Update on MWA Rules for Membership

At the last board meeting, the Mystery Writers of America made some slight revisions/clarifications in the language for criteria for Active Membership status and publishers who wish to be on the Approved Publishers list.  They are as follows:

Rule 2 previously stated that to become Active members of MWA, book authors
must have received a minimum of $1,000 in royalties and/or advances, but there
was no specific language that required publishers to pay this amount. The new
Rule 2 corrects this: Your publisher, to be approved,
must have paid a minimum of $1,000 during the preceding year to at least five
authors with no financial or ownership interest in the company. (See Rule

Rule 5 (the "two-year" rule) was not changed in its basic intent, but the
language now makes explicit that "first book" refers only to an author with no
interest in the company: Your publisher must have been in
business for at least two years since publication of the first book by a person
with no financial or ownership interest in the company. (Exception: a new
imprint by an established publisher.)

Rule 7 was also changed with reference to authors with financial interests in
the publishing company: Your publisher, to be approved,
must publish at least five authors per year, other than those with a financial
or ownership interest in the company, such as an owner, business partner,
employee, or close relative of such person.

It is the intent of the Board to create rules that are both clear and fair,
to benefit all our members and to encourage good standards and practices in the
publishing industry.

4 thoughts on “Update on MWA Rules for Membership”

  1. No stake in any of this (not a published author, by any meaasure of the word), but would the paying-five-authors-$1000-a-year thing not eliminate some legitimate small presses?
    That question isn’t meant to argumentative. I’m actually curious.

  2. This is to correct for the newest paradigm where a few vanity press authors get together and form a new company that publishes each other, like Behler for example. Print on demand of course.


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