CWA Membership Benefits and Requirements
Join the international professional writers’ association that provides news, information and education to the public on all aspects of cats — the Cat Writers’ Association, Inc. (CWA).
Annual membership fee is $30.00 (30.00 USD). Members must renew by December 31 preceding each membership year.
New applicants must also pay a non-refundable $10.00 (US10.00) application processing fee. So, when you apply, send $40.00. Before applying, please familiarize yourself with our membership requirements. In addition to payment of the processing fee and dues, new members are also required to submit a completed application as well as submitting work samples for consideration. Once your application has been reviewed by our membership committee, you will be advised in regards to the status of your application. If approved, you will be notified by the CWA secretary and welcomed into the Cat Writers’ Association as a member. If your application is not approved, you will receive notification of said fact. Please be aware that incomplete applications cannot be considered for membership.
Now, you can pay your new membership fee using PayPal!
The Cat Writers’ Association, Inc. offers many benefits to you as a member:
- Numerous networking opportunities, including an annual roster listing each member’s contact information and areas of expertise.
- Our quarterly newsletter, the award-winning MEOW, keeps you updated on official CWA business and tells you what your fellow cat writers, artists and other professionals are doing. The MEOW also includes helpful and informative articles, writing tips, market information to help you sell your work and inspirational essays from seasoned writers and other professionals who communicate about cats.
- A press card to facilitate your attendance at cat shows and events.
- Our annual Cat Writers’ Association Communications Contest to recognize outstanding cat writing (fiction, nonfiction, poetry and more), broadcasting, artwork and photography.
- Our annual CWA Writer’s Conference offering superb networking opportunities and professional guidance and advice from seasoned writers and other professionals.
- Opportunities to make mutually beneficial professional contacts — and good friends!
- News and tips on publishing opportunities and markets.
- Free subscription to the CWA-ProList mailing list, an email discussion forum for CWA members only.
Members of the CWA help contribute to the appreciation and welfare of all cats by providing accurate news, information and education on all aspects of felines, their nature, health, care and lore.
in your professional development
by joining the Cat Writer’s Association TODAY!
To be considered for membership in the CWA, you must include, along with your application and $40.00 fee (including $10.00 non-refundable application processing fee), CAT-RELATED samples of your work published or publicly produced during the preceding 12 months (24 months for books). All work samples must be dated, include the publication’s name, and must contain significant “cat content,” not just mention cats in passing or use them as props or scenery. Works that portray cats in a negative, inhumane or irresponsible manner do not qualify as work samples for CWA membership.
Applicants: Please review additional work sample guidelines, below, before selecting work samples to accompany your application!
ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP: For published cat writers, artists, broadcasters and other communications professionals who may or may not be paid for their work. Acceptable samples FOR ASSOCIATE STATUS include:
- 1 published exhibit from newspaper, magazine, ezine/online publication, or internal publication; OR
- 1 broadcast or file script or tape; OR
- 1 public relations speech or technical materials exhibit.
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIP: For published cat writers, artists, broadcasters and other communications professionals who are regularly published and are paid for their work. Acceptable work samples for PROFESSIONAL STATUS include:
- 2 published exhibits from newspaper, magazine, ezine/online publication, or internal publication; OR
- 2 broadcast or file scripts or tapes; OR
- 2 public relations speeches or technical material exhibits; OR
- 1 book published within the preceding 24 months.
Need a CWA member sponsor? Applications naming CWA member(s) as sponsor(s) receive the highest consideration. The CWA encourages prospective members to contact a current CWA member to discuss possible sponsorship. (Go to http://www.catwriters.com and click on “Our Members.”) Don’t specify a sponsor without their consent. Most CWA members will be happy to discuss your cat-related work and your CWA membership application with you.
- Vanity-published work, whether printed text or illustrations/photos, will not be accepted as work samples for CWA membership. The CWA defines “vanity publications” as works which the creator pays someone else to print, or which are self-published without meeting the criteria below or which are not professional quality. Applicants are responsible for affirming the type of publisher they work with. However, the CWA Membership Committee can be guided by other typical “vanity publisher” criteria, such as the fact that vanity publishers usually have numerous “published titles” in contrast to small, lesser-known presses which have only a handful of legitimate titles; or the fact that the publisher is a known vanity press.
- Any work submitted for CWA membership consideration must be to a large extent about, or relevant to, cats. At least one-third of the content of non-fiction articles/books should cover cats. In fictional works, it’s not essential that a cat be the main character, but felines must be integral to the plot and story, rather than incidental characters or walk-ons.
