Eligibility

Membership Eligibility

ASJA offers four levels of individual membership. Application is required for professional and associate membership.

Associate membership is offered to mid-level freelance writers, who would like to become professional members. Writers working on staff at a media company can join ASJA at this membership level.

Professional membership is for writers with established freelance writing careers that include more than one published book and/or national clips. Professional ASJA members can access Client Connections, Virtual Pitch Slam or Virtual Client Connections.

Membership dues are the same for associate and professional members.

If you are not sure for which membership you qualify, apply for professional membership. If you meet associate membership requirements but not those for professional membership, you will be awarded an associate membership. As an associate member, you can reapply for professional membership with no additional application fee, as soon as you have the needed clips.


Associate Member Qualifications

Please gather all supporting documents (urls and/or pdfs) before you begin your application. You cannot save your application to finish it later.

To apply for associate membership, you must have:

  • Five published articles from regional or national publications.

Articles may be from either national or regional publications. Unpaid articles and clips written while on staff will also be considered for associate membership. Articles or posts on a personal blog cannot be submitted for membership consideration.

  • And/or one book published by a traditional publisher.

Self-published books will not be considered unless the applicant can demonstrate individual quality of the book via sales or reviews.

The following types of writing do not qualify you for ASJA associate membership:

  • Fiction or poetry
  • Work from markets that direct writers to use their advertisers as sources
  • Most self-published or subsidy-published books and materials (see caveat above)
  • PR, advertising, or other writings paid for, in whole or in part, by the subject(s) of the piece(s).

Professional Membership Qualifications

Please gather all supporting documents (urls and/or pdfs) before you begin your application. You cannot save your application to finish it later.

To apply for professional membership, submit either:

  • Six articles written on a freelance basis published in national publications.

Regional publications do not qualify for professional membership. If you submit short articles (fewer than 1,000 words or so), submit more articles. Submissions should be from at least two markets.

Staff-written clips from a job that ended at least six months ago at an established media company can be considered for up to half of the qualifying credentials. In addition, you must submit at least three substantial freelance credits (which could include long articles, editorials, paid blogging, or a book).

  • Two or more traditionally published books; one traditionally published book and one under contract with a traditional publisher; or one traditionally published ghostwritten book and one ghostwritten book self-published by the name author.

Ghostwritten books will require proof in the form of a contract signature page. If applying for membership with only ghostwritten books, at least one book must be traditionally published. The other ghostwritten book may be self-published by the name author, but you should provide concrete data of extraordinary sales or reviews.

The applicant’s own self-published books will not be considered unless you can demonstrate the notable quality of the book via extraordinary sales or reviews.

A word about custom content

Custom, non-bylined content may be considered qualifying under these conditions:

  • You can submit verifiable evidence of authorship (e.g., a contract, with letter(s) of assignment if the topic(s) are not specified in the contract)
  • The work is for an organization of sufficient stature. These include, but are not limited to:
    – Content marketing agencies (e.g. MXM, Time Inc., Pace, Skyword)
    – Corporations (e.g. Walgreens, Ford, WalMart)
    – Nonprofits of significant size (e.g. ASPCA, YMCA of America, large hospitals).

The following types of writing do not qualify you for ASJA professional membership:

  • Fiction or poetry
  • Non-paying markets, including self-published blogs
  • Work compensated strictly on a “pay-per-click” basis
  • Work performed for companies and organizations that pay minimal freelance rates (e.g. $0.01/per word or $30 for a blog post of 1000 words)
  • Markets that direct writers to use their advertisers as sources
  • Small regional publications or local websites
  • Small special-interest publications
  • Most self-published or subsidy-published books and materials (see caveat above)
  • PR, advertising, or other writings paid for, in whole or in part, by the subject(s) of the piece(s).

Retired Membership

Current members who have retired from publishing can pay half-dues membership to receive benefits such as the ASJA Magazine and access to ASJA’s member-only discussion groups. This new category replaces the current half-dues membership offered to members who are ages 65 and older with 25 years of ASJA membership. Rather than set specific requirements, this category allows members to elect to receive reduced rates but remain an active ASJA member. Retired members will receive the ASJA Magazine and conference discounts, but cannot participate in Client Networking events, like Client Connections, and cannot receive member pricing for the Annual Awards program.

Membership Application FAQs

Professional and associate memberships require application. Here are some of the most common questions about that application process.

Application FAQ

Apply for Membership

Applications are required in two instances: professional and associate membership. Associate members wishing to move up to professional membership can reapply without paying an application fees.

Learn more

Not a member?

With ASJA, you have access to resources to take your writing career to the next level. You also have access to smart colleagues, events and professional development tools.

Benefits of Membership