This is an unexpected move! While we know inflation makes this one which is likely largely overdue it is still a surprise. A welcome one, but not one that I’m sure will gain much traction. Many SFWA qualifying markets have already raised their rates to 8-10 cents per word and the remaining at 6-7 cents will either need to shake things up or no longer be considered eligible markets for the industry standard.
This will be a big hit on smaller markets who were able to justs get their rates in line with the old standards in recent years. For those who are able to adjust, this is a huge win for authors who write science fiction!
Here is how the SFWA made the announcement:
In accordance with our mission to support and empower science fiction and fantasy writers, SFWA periodically reviews and adjusts the minimum payment rates for professional short fiction markets, known colloquially as the SFWA Pro Rate. On September 1st, 2019, the minimum payment rate for short fiction will rise from six cents per word to eight cents per word, based on US dollar amounts.
This change is the result of market analyses conducted by SFWA Board members, along with a review of the effects of inflation on author compensation. The SFWA Pro Rate was previously changed in 2014, rising from five to six cents per word, and from three to five cents per word in 2004.
Writers applying for SFWA membership qualify on the basis of the SFWA Pro Rate effective on the date of contract. Stories sold before September 1st, 2019 at the then-current qualifying rate will continue to qualify a writer for SFWA membership.
SFWA supports fair compensation for writers. We hope the new Pro Rate will encourage short fiction publishers to increase their payment rates.
There is a link for questions and comments in the actual post itself, and if you want to reach out to the organization with either, please do so.
I’m curious what our readers think about these changes to what qualifies to an SFWA market? Are there any presses or magazines that you know of which will get hit by this change? Are you a market that this is affecting? Please comment below as we’d love to hear your thoughts!
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