SWA Membership

Membership of the Screenwriters Association is meant for screenwriters (including writers and lyricists writing for films, TV, audio formats, digital media or any new media), who reside within the boundary of the Union of India and are above 18 years of age*.

BECOMING SWA MEMBER

One can become a SWA member by submitting the duly filled SWA Membership Form along with the required documents and applicable fees at SWA Office, OR by sending the same through post. SWA Membership is approved only upon the verification of all the mentioned documents.Time Taken: 10-12 working days


One can apply for SWA Membership only online. Please, note:
1) The below link is only for taking new membership. If you had SWA membership in the past, please write to contact@swaindia.org with your membership no. and our office staff shall guide you suitably.

2) SWA is the Association of professional screen writers working for film, TV and digital media who writes scripts/screenplays, stories, dialogue, lyrics etc. for SCREEN – like a movie screen, TV screen, laptop & phones (digital media). We work within the film and TV industry and engage with only producers, their associations and broadcasting platforms like TV channels, to fight for the collective rights for writers and provide mediation in case of a dispute over copyright, remuneration and credits.

3) SWA do not engage with publishers, print media, theatre societies, advertising industry, radio industry etc. and in case of a dispute, we can’t fight on behalf of writers working in these industries. Thus, we do not register books, plays, skits, radio plays, novels, jingles, tag-lines etc.

4) As per SWA Constitution & Byelaws, you should have completed minimum of 18 years of age while applying for the membership.

5) SWA membership is for individual writers only. Any Production House/ company/ studio/ talent management agency/ business entity or any third party for account management or operation purposes can NOT apply for SWA membership. As per Copyright laws and rules, only a natural person can be the author of literary, artistic musical and dramatic work. Hence, legal/business entities like production companies etc. can NOT register a creative work under their name.

6) Provide only your personal email ID and mobile number to keep your SWA Account protected.

7) Follow the instructions thoroughly to complete the online admission process smoothly:

- Please write your name exactly as per your ID proof. Ideally, it should be your First name and Last Name/Surname.
- Please write Date of Birth exactly as per your ID proof.
- If you are attaching documents such as Aadhaar card, Driving License, Voters ID card, Passport which can be used for both ID and address proof, kindly scan and attach photo part for ID proof and Address part for Address proof. Maximum file size 2 MB.
- Please write your address exactly in the same fashion as per the Address proof, DO NOT shorten it or lengthen it.
- The photo should be front facing, clearly visible with focus on the face. Maximum file size 1 MB.
- If you use any pen name which you wish to add in your account, please provide an affidavit on a non-judicial stamp paper of INR 100.
- If you wish to apply for Associate and Regular membership please refer to the Associate and Regular/Life membership criteria below and check required 'Eligibility Proof' for Regular and Associate membership that you are required to upload as relevant documents/files.If you are applying for Fellow Membership, kindly ignore this column.
- Once your membership application is approved, an automatic payment link shall be sent to your registered email id through which you can make online payment of membership fees.
- On completion of the admission process, our office staff shall send you the SWA Membership E-card to your registered email id.
- The entire admission process takes a minimum of 5 to 7 working days. It is an auto-generated process, hence, we request you to be patient and wait for the payment link, allotment of permanent membership no. and/or virtual membership card. We shall try our best to complete the process at the earliest.
- Once the permanent membership number is allotted, you can start registering your work online by uploading PDF files. Read more about SWA’s script registration system, here: swaindia.org/blog/script-registration/

Note that submission of membership application is subjected to the following:

DECLARATION BY THE APPLICANT:

I shall be solely responsible for managing and operating my SWA Account. By submitting the online application form, I solemnly declare that I have never been a SWA member in the past and the particulars mentioned in the online form are true and correct and I have not concealed any material facts and if it is found otherwise SWA may cancel my SWA membership and/or take other disciplinary and/or legal action. By submitting the online application form I declare that I have read, understood and agreed to SWA’s Constitution and Byelaws made under the same. I am aware and shall agree to abide by the existing rules and regulations under the Constitution of SWA as amended time to time. I have downloaded and read the soft copy of SWA Constitution from the link cms.swaindia.org/uploads/SWA CONSTITUTION 2019.pdf before applying for membership. I declare that I have fully understood all the content of this Declaration By the Applicant.

SWA MEMBERSHIP TYPES

There are four membership types: Fellow, Associate and Regular and Life (same as Regular Membership with one time upgrade fees).
The criteria for each membership type is listed below.
  • Regular/Life Member (requires Eligibility Proof)

    The following can become a Regular Member with SWA:

    • Writers who have had their work released as a Feature Film (minimum of 70 minutes) in a cinema hall for ticketed viewing, with the credit of either Story, Screenplay, Dialogue, Lyrics or Written by.

