Tuesday, March 04, 2014

The Writers' Union of Canada now to accept self-published authors for membership

A large majority of The Writers' Union of Canada (TWUC) has voted in favour of opening its membership to professional, self-published authors. The referendum, which required a 2/3 majority,  followed the unanimous recommendation from delegates to the 2013 TWUC AGM last June. 

Where for many years professional writers distanced themselves from the self-published (often dismissed as "vanity publishing" or books that mainstream publishers wouldn't touch).
"The membership and volunteer leaders of the Union have taken a long, hard, and responsible look at the state of the writing and publishing industries worldwide,” noted current TWUC Chair, Dorris Heffron [in a statement posted on the TWUC website], “and we have concluded there is a population of highly professional self-published authors who would be well-served by membership in TWUC.”
The organization will have to revise its constitution and membership criteria at the upcoming AGM which is being held in St. John's. 
“It’s important to note we have not simply dropped the gate,” added Heffron. "TWUC membership criteria has always maintained it is not ‘easy’ to become a professionally published author. This vote is simply a recognition that the gatekeepers for this accomplishment have changed somewhat. The publishing industry remains a central arbiter of professional authorship. TWUC is now taking up the responsibility of gate-keeping as well.”
 The decision matches a growing worldwide trend.The once-exclusive Authors Guild in the U.S. has now opened its membership to self-published authors, though it has yet to establish an income screen for acceptance.

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