When I first started freelance writing on a part-time basis in 2009, I came across the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA). I wanted to be a member.
ASJA member benefits include:
- Members-only information about freelance market news
- Access to freelance job leads
- Discounts on cell phones, insurance, Publishers Weekly and more
- Market rate comparison
- Help with contracts
They require writers to show a “sustained professional career” by satisfying a mix of their various membership requirements that are exhibited over a “substantial period of time”:
- Full-length by-lined articles in major publications (minimum of six – and written as a freelancer)
- TV and film scripts for major media outlets
- Two or more traditionally published non-fiction books
I did not qualify. I didn’t even have one magazine clipping in my name at the time. Nearly four years later I decided to revisit ASJA’s site last month and submit an application. Today, I received an email approving my membership! It’s not only a professional achievement, but a personal one as well. And what fantastic timing to be notified during Freelance Writer Appreciation Week!
Over the years I have joined a variety of writing organizations to network, learn more about different types of writing, and grow my writing career. I have been a member (or currently a member) of:
- The Authors Guild
- Atlanta Writers Club
- North Carolina Poetry Society
- Association of Professional Business Writers (before it went defunct)
- Freelancers Union
- And now ASJA!
Do you recommend any organizations for writers?
The ASJA 2013 Conference is April 25-27 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. Hope to see you there!