[KP Editorial Note and All That Official Stuff: This is the first in a now-and-then series of articles on various aspects of the HWA.]
Kenneth W. Cain, Chair, Membership Committee
Did you know that you can upgrade your HWA membership at any time? You don’t have to wait for your current membership to expire. You can do it right now. And it’s not a very complicated a process, either. Here’s everything you need to know.
First and foremost, the most important part of this process is to know the qualifications. These are detailed in the member rules, broken down by categories and listing all thresholds that are necessary to be met in order to upgrade. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the rules to begin with, but this extensive list of qualifications will be your go-to resource for the upgrade process. Be sure to pay attention to the details, as more often than not, the reason an upgrade doesn’t go through is a misunderstanding of these qualifications (perhaps due to not fully reading them).
Next, don’t be afraid to ask questions. As a volunteer for this position, I expect this more often than not. It’s part of the gig. And, while I may not always be able to get right back to you, I’ll do my best to answer any question. Please note, I may not always have the answer readily available. That means I’ll have to track down details and ask questions myself, so getting back with a response can often take time. So patience is another important part of this process.
You’ll need to gather your documentation once you feel you qualify for the upgrade. If you don’t know what this is, it can consist of PDFs, scans, screenshots, or any other media of contracts or royalty sheets (from a reputable publisher or online vendor such as Amazon) or payments. You can’t send too much information, so don’t worry. Send what you feel would be necessary to prove you meet the requirements. Just saying you meet these requirements isn’t enough. I need to see it. Gather all your documentation and get it to me.
Using the Submittable site isn’t required, but doing so is fine. However, you should not submit a new application, as doing so will create a second profile for you and just create more work for me and other volunteers. It’s actually best to E-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the committee at email@example.com. I do answer the occasional Twitter PMs and Facebook messages as I see them, but it’s best to send your materials through E-mail. After I receive your documentation, I will then go through everything when I get a chance and get back to you if anything more is needed.
Once a determination is made, you will be informed as soon as possible. If your application to upgrade is approved, that change will be made on WildApricot by me or another authorized volunteer. Please be aware that some upgrades may require additional dues at the time of the upgrade. Again, if you have any questions whatsoever, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Visit http://horror.org/applying-for-membership/ for more information, including specifics on acceptable documentation and the dues schedule.