How to Join

ITW welcomes applications for Author and Associate Membership.

The International Thriller Writers is an honorary society of authors, both fiction and nonfiction, who write books broadly classified as “thrillers.” This would include (but isn’t limited to) such subjects as murder mystery, detective, suspense, horror, supernatural, action, espionage, true crime, war, adventure, and myriad similar subject areas.

ITW’s mission is “To bestow recognition and promote the thriller genre at an innovative and superior level for and through our Active members; to provide opportunities for mentoring, education and collegiality among thriller authors and industry professionals; and to grant awards for excellence in the thriller genre.” ITW By-laws: Article II, Purposes, Section 2.

One of the main purposes of the organization is to provide a way for successful, bestselling authors to help debut and midlist authors advance their careers. To that end, ITW has designed numerous, effective programs and events which promote debut and midlist writers and their work, sometimes in partnership with bestselling authors. In addition, ITW promotes literacy, gives money to worthy organizations, supports libraries, and advances the genre. Finally, it brings together almost a thousand writers, readers, publishers,  editors and agents at its annual conference, ThrillerFest, as well as at CraftFest, a writing workshop program, and PitchFest, where aspiring authors can meet and pitch top literary agents.

Membership Classes. There are two ITW membership classes, Active membership for commercially published writers, and Associate membership for industry professionals, non-commercially published writers, and others..

Active Membership

ITW is an honorary organization that does not charge membership dues for qualified, active members. Membership is free.

Why doesn’t ITW charge dues? From the beginning, ITW was not – and never was intended to be – a writer’s organization like most others. We are a group of published writers who have banded together to promote our genre in an innovative, effective way, to support and encourage each other, and to promote literacy in a world increasingly unfriendly to the reading of books. Asking members for dues is inconsistent with that mission.

Belonging to ITW is for authors who wish to give back as well as advance their careers. ITW is an organization devoted to service and fellowship. Instead of charging dues, ITW asks its members for their volunteer work, their effort on behalf of fellow writers, and their time and energy supporting reading and literacy. Once accepted as a member, you will remain so until you choose to opt out of the organization. There are many benefits of membership, some of which are enumerated here. There are, however, no requirements for membership. You may do as much, or as little, as you wish.

Active membership is available to thriller authors published by a commercial publishing house. This includes authors of fiction and nonfiction.

By “commercial publishing house” we mean a bona fide publisher who pays an advance against royalties, edits books, creates covers, has a regular means of distribution into bookstores and other places where books are ordinarily sold, and receives no financial payments from their authors. There are nuances involved in all of this, which is why ITW’s board of directors is constantly aware of changing industry trends and makes every effort to accommodate writers who are not traditionally published while maintaining high professional standards for Active member status.

ITW maintains a list of recognized commercial publishers.

With particular regard to self-published books, where there is no publisher beyond the author, any determination of the author being a qualified publisher shall be on a case-by-case basis and such factors as the work itself, the breadth of its marketing, the extent of its distribution, the editorial process, its sales, the author’s personal history, reviews in recognized publications, and any other factor relevant to the particular situation may be considered in making such determination. Self published writers are not automatically excluded from being a qualified publisher, but they bear a higher burden to demonstrate their status.

To apply as a Publisher or Independently Published Author, please click here:

Active members may vote, sit on the Board of Directors, chair committees, sit on ThrillerFest author panels, and enjoy other benefits including:

  • No dues. Membership is free to Active members
  • Being a part of the largest community of thriller writers in the world
  • Marketing and promoting your work to more than 27,000 readers, bookstore owners, librarians, reviewers, and other thriller fans through THE BIG THRILL monthly webzine.
  • The opportunity to participate in successful ITW thriller collections. Previous bestselling projects include THRILLER ANTHOLOGY and the award-winning CHOPIN MANