The Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) is allowing self-published authors to join its ranks for the first time in its 68-year history.
It comes after the CWA consulted its members, who voted in favour of the move with an 84% majority.
Maxim Jakubowski, chair of the CWA, explained: “The founding mission of the CWA was to support, promote and celebrate the crime genre and its authors. In the past, we only accepted traditionally published authors into the CWA, as this was the best indicator of quality. The publishing landscape has changed in recent years, and self-publishing has become a route for professional writers, and indeed there are many trailblazers in this field. The time is right to update our membership criteria.”
Self-published authors wishing to become a CWA member will need to demonstrate “a level of professionalism through a simple-to-complete application form”, the organisation said. This will be publicised on the CWA website from 13th September, when the association will first accept applications.
Jakubowski added: “We continue to be committed to quality. Successful self-publishing today requires the same professional approach that publishers take, so we felt it was wrong to discriminate against self-published authors. It’s clear the overwhelming majority of our members who voted feel the same way.”