    • Writers whose work as a Feature Film (minimum 70 minutes) was screened at any film festival, in India or abroad, with a FIAPF accreditation.

    • Writers who have had their work released as a Feature Film (minimum 70 minutes) or as a Web-Series on a Digital Platform with the credit of either Created by, Story, Screenplay, Dialogue, or Written by (with a minimum of 70 cumulative minutes being credited to them).

    • Writers who have written either a serial, show, or programme released on satellite TV (with a minimum of 70 cumulative minutes being credited to them) with the credit of either Created, Story, Screenplay, Dialogue, Written by.

    • Writers who have written the lyrics of at least three songs which have appeared in a released Feature Film, or in a TV serial, or in a web-series with the credit of lyricist or songwriter.

NOTE:

1. Lyricists whose work has only been published on the internet or on any other digital media (but not in a series or a film) will not be eligible for Regular Membership, but will remain as Associate Members. Once they receive a credit for at least three songs in either a Feature Film, or a TV show or a Web-Series on a recognised New Media Platform with a paid subscription model, they may apply for Regular Membership. New Media Platform writers should have a Feature Film/Serial/Video Film (of collective duration of 70 minutes) released under a contract with a producer who is the member of any of the four Producers’ Associations* or any other producers’ association subject to verification. *Producers’ Associations shall mean and include the Western India Film Producers’ Association (WIFPA), the Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association (IMPPA), the Producers Guild of India, and the Indian Film and TV Producers’ Council (IFTPC).

2. Non-fictional work/show/programme including reality shows, talk shows, documentaries etc. can be registered with the SWA. However, same shall not be considered as eligibility criteria for Regular/Life membership.

  • LIFE MEMBER

    Any Regular member or a person eligible to become a Regular member can become a Life Member and would not require paying the monthly subscription thereafter.

  • Associate Member (requires Eligibility Proof)

    The following can become an Associate Member with SWA:

    • Writers who have been professionally engaged, via a written legal contract, by a Producer#/Director*/Writer^ to write/co-write the Story, Screenplay or Dialogue or to write the Lyrics for two songs of a feature film/s (of a minimum of 70 minutes) or a TV show (cumulatively a minimum of 70 minutes) or film (of at least 70 minutes) in the digital media, or lyrics for two songs in music videos, with the first fee instalment, as per the contract, having been credited to the writer’s bank account.

      #Producer – Indian Production House/Record Label/Independent Producer registered with a recognized Producers Association or with the Copyright Society for record labels, screenwriters or lyricists in India.

      *Director – Members of IFTDA or any recognised Directors’ Association.

      ^Writer – Regular/Life Members of SWA or of any of the other four screenwriters associations in India, viz. The Telugu Cine Writers Association (Hyderabad), The South Indian Writers Association (Chennai), The FEFKA Writers Union (Ernakulam) and The Cine Writers Association of West Bengal (Kolkata).

    • Writers who have received the credit of ‘Additional Writer’ or ‘Associate Writer’ in a released work in any of these formats are also eligible for membership in this category.

    • Applicants who have completed a Degree, Diploma or Certificate course, of a minimum of one year, in screenwriting or with screenwriting as the major subject from any university, or institute affiliated to a university, or any government recognised institute.

    NOTE: Non-fictional work/show/programme including reality shows, talk shows, documentaries etc. can be registered with the SWA. However, same shall not be considered as eligibility criteria for Associate membership.

    The duration of Associate membership shall be three years, by the end of which period their membership will expire, unless they make themselves eligible for Regular membership, and upgrade themselves to that category. If they fail to do so, despite receiving a notice from SWA, then their Associate membership will be cancelled. If they wish to seek membership of SWA again, they can do so in the appropriate category by following the prevalent rules at that time. Associate members shall be allowed to renew their membership only once. After that, s/he shall have to apply with a new contract from a producer.

  • FELLOW MEMBER

    Any person who has a passion for screenwriting is eligible for Fellow membership.

    • A Fellow member will be allowed to register his/her work at SWA. However, s/he will not be able to attend SWA AGMs or vote or stand for SWA elections. S/he can attend SWA events like seminars, conferences, workshops, etc., that are open to other members.

    The duration of Fellow membership will be three years, within which period s/he will either get himself/herself upgraded to Associate or Regular/Life category, or else the Fellow membership will expire. If s/he wishes to become a Fellow member again, s/he will have to reapply afresh for it by fulfilling all the application protocols.

SWA MEMBERSHIP UPGRADATION

As and when a Fellow member becomes eligible for Associate/Regular Membership, or if an Associate Member becomes eligible for Regular membership, then it is MANDATORY for him/her to upgrade to that category. If the person does not apply for that appropriate category, her/his membership is liable to be cancelled.

