American Society of Journalists and Authors

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The American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) was founded in 1948 as the Society of Magazine Writers, and is an organization of independent nonfiction writers in the United States. The membership consists of over 1,400 freelance writers of magazine articles, trade books, and other forms of nonfiction writing.[1]


The organization was established in 1948 as the Society of Magazine Writers.[1] In 2009 ASJA objected to the Google Book Search Settlement Agreement for authors.[2] In March 2009, ASJA changed their policy regarding self-published authors.[3] Fern Reiss (author of the Publishing Game book series) was the first self-published author inducted into the ASJA.[4]


ASJA helps professional freelance writers advance their writing careers. Members share candid data on writing rates, publishing contracts, editors, agents and more. Non-members benefit from our Contracts Watch newsletter, annual writers conference and writing resources. Editors and others can search our membership to hire experienced authors and journalists. ASJA is a member of the Council of National Journalism Organizations [1] and of the Authors Coalition of America [2]. All members are automatically enrolled into the Authors Registry [3]

The Society offers a number of services to the public, including:

  • Answering questions from and assisting other journalists and publishing professionals through the ExpertClick [4] program.
  • A mentoring program for beginning journalists.
  • Contract Watch is a free electronic newsletter that informs independent nonfiction writers about the latest terms and negotiations in the world of newspapers and magazines. [5]
  • The Writers Emergency Assistance Fund (WEAF) offers financial grants to writers in need. [6]
  • Society publications include Tools of the Writer's Trade and the ASJA Guide to Freelance Writing [7]
  • A database of willing members available to write on almost any nonfiction topic in almost any nonfiction venue or genre. [8]
  • An associated Freelance Writer Search that permits editors and publishers to advertise jobs to the entire ASJA membership. [9]
  • And a number of position papers on topics from contract tips to work-for-hire and indemnification clauses. [10]

Code of ethics[edit]

ASJA used to include a code of ethics in its membership directory and on its website, but it no longer does that, "probably because most publishers refuse to agree to many of its provisions".[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "About ASJA". American Society of Journalists and Authors. Retrieved 2007-11-12. Founded in 1948, the American Society of Journalists and Authors is the nation's professional organization of independent nonfiction writers. Our membership consists of more than 1,400 outstanding freelance writers of magazine articles, trade books, and many other forms of nonfiction writing, each of whom has met ASJA's exacting standards of professional achievement. 
  2. ^ "Lawyer and Author Adds His Objections to Settling the Google Book Lawsuit". New York Times. August 18, 2009. Retrieved 2010-11-16. Objections to the settlement have been raised by groups including the National Writers Union, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, ... 
  3. ^ "ASJA self-published members". American Society of Journalists and Authors. Retrieved 2011-02-22. The new policy, which a short while ago appeared on the public section of our website, reads as follows: "In general, self-published books are not accepted as qualifying material for ASJA membership. An exception may be made on rare occasion for self-published books with substantial sales, reviews in well-known journals, or inclusion in a major book club." 
  4. ^ "Fern Reiss first self-published ASJA member". American Society of Journalists and Authors. Retrieved 2011-02-22. open the admissions gates—a little bit—to allow real writers like Fern Reiss and many other self-publishing professional writers in, without diluting our definition of professional achievement in independent nonfiction writing 
  5. ^ Peterson, F.; Kesselman-Turkel, J. (2006). The Magazine Writer's Handbook. University of Wisconsin Press. p. 239. ISBN 9780299214937. Retrieved 2015-04-13. 

External links[edit]