Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the MWA?

Mystery Writers of America is the premier association for professional crime writers in the United States. Members of MWA include writers of crime fiction and non-fiction, as well as screenwriters, dramatists, editors, publishers, and other professionals in the field.

 Why join?

MWA-NY offers a community in which members share experiences, information, and advice on the craft of writing and the business of publishing to help members become better — and more successful — writers.

 Do I need to join MWA-NY if I join MWA?

If you join MWA, you are automatically a member of the local chapter. No need to join or pay separate dues. The MWA-NY chapter includes members from Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

 Do you have anything to do with the Edgar® Awards?

Each year, the MWA presents the prestigious Edgar Allan Poe Awards (popularly called the Edgars®), to the most deserving works in the mystery field. The awards honor writers of mystery fiction, non-fiction, television, and film. The awards ceremony takes place in New York City, making it convenient to many of our members.

Can MWA-NY help me get an agent or find a publisher?

No, but we can help you understand the process of finding an agent or publisher. You can learn from guest speakers at our meetings or library panels, who frequently discuss the difficult path to a successful writing career. Most of all, you learn a lot by talking with your fellow members.

Are there levels of membership? What are they?

Yes. The active category of membership is open to professional writers in the mystery/crime/ suspense genre. Associate membership is open to professionals residing in the U.S. who work in certain fields allied to the mystery genre. Affiliate members are writers of crime/ mystery/suspense fiction who are not yet professionally published, and others with an interest in the genre, including unpaid reviewers and fans or publishers not approved by MWA. Corresponding members are those who might be in any of the above categories but who live outside the United States. Information for eligibility in each category is listed here.

Is my publisher on the MWA Approved Publisher List?

The MWA National Board constantly evaluates publishers for the Approved List. For the most current information, please go here.

How do I know if I'm an active member?

Click here for MWA National's criteria for Active status.