Individuals who work in outdoor media join the Outdoor Writers Association of America—the nation’s original and largest association of outdoor communicators—to gain access to exclusive individual member benefits.


A video crew interviews an OWAA speaker.
A video crew interviews an OWAA speaker. Photo by Chez Chesak.

OWAA provides resources to help our members flourish as outdoor communicators and establish themselves as industry leaders. We create opportunities to make valuable industry and personal connections, sharpen professional skills, showcase work and gain access to in-demand educational resources and mentorship opportunities. Individual member benefits include:  

“I’ve been in a number of writer groups — travel writers, baseball writers, pro football writers, motorsports writers — and so far OWAA is far, far better than all of them in terms of welcoming, declaring and pursuing its mission, etc.”
– Matt Crossman 

Professional Development

  • Network with top-notch outdoor communicators across the country and access OWAA’s comprehensive membership directory
  • Network, drink in sessions, test new gear and more at OWAA’s signature annual conference
  • Receive an annual subscription to Outdoors Unlimited to find craft improvement stories, industry supporter news tips, jobs, conservation news, technology and gear news and more
  • Access archives of past webinars and conference session videos
  • Submit an entry for the Excellence in Craft contest and receive cash and recognition
  • Apply to the John Madson Fellowship to fund additional continuing education opportunities
  • Access member discounts on OWAA’s own publications and style manuals, specific to outdoor media
“Thank YOU. The connections, opportunities and affiliation with OWAA has far surpassed my expectations. Plus, I absolutely love the people!”
– Anietra Hamper
OWAA press cards
OWAA press cards, ready to be sent to members.
Birders on the hunt. Photo by Paul Queneau

Professional Resources

  • Submit an article or showcase your work in Outdoors Unlimited
  • Receive exclusive invitations to destination press trips
  • Access our members only Facebook page for immediate industry news, resources and opportunities
  • Utilize the membership directory to promote your work
  • Receive an OWAA press card to use at outdoor industry events
  • Contact the OWAA staff or volunteers for industry business advice, guidelines and ethical standards
  • Get new story ideas from OWAA’s 100+ Supporting Groups
“As a member of OWAA, you’ll have fun, make great connections, learn stuff and probably make more money!”
– Tim Fowler


“I’m a full-time editor/writer and part time freelancer, but I’ve only been at this for a few years, so I felt a bit adrift. So, I joined OWAA’s mentorship program. I’ve found the organization to be extremely friendly and welcoming. Just had my first phone call with my mentor and going to send him my published pieces for feedback and my unpublished pieces for submission advice (where and how). All in all, I’d say so far so good!”
– Andrew Marshall
A photographer shares advice during a workshop. Photo by Paul Queneau
Workshop participants share a laugh. Photo by Paul Queneau

Discounts & Health Insurance

Members receive exclusive member benefits and discounts from select OWAA industry supporters, including special rates on travel, gear, professional services and more!

OWAA is also able to leverage the collective purchasing power of its membership to provide a more affordable health insurance plan for both freelancers and small business owners (minimum of two employees).

  • There are three coverage plans from which to choose (open the OWAA Health Insurance – FreedomSelectBrochure matrix PDF for more details of each plan)
  • Rates range from $254 to $425/month for single coverage
  • Rates range from $562 to $1,048/month for family coverage
  • It’s a wrap around plan that covers hospital/surgical with annual limits based on the plan you choose
  • It is age-rated
  • The insurance company actually returns your unused claims dollars at the end of the year
“Right now is an exciting time to join OWAA. Recent changes in leadership have completely transformed the organization to make it more relevant, inclusive, and useful for members.”
– Nicole Atkins

Learn More

New to the industry? Listen in as industry veterans talk about their journey to become outdoor media, how OWAA helped them and what next steps you can take to further your career.

Logo for Outdoor Biz Podcast with Rick Saez, showing a lends flare over a mountain range
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