Membership Qualifications

The Napa Valley Writers’ branch (NVW) of the California Writers Club is an association of professional writers. NVW Policy and Procedures state that the membership must maintain a minimum of 51% published authors. This is to create a mentorship and fulfill the mission of CWC: “Educating writers of all levels of expertise in the craft of writing and the marketing of their work.”

There are five main categories of membership: Active, Associate, Supporting, Student, and Joint.

ACTIVE Memberships are for writers who produce fiction, nonfiction, poetry, plays or other creative writing of quality and meet the following minimum production requirements:

1. Authors of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and/or a photojournalist shall have had a book published by a publisher of standing within the past ten (10) years, or a book currently under contract, or publications or acceptance within the past three (3) years of not less than three stories, articles, or columns in a periodical(s) of general circulation.

2. Authors of plays for stage, screen, radio, television, or videos shall have had at least one publication, performance, production, or production in development within the past ten (10) years.

3. A writer who publishes material under own imprint may be considered for Active membership, and must have published within the last (10) years.

4. A writer who publishes material electronically may be considered for Active membership.

• NVW Membership Chair and/or Accreditation Committee shall use the following criteria to judge the submitted material for 3 and 4 above:

a. Professional presentation of writing style.
b. Professional presentation as to graphics.
c. Plans for distributing published materials.
d. Awards, contests won, and/or reviews.
e. Evaluation deals only with the standard of writing and not genre or content.

• Prima facie evidence of satisfying the requirement of “professional presentation” of writing style and graphics, and “plans for distributing materials” may be demonstrated by obtaining at least 15 points from the following point-weighted categories:

1. Book published (print, ebook, audio): 15 points
2. National magazine/newspaper/literary journal/trade magazine/anthology  print or electronic): 10 points (article, essay, newspaper column, poem)
3. Screenplay or stage play: 15 points (for sold and/or produced)
4. Anthology (non-national): 5 points (points may accrue if published in a different edition)
5. Blog/guest blog: 3 points (one time credit of 3 points for writing a personal blog; points may accrue for guest blogs)
6. Contest wins: points vary (may accrue for different contests)

i. National writing contest (e.g. Writer’s Digest): 5 points
ii. Local/regional writing contest: 3 points
iii. Online ‘zine:’ 5 points

• Self-Publishing – NVW recognizes that the publishing world is changing. It is more difficult than ever to be published by a “publisher of standing” and the quality of self-published books runs the gamut from extremely good to extremely poor. Works published by self-publishing houses will need to be reviewed by the NVW Membership Chair and/or Accreditation Committee and/or submit reviews of the work.

5. A combination of at least three (3) publication credits from sources which have a screening/editing process and a general circulation:

a. Articles, essays, short stories or poems in traditional print media such as the Santa Rosa Press Democrat or other news outlets.
b. Short stories, poems, essays published in an online anthology, ‘zine or established blog (such as the Huffington Post) or website (such as
c. Winning a juried contest for a novel, short story, poem, or essay after review by the NVW Membership Chair and/or Accreditation Committee.

6. Two publications in either NVW anthologies AND at least one other publication described in C.6. 3
Rev. 3/15/2015

ASSOCIATE Memberships are for those persons who qualify by submission of writing material that is approved by the NVW Membership Chair and/or Accreditation Committee as clear evidence of acceptable writing quality.

1. An exception to this policy exists for non-writing literary professionals. If no demonstrated conflict of interest exists, the NVW may accord Associate Membership to career professionals in areas related to writing. These adjunct memberships may include editors, librarians, agents, booksellers, publishers, producers, directors, and book illustrators. NVW Membership Chair and/or Accreditation Committee have the discretion to grant these memberships.
2. An Associate may become an Active Member when qualifications for an Active Member are met and are approved by the NVW Membership Chair and/or Accreditation Committee.

SUPPORTING Memberships are created by the NVW Board in those cases where the ratio of Associate to Active Members does not allow additional Associates on the roster, or for people who want to support a branch, but are not interested in a writing career.

1. Supporting Members are entitled to the same privileges and benefits as Active and Associate Members, except they may not vote, hold office, nor represent NVW to CWC.
2. Supporting Members shall pay the same dues and fees as Active and Associate Members.
3. Supporting Members may become Associate Members by submitting a request and a writing sample to the Membership Chair; and may become Active Members when the qualifications are met and approved.

STUDENT Memberships are offered to writers from the ages of eight through twenty-two (8- 22), or to any writers who are verified full-time students at an accredited school. No writing submission shall be required. Student Members will not be eligible to vote or hold office. (Exceptions may be made by the NVW Board.)

JOINT Memberships are for any existing member of another CWC branch who wishes to join NVW. They will not have to re-qualify for their membership level. A Joint Member will have only one vote in statewide issues.

LIFETIME Memberships are only for Active Members who pay membership dues in one lump sum. Lifetime Members shall be exempt from any further payment of dues but otherwise shall have all the duties and privileges of Active Membership. 4 Rev. 3/15/2015 Active, Associate, or Supporting Dues:
$65.00 ($45.00 + one-time join fee of $20) for a full year (7-1 to 6-30); $42.50 for half-year (Only Jan. 1 to June 30); Renewals for Active, Associate and Supporting Dues: $45.00 Student Dues: $15.00 a year Joint Dues: $25 a year.

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