If any member with valid SWA membership wishes to upgrade her/ his membership to another category, then s/he has to pay a membership Upgradation Fees equivalent to the difference between the Admission Fee of the existing membership category and that of the desired membership category, subjected to the approval of writing proof. Members with expired membership will have to take Re-admission in their exitsing membership category and then apply for Upgradation to the new category.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

For FELLOW Membership

1. Address Proof - Scan/Screenshot/PDF file of any one of these: Electricity Bill/Ration Card/Aadhar Card/Driving License/Passport/Leave & License Agreement
2. ID Proof - Scan/Screenshot.PDF file of any one of these: Pan Card/ Voter ID/Driving License /Passport /Aadhar Card
3. Passport Size Photo - Scan/Screenshot/PDF file of front facing, clearly visible picture with flat background and focus on the face

For ASSOCIATE Membership

In addition to 1, 2 and 3 listed for Fellow Membership, applicants will require appropriate ‘Eligibility Proof’ for the respective membership category, as defined above.
Admissible Documents:
Agreement/Contract AND Proof of Payment Received, OR
Proof of Institute/University Certificate/Diploma/Degree Course in Screenwriting of a minimum of 1 year, OR

A combined course with combined credits equivalent to 1 year (4 Semesters) of studies in Screenwriting, OR
A combined course with Screenwriting as a Major Subject, OR
A combined course with minimum 1 year of exclusive studies in Screenwriting, OR
Associate/Additional Writer Credit -

Feature Film: Trailer/Poster/IMDB for Credit AND Proof of Release: Published Film Review / BookMyShow Listing, OR
TV Show: Promo/Episode for Credit AND Proof of Release: Details of the TV Show, OR
OTT Show/Film: Screenshot for Credit AND Proof of Release: Details of the OTT Show/Film

Admissible Document Types: Images, Scanned Documents, PDF files, Screenshots, Video Links

For REGULAR/LIFE Membership
In addition to 1, 2 and 3 listed for Fellow Membership, applicants will require appropriate ‘Eligibility Proof’ for the respective membership category, as defined above.

Admissible Documents:

Feature Film: Trailer/Poster/IMDB for Credit AND Proof of Release: Published Film Review / BookMyShow Listing, OR
Festival Film: Trailer/Poster/IMDB for Credit AND Proof of Release: Festival Booklet/Brochure/Festival Listing, OR
TV Show: Promo/Episode for Credit AND Proof of Release: Details of the TV Show, OR
OTT Show/Film: Screenshot for Credit AND Proof of Release: Details of the OTT Show/Film
Admissible Document Types: Images, Scanned Documents, PDF files, Screenshots, Video Links

NOTE: In addition to 1, 2, 3, 4 you will require appropriate ‘Proof of Writing Credits’ for Associate and Life/Regular Membership, respectively, as defined above.

SWA MEMBERSHIP FEES & PENALTY**

ADMISSION & RENEWAL
Membership Type Admission Fees Validity Annual Subscription Fees Per Year
Life Member INR 21,000/- Total & Lifetime N/A
Regular Member INR 7690/- 1 Year INR 120/-
Associate Member INR 4286/- 3 Years NIL
Fellow Member INR 3286/- 3 Years NIL
Fellow NRI/Foreign Nationals Category removed Category removed Category removed
OPTIONAL CHARGES
SWA Membership Card (Post-Renewal) INR 50/-
Postal Charges (sending SWA Membership Card in Mumbai) NIL
Postal Charges (sending SWA Membership Card outside Mumbai) INR 70/-
Postal Charges (sending SWA Membership Card outside INDIA) INR 300/-
UPGRADATION
Upgradation Type Fees
Fellow TO Associate INR 1,000/-
Fellow TO Regular INR 4,500/
Fellow TO Life INR 18,000/-
Associate TO Regular INR 3,500/-
Associate TO Life INR 17,000/-
Regular TO Life INR 13,500/-
PENALTY
(ONLY FOR REGULAR MEMBERS)

As soon as any Regular Member’s membership validity (as printed on the SWA Membership Card) expires, he or she must renew it. Failing to do so shall result in the following penalty

Months post-validity Penalty
0 – 6 NIL
6 to 18 INR 500/-
18 to 24 INR 1000/-
After 24 (Apply for Re-Admission)


SCRIPT REGISTRATION (OFFLINE) TIMINGS AT SWA OFFICE

With effect from January 01st 2020, the timings for Script Registration (offline) at SWA office will be Tuesday and Friday, from 02.00 PM to 05.30 PM.

PAYMENTS

  • Cash, Debit/Card Swipe (at office)
  • Online Payments (through CCAvenue Secure payment gateway)

*In exceptional cases, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee, membership of the Association may also be given to a person who has not attained the age of 18 years.
**The Executive Committee reserves the right to revise the fees.