Q. What is the Colorado Authors' League?
A. The Colorado Authors' League was established in 1931 when a group of male writers merged with a group of women writers to form the state's premier organization for independent writers. Its objectives are to foster the art and craft of authorship, to promote the interests of Colorado writers, to advance the esteem and recognition of its members, and to keep members informed of important publishing trends, changes and events.
Q. What are CAL's membership benefits?
A. As a member of Colorado's oldest organization for professional writers, CAL members enjoy the camaraderie of writers working in every facet of the writing profession. Members are invited to attend monthly programs featuring writers, editors, agents, publishers and other luminaries providing valuable insights and information. They enjoy the annual Holiday Party and the Spring Banquet. Members receive the CAL newsletter The Inprint and the annual membership directory with names, addresses and phone numbers of CAL members. Members are entitled to apply for the Colorado Authors' League Writing Awards, grants to aid the writing experience and discounts on certain CAL-sponsored seminars. Additionally, members receive a free web page inside the CAL web site.
Q. Do all writers qualify for CAL membership?
A. No. Membership is restricted to professional writers living in Colorado at the time of application. You must have been paid for the work you submit in your application. (Some exceptions are made for poets who are paid in copies of the book.) CAL specifically serves active authors of books (non-fiction and fiction), playwrights and authors of poetry, short stories, essays and articles who are regularly published in national or regional publications on a freelance basis.
Q. What if I'm a writer who works for a magazine or newspaper? Do those clips count?
A. No. You must be paid for your work as a freelance author. There are many other organizations that serve the established journalism community.
Q. What about marketing or advertising copy writing and other promotional works? Can I submit those as samples?
A. No. Again, there are other organizations that serve writers in those specialty areas. While some CAL members do this type of writing, it is in addition to active professional work as freelance authors for newspapers, magazines, or fiction or nonfiction books.
Q. How do I know if my clips will be considered "regional or national" vs. "local"?
A. Local publications serve small communities in Colorado. For example, any of the weekly Sentinel newspapers would be considered local. Larger, daily newspapers that are delivered statewide, on the other hand, would be considered regional. The same goes for magazines that are distributed/sold throughout the state. Those would be considered regional. Many people submit articles written for online publications as well. While we can assume that items posted on the Internet are at least regional, if not national or international, the clips must be from reputable, established online sources (not personal promotional websites), and they must have been first published/posted within the two-year requirement.
Q. How much are dues?
A. Dues are $50 and are paid annually. As an applicant, however, you must pay a one-time $40 application fee plus your annual dues. New applicants must submit checks in the amount of $90. Because our fiscal year ends on June 30, if you apply between Jan. 1 and June 30 on any given year, you will only be charged dues for half the year. Applicants that apply between Jan. 1 and June 30 should submit checks in the amount of $65.
Q. How do I apply?
A. Fill out the application. List the work that qualifies you for membership: a book, play, or other extended work published and paid for within the last three years, or at least five articles, short stories, essays, or poems, which have been published and paid for within the last two years. Authors who write only short fiction may list three short fiction pieces, which have been published and paid for within the last two years. Enclose clips (or copies of), tear sheets (or copies of), scanned PDFs, or a copy of the book or play. Enclose a check for $90 (or $65 if applying between Jan. 1 and June 30). Enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope large enough to contain whatever materials you'd like returned with sufficient postage. And, if possible, list a current member of CAL who will recommend your application.
Q. How do I know if my application is complete?
A. Complete this checklist. I have:
Q. How long will it take to become a member once I’ve submitted my application?
A. Once CAL receives your application, the Membership chairperson sends it to the Membership Committee which vets the materials. Once the committee accepts your application, the CAL membership is sent your name via email. The bylaws require the membership 14 days to voice any concerns. Once the 14 days are up, you will be notified by the Membership chairperson. The time involved can be anywhere from 30 to 60 days, although we try to expedite the process wherever possible.
Q. What should I do if I have questions?
A. Contact Jerrie Hurd.