments used for qualification purposes are the earnings received from those outside sources, NOT the sales revenue earned by that outside source.

vii
It shall be required that the publication, publisher, or other entity making payment as described in sub-sections i-vi of this clause shall be one that pays the same qualifying rate to at least 90% of its contributors. This is necessary to avoid having members attain Affiliate status through “traded” or other irregular sales at artificial rates.

viii
Since there is no reliable way of determining who contributed what to a collaborative work, every writer whose name appears as author of any qualifying work shall be permitted to claim that work as fully his own for the purpose of Affiliate membership, so long as no more than three names are listed as author. No collaboration listing four or more authors shall be accepted as a membership credential. Up to three authors may be admitted to Affiliate membership for the same qualifying work.

ix
All applicants may be asked to provide documentation of their qualifying sales to complete the application process. Documentation may include proof of payment including, but not limited to, true and correct copies of royalty, advance or one-off payments from publishers; sales records received from third party book distributors (e.g. copies of Excel payment records, copies of web pages showing sales and payment records); payment processor or shopping cart records for direct book and ebook sales; and/or other sales or financial records which are custom and practice in the publishing industry. Documentation must be able to show sales are tied to a specific title.

IMPORTANT: Documentation must clearly show the title of your novel, your publisher, and the royalties your book has generated.

Acceptable documentation shall include:

  1. a royalty statement from your publisher; or
  2. proof of payment (e.g. a scan of a check) and an e-mail or letter from your publisher confirming the total royalties paid

To qualify for HWA membership on the basis of earnings from a self-published work, you must provide documentation of earnings paid by a self-publishing venue, such as Amazon.com, that meet the sales thresholds stated in the bylaws for sales within the first two years of publication. Earnings must be for a single novel. Earnings, as defined in this context, do not include money earned by an author’s direct sale of books. Documentation must be provided by a third party and clearly show the title of your work, the sales channel, and the earnings your book has generated. Acceptable documentation shall include earnings statement(s) from your sales channel (i.e. Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com)

If you have any questions, please contact our Membership Committee via email.

Once you have your documentation in order, your next step is to determine your dues rate based on the choices you’ve made.

How do you want to proceed?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Active Writer and/or Editor

Writers are defined as those who create original or adapted works of fiction or non-fiction of Horror or Dark Literature that are published in any of the following forms: books, periodicals, one-off printed material, stage plays, screenplays, graphic novels, comic books, computer games and internet-based material. (The HWA Board has the right by majority vote to alter this definition to reflect developments in the marketplace and future technologies for the delivery of fiction and non-fiction material.)

Active membership requires one or more of the following, either traditionally published or self-published (see clause III 3 xix):

i
Three or more separate publications or sales of short works of fiction whose combined total length equals or exceeds 7,500 words, sold at professional rates and containing one or more elements of horror or dark literature. Professional rates are defined in this case as five cents (5¢) or more per word. “Publications or sales” is defined to mean either publication, or the receipt of payment for future publication; the signing of a contract shall not constitute sale until the first payment has been received.

ii
Three or more separate publications or sales of articles, reviews, or translations whose combined total length equals or exceeds 7,500 words, sold at professional rates and containing one or more elements of horror or dark literature. Professional rates are defined in this case as five cents (5¢) or more per word. “Publications or sales” is defined to mean either publication, or the receipt of payment for future publication; the signing of a contract shall not constitute sale until the first payment has been received.

iii
The publication or sale of at least one book-length work, fiction, non-fiction, or translation, sold at professional rates and containing one or more elements of horror or dark literature or study, scholarship, criticism, or commentary thereon. “Book-length” is defined as being in excess of 40,000 words. Professional rates are defined in this case as payments of at least $2,000 in the form of any combination of monies from an advance AND/OR royalties of 5% or more; OR payments of at least $5,000 in the form of any combination of monies from an advance AND/OR royalties of less than 5%; or payments of at least $2000 for self-published works, where those payments meet the requirements of clauses III 3 xix and xx. Note: the payment requirements are per book, and are not cumulative across a number of books. For works not published as independent volumes, such as magazine serials, qualifying rates shall be defined as five cents (5¢) or more per word. “Publication or sale” is defined to mean either publication, or the receipt of payment for future publication; the signing of a contract shall not constitute sale until the first payment has been received.

