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CAL Membership FAQ

What is the Colorado Authors’ League?

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 professional 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 publishing trends, changes and events.

What are CAL’s membership benefits?

As part 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 participate in and benefit from programs featuring writers, editors, agents, publishers and other luminaries providing valuable insights and information. They are eligible to participate in various events and marketing and sales opportunities arranged or sponsored by CAL. They enjoy the annual Holiday Party and Awards Banquet. Members receive the CAL newsletter, InPrint, and the annual membership directory, Who’s Who, 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. Also, members receive a free web page inside the CAL web site.

Do all writers qualify for CAL membership?

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.

What if I’m a writer who works for a magazine or newspaper? Do those clips count?

No. You must be paid for your work as a freelance author. Many other organizations serve the established journalism community.

What about marketing or advertising copy-writing and other promotional works? Can I submit those as samples?

No. Again, other organizations 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.

How do I know if my clips will be considered “regional or national” vs. “local”?

Local publications serve small communities in Colorado. For example, any of the metro Denver weekly newspapers would beconsidered 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.

How do I apply?

Fill out the application. List the work/works that qualify 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 three years. Authors who write only short fiction may list three short fiction pieces, which have been published and paid for within the last three years. Enclose clips (or copies of), tear sheets (or copies of), scanned PDFs, or a copy of the book or play.

Note: A writer also may apply using a body of work, usually more than the minimums listed above that demonstrate an established career in writing but that doesn’t necessarily fit into the restricted timeframes indicated above. CAL also has an Organizational Member category for entities that support or promote literary endeavors.

Enclose a check for $50. And, if possible, list a current member of CAL who will recommend your application.

How much are dues?

Dues are $50 and are paid annually. As an applicant you must pay the first year’s dues of $50 with your application even if there is only a partial year left. In other words, every application needs to be accompanied by a $50 check.

How do I know if my application is complete?

Complete this checklist. I have:

____ Completed the application

____ Signed the application

____ Enclosed a check for dues and application fee

____ Enclosed a copy of book-length work published in last three years; or

____ Enclosed copies (see above) of five articles, short stories, essays or poems (or 3 short stories if you only write short fiction) published in the last two years (Note: Copies of books will be used as promotional giveaways at CAL luncheons and other events)

How long will it take to become a member once I’ve submitted my application?

Once CAL receives your application, the Membership Chair sends it to the Board of Directors, which vets the materials and votes on accepting your application. If the Board accepts your application, you will be notified by the Membership Chair. The time involved can be anywhere from 30 to 60 days, although we try to expedite the process wherever possible.

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