- Articles, poems, photographs, and other forms of media from edited print or online publications (magazines, newsletters, newspapers, etc.) are acceptable as work samples. References from the editor of said publication should be available upon request. Proof of financial compensation should also be available and may be requested in cases where the candidate is seeking professional membership status.
- CWA will accept electronically published work from publications such as personal blogs or websites if the following criteria are met:
a. To be eligible for consideration as a qualifying publication from which work samples can be submitted, a blog or website must have been established for one year or longer, with content added on a relatively consistent basis on average at least once weekly (or more frequently) for a period of at six months prior to submission.
b. If the blog/website has been established less than one year, and/or content is added less often than once weekly, said blog does not qualify as a publication from which work samples may be submitted. However, said blog would become qualified once one year of publication is achieved but only assuming that content is added once a week (or more frequently) for a period of six months or longer prior to submission.
c. Further, a monetized blog would be eligible to provide work samples for application for professional membership. Forms of acceptable monetization include but are not limited to sponsored posts, paid advertising, and subscription services. The blogger should be prepared to submit proof of income, if requested. Non-monetized blogs would be eligible to provide work samples for those seeking associate status.
- Applicants submitting broadcast or film scripts, tapes that have been released to the public, or public relations speeches or technical material exhibits that have been presented to the public, must include substantiation of such distribution, presentation or publication, such as a signed letter from superior, clip of the publication, etc .
- Books submitted by applicants as work samples will, ideally and preferably, be published/distributed by a commercial publisher. Authors of self-published books must submit supporting documentation that the book is being offered for sale by professional outlets such as book stores (whether physical buildings or online bookstores), commercial web sites, or other venues not owned by the author/creator. Published titles shall be evaluated based on a combination of availability of the work (i.e. venues from which the work can be purchased), quality of the work, independent reviews (on Amazon and elsewhere), and sales history. If any one of these issues is found lacking by the Committee, rather than “professional” membership the applicant may be offered an “associate” membership until such time as the sales/reviews on the existing title or other future work merits a bump up to professional status. The CWA Membership Committee may ask applicants for proof of book sale figures or other information.
- Applicants submitting any other self-published work (articles, songs, photos, calendars, artwork etc.) must additionally submit one of the following proofs. Either:
a) Evidence that the published work has been vetted by a qualified professional; OR
b) Up-to-date sales figures; OR
c) Proof of payment/remuneration. AND
d) Any other substantiating material requested by the CWA Membership Committee (e.g. additional previously-published samples, writers resume, etc.)
- The overall quality of all submitted works shall be considered as part of the evaluation process, in addition to the qualifications already defined. Considerations shall include but not be limited to grammar, spelling, punctuation, accuracy, and general presentation of the work.
- Any member of the CWA Membership Committee has the right to request additional writing or other work samples, or supporting documents, from any applicant. The Membership Committee also has the right to make exceptions to admit applicants under special considerations.
In all cases, if the CWA membership Committee requests additional substantiation and/or information from an applicant, the amount of time given for consideration before final approval of the application may be extended by up to 30 days.
This application is also available as a PDF file.
I am applying for: _____Professional Membership _____Associate Membership Name: ______________________________________________________________ Mailing Address: ______________________________________________________ City/State/Zip: ________________________________________________________ Home Telephone #: ( ____ ) ___________________________________ Business Telephone #: ( ____ ) ________________________________ Fax #: ( ____ ) _________________________________________ E-Mail Address: ______________________________________________ Your Special Area(s) of Expertise (for Directory Listing): ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Professional Affiliation(s): ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ CWA Member Sponsor: _______________________________________________ If you'd like help in contacting or selecting potential sponsors, check out the CWA online member list or drop an email to the CWA Secretary. Any other information you'd like the Membership Committee to consider: ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________
All payments must be made in U.S. Funds only. Sorry – we cannot accept credit cards, etc. We do accept PayPal, or you can send check, cash or money order drawn in US funds.
Now, you can pay your membership fees using PayPal!
All memberships must be renewed in full for $30.00 annually by December 31 of the year preceding the membership year.
New member dues are $40.00 (includes $10.00 non-refundable application processing fee). If your membership application is approved in the last two months of the fiscal year (November 1 to December 31) you will automatically become a member for the following full year.
If the CWA Membership Committee declines your application, $30.00 of your $40.00 membership application fee will be refunded to you.
Send your completed application, along with your work samples, to the CWA Secretary, who will review your materials and pass them along to the CWA Membership Committee. The Membership Committee has 7 days to decide whether or not to accept your application. You will be notified as soon as the Committee has made its decision.
Send your application and work samples to:
Wendy Christensen, CWA Secretary
256 Timbertop Rd.
New Ipswich NH 03071-3018
For further information, or if you have questions, email the CWA Secretary.