Membership to SIWA – The Application Process
The following three rules come from the SIWA Constitution:
- Applications for ordinary membership shall be signed by the applicant and submitted in writing to the secretary, accompanied by:
- one major published work, or
- copies of three manuscripts of publishable standard and, if applicable, details of where published.
(Please do NOT send more than 6 pages of writing in total. This will be enough for our readers to assess your suitability for SIWA.)
- The committee shall be empowered to decline any application for membership and it shall not be bound to give a reason for such decision.
- If the committee decides the circumstances are exceptional, it may waive manuscript requirements for membership.
Given that ‘Publishable’ does not necessarily mean ‘published’, the following guidelines have been developed for the purpose of defining the boundaries ‘of publishable standard’.
Your work should show a knowledge of how to write creatively. This means:
- being coherent
- applying appropriate structure (for prose) or form (for poetry) to content
- applying ‘show not tell’ (or rather, tell by showing)
- showing a knowledge of grammar and punctuation
- showing an understanding of figurative language
- having believable characters (prose)
- having realistic dialogue (prose)
If your work contains none or a limited number of these qualities then your application will be declined
If your work contains some of these qualities then your application will be considered
If your work contains many or all of these qualities then your application will be accepted
As per the Constitution rules above, we are not bound to give you a reason for declining your application, but we may encourage you to seek out creative writing classes to improve your skills and submit again at a later date. There are quite a few online writing classes, or you might try W.E.A, Ara Institute, Canterbury or Massey University, Joanna Preston for poetry, or for a more serious commitment there is a year-long course run by Hagley Writers’ Institute.
Here are links to