iv
The writing of one screenplay for a theatrical film related to the dark fantasy, horror, or occult genre(s), for which the writer was paid at least $5,000 minimum at the time of sale and for which the writer received at least partial screenplay credit, or would have received such credit had the film been released. Or the writing of one stage play related to the dark fantasy, horror, or occult genre(s), for which the writer was paid at least $2,000 minimum at the time of the sale and for which the writer received at least partial credit, or would have received credit had the play been produced.

v
The writing of one television movie related to the horror or dark fantasy genre(s) at least ninety (90) minutes in length, or two episodic teleplays each at least thirty (30) minutes in length, intended for broadcast on either a major network, in nationwide syndication, or on a major cable channel, for which the writer was paid at least the Writers’ Guild minimum current at the time of sale and for which the writer received at least partial screenplay credit, or would have received such credit had the teleplay been aired.

vi
The scripting of no less than three full-length comic books (defined as a minimum of 20 story pages per issue), or that equivalent in self-contained stories, relating to the horror or dark literature, as “work-for-hire” at a page-rate of no less than $50.00 per page. The same quota applies to writer/artists, who must be paid no less than $100.00 per page for material they have written and illustrated. Payment must be received before Active status will be granted under this provision.

vii
The scripting of a minimum of three creator-owned full-length comic books, relating to horror or dark literature, with a paid advance and with a nationally-distributed print run of at least 5,000 copies. The advance for the creator-owned published work must be no less than $30.00 per page or $700.00 per issue. The same quota applies to writer/artists, who must be paid no less than $60.00 per page for material they have written and illustrated, or $1,200 per issue.

viii
The scripting within a one-year period of no less than three self-published or creator-owned full-length comic books (defined as a minimum of 20 story pages per issue), or that equivalent in self-contained stories, relating to horror or dark literature, with a minimum print-run of 2,000 nationally-distributed copies per issue.

ix
The writing of three role-playing games, gaming modules, scenarios, sourcebooks, or other role-playing gaming projects related to horror or dark literature of at least 10,000 words each, and each paying at least five cents (5¢) per word.

x
The writing of one role-playing game, gaming module, scenario, sourcebook, or other role-playing gaming project related to horror or dark literature of at least 40,000 words, paying at least five cents (5¢) per word.

xi
Payment of $2,000 for the scripting of a computer game related to horror or dark literature, or a single work of interactive fiction intended for electronic media, regardless of length or memory usage.

xii
The writing of a computer game or a single work of interactive fiction related to horror or dark literature for electronic media without payment in advance, but with a paid circulation exceeding 1,000 copies, of which all or part of that payment has been received by the writer — i.e., “shareware” with over 1,000 registered copies.

xiii
Ten or more separate publications or sales of individual poems whose combined total length equal or exceeds 150 lines, sold at professional rates and containing one or more elements of horror or dark literature. “Professional rates” are defined in this case as no less than 25 cents (25¢) per line or $5 for each poem, whichever figure is greater. “Publication or sale” is defined to mean either publication, or the receipt of payment for future publication; a verbal promise or the signing of an agreement shall not constitute sale until payment has been received.

xiv
The publication or sale of at least one poetry collection for which a professional-level prize or honorarium is paid, and containing one or more elements of horror or dark literature. “Poetry collection” is defined in this case as a bound or saddle-stitched book or booklet of at least 48 pages, excluding cover, title sheets, and end-pages, with a print run of no fewer than 100 copies. “Professional-level prize or honorarium” is defined in this case as no less than $50. “Publication or sale” is defined to mean either publication, or the receipt of the aforementioned prize or honorarium; a verbal promise or the signing of an agreement shall not constitute sale until payment has been received.

xv
An Editor may qualify for Active Status in the following manner. Firstly – editing least one book-length work of fiction, non-fiction, or translation, sold at professional rates and containing one or more elements of horror or dark literature or study, scholarship, criticism, or commentary thereon. “Book-length” is defined as being in excess of 40,000 words. Professional rates are defined in this case as payments of at least $2,000 in the form of any combination of monies from an advance AND/OR royalties of 5% or more; OR payments of at least $5,000 in the form of any combination of monies from an advance AND/OR royalties of less than 5%. Royalty rates below 1% of the retail price of the volume do not constitute professional sales.

Flat fee payments of at least $2000 qualify. “Publication or sale” is defined to mean either publication, or the receipt of payment for future publication; the signing of a contract shall not constitute a sale until the payment has been received. Secondly – if the person’s full time employment is editing and at least 25% of the person’s responsibilities are in editing horror publications; and that person has held that fulltime employment for a minimum of six months. Thirdly – if the person has received payment of at least $2000 over one calendar year for the sole purpose of editing horror publications in book form, periodicals or on-line.

xvi
A writer may also qualify for Active Status if he/she is paid full-time or part-time (as an employee or a contractor) to primarily write horror or dark fantasy fiction and/or non-fiction for a periodical or online site, write a stage play, write a screenplay, write a comic book script, or write a game; where the organization paying the writer retains copyright; and where that person has held that employment for a minimum of six months. In each case, the writer must be able to prove to the Membership Committee that payments of at least $2000 for this work were received from a single organization within that six month period. The critical points here are that the writer does not retain copyright (that is, they are “working for hire”) and that they can prove earnings of at least $2000 within a six month period from one “employer”.

xvii
Recognized academic presses that do not pay advances will be considered acceptable credit for membership, provided the author can demonstrate proof of earned income within two years of a book’s release that equals advance amounts as specified in the requirements for Active membership.

xviii
A writer may qualify for Active status by mixing and matching work from different categories. However, this is a complex matter requiring review by the Membership Committee on a case-by-case basis.

xix
Self-published works may be used in qualifying for Active status. Payments so claimed must be made to the author from an external source such as Amazon, so that they can be verified. Payments must be received within two years after the work’s original self-publication date. Payments used for qualification purposes are the earnings received from those outside sources, NOT the sales revenue earned by that outside source.

xx
All applicants may be asked to provide documentation of their qualifying sales to complete the application process.
Documentation may include proof of payment including, but not limited to:

  • true and correct copies of royalty, advance or one-off payments from publishers;
  • sales records received from third party book distributors (e.g. copies of Excel payment records, copies of web pages showing sales and payment records);
  • payment processor or shopping cart records for direct book and ebook sales;
  • and/or other sales or financial records which are custom and practice in the publishing industry. Documentation must be able to show sales are tied to a specific title.

4
It shall be required that the publication, publisher, or other entity making payment as described in Section 3 shall be one that pays the same qualifying rate to at least 90% of its contributors. This is necessary to avoid having members attain Active status through “traded” or other irregular sales at artificial rates.

5
Since there is no reliable way of determining who contributed what to a collaborative work, every writer whose name appears as author of any qualifying work shall be permitted to claim that work as fully his own for the purpose of Active membership, so long as no more than three names are listed as author. No collaboration listing four or more authors shall be accepted as a membership credential. Up to three authors may be admitted to Active membership for the same qualifying work.

6
The HWA has established these minimum standards not only in the interest of maintaining credible professional standards for Active members, but to discredit by implication those publishers who attempt to define lower rates as professional. The HWA recognizes that while the aforementioned rates are professional, many of them are nevertheless quite low, and neither body wishes to suggest that such payments are, in fact, adequate for any purpose other than establishing standards for Active membership. The HWA further recognizes that part of the duty of HWA is to improve the working
conditions of the artists who comprise its Active membership; therefore, it is obligated to establish firm minimums for Active status, for by failing to do so it would be encouraging to some degree those publishers who unfairly exploit writers.

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