Members who fully meet the requirements for one or more categories of membership under the membership criteria. This class generally includes those who make much of their living by communicating about the outdoors, by freelancing or by employment.
Members who wish to associate with OWAA and are paid for any work in any category listed in the OWAA Criteria for Membership.
Requires that an applicant be enrolled in an institution of higher learning, pursuing a course of study related to the outdoors and communications.
Applicants for membership in OWAA must meet certain minimum requirements based upon a set of criteria established by the Board of Directors. Applicants must subscribe to the OWAA Declaration of Principles, the Outdoor Creed and the Code of Ethics. Applicants may then qualify for Active, Associate or Student Membership in the Association.
To apply for membership in Outdoor Writers Association of America, candidates must have the signed sponsorship of an active member who is familiar with their work and can recommend the aspirant. A spouse or relative may not sponsor an applicant for membership. If you would like OWAA to help you find a sponsor, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications must be made on the official application form available from OWAA Headquarters.
All applications for membership must be accompanied by supporting evidence, as specified in the lettered paragraphs below, and by the appropriate fee in order to be considered.
Those specifying that the aspirant is applying for a specific class of membership (Active and Associate) are not admissible. The aspirant applies only for membership. It is the prerogative of the Executive Director, based upon the submitted evidence and information, to assign the applicant to a membership category.
Audits of Member Qualifications
All Active and Associate members must continue to meet the relevant criteria during their membership in OWAA and are subject to annual audits or reviews of their credentials as prescribed by the Board. Active and Associate members unable to pass a credentials review may appeal to the Executive Director for an extension of membership. The extension may be approved, at the Executive Director’s discretion, for a period of 12 months. On the extension expiration date, the member must undergo a successful credentials review, reduce membership status or allow membership to expire.
(Supporting material need not all be in one category to qualify for Active membership, but the total submitted must be judged to be the equivalent of full qualification in one category.
A. Newspaper Writer, Columnist, Editor or Designer – Submit sample tearsheets or photocopies of 10 compensated articles published in the past 12 months. Include proof (official letter from supervisor or webmaster certifying your paid work) if bylines aren’t given. Include dates of publication, copy of newspaper masthead and/or website addresses. Syndicated or reprinted articles count as a single submission. Long features will be given additional consideration.
B. Still Photographer – Submit sample tearsheets or photocopies of 24 compensated photos published in the past 12 months. Include proof (official letter from editor or webmaster certifying your paid work) if credits aren’t given. Include dates and names of publications and/or website addresses. Works requiring unusual effort will be given additional consideration. Unpublished photos that are sold may be considered with proof of sale.
C. Illustrator, Cartoonist or Artist – Submit sample tearsheets or photocopies of six full-color compensated works, or 20 black-and-white compensated works, published in the past 12 months. Include proof (official letter from editor or webmaster certifying your paid work) if credits aren’t given. Include dates and names publications, and/or website addresses. Brochures and catalogs are not acceptable. Unpublished works that are sold may be considered with proof of sale.
D. Magazine Full-Time Editorial Staff Member – Submit one sample copy of printed magazine, or sample pages from online magazine, showing masthead listings. Include pertinent Web site addresses. Magazine must have a bona fide paid circulation, be available for sale at newsstands or similar outlets or be published online at a commercial site. No period of tenure required.
E. Magazine Freelance Writer, Editor, Publisher or Designer – Submit 12 sample tearsheets or photocopies of compensated work published and compensated in the past 12 months. Include proof (official letter from editor certifying your paid work) if credits aren’t given. Include dates and names of publications and/or website addresses. Fillers, briefs and short articles count for half credit. Syndicated or reprinted articles count as one submission.
F. Web Site Content Director, Writer, Editor, Photographer, Artist or Designer – Submit 24 URLs of website content or design work published and compensated in the past 12 months, including web features or web pages developed. Web editors should submit supporting pages demonstrating regular content updates. Pieces appearing on multiple web sites count as one submission.
G. Film-Video-Audio Editor, Photographer, Scriptwriter, Director or Producer – Submit one sample copy of an income-producing film, video or audio production produced in the past 12 months. Include any brochures, newspaper or magazine clips, or other announcements of your paid work. Also include pertinent website addresses.
H. Broadcast (Television-Radio) Photographer, Scriptwriter, Editor, Director or Producer – Submit sample copy of one completed compensated show produced in the past 12 months. Include official letter from station manager certifying your paid work, along with your production schedule for the past year and pertinent website addresses. Guest appearances do not count.
I. Book Author, Editor, Designer or Publisher – Submit one sample copy of income-producing book produced in past 36 months, including proof that the book is still being published and marketed. A signed publishing contract for a book in progress counts as a published book. Works requiring unusual effort will be given additional consideration. Several booklets may be substituted for a single book, but promotional booklets for commercial enterprises are not acceptable. Multi-authorship will be equally prorated among all authors.
J. Lecturer – Submit itinerary including dates and estimated attendance of 18 compensated appearances in the past 12 months. Include samples of brochures, newspaper clips or other promotional materials and/or website addresses.
K. Educator or Instructor – Submit proof (official letter from employer) verifying compensated instruction of at least two quarter- or semester-length courses at an institute of higher learning, or 12 one-day courses for the general public, or eight weekend courses for the general public, in the past 12 months.
L. Full-time Information Employee of Non-profit Conservation or Recreation Agencies – Submit credentials from any category or combination of categories listed above (it is understood that non-profit publications may not have bona fide paid circulations; audiences may not be paying viewers, etc.). Alternatively, applicants may submit samples of press releases or media materials distributed in the past 12 months. Include proof (official letter certifying your paid work, involvement or supervisory responsibilities) if credits aren’t given. Include pertinent website addresses.
M. Employee of Outdoor-Related Industries, Agencies, Associations or Organizations (engaged in producing informative and educational material for use by the media) – Submit credentials from any single or combination of categories listed above, along with pertinent website addresses. Associate membership is the highest-possible level for this category.
N. Digital Media Journalist (engaged in producing blog/vlog or other online-only media submission and content creation) – Submit proof of at least 500 AUVs (average unique views) per month over a 12-month period and meet three of four of the following: 1) Maintained a digital media site on outdoor-related activities in any format that allows response feedback for a minimum of one year; 2) Proof of income from communicating about outdoor-related subjects; 3)Average at least two editorial postings per month over a 12-month period; redistribution of press releases does not qualify; 4) Must reveal source for all outside support contributing to content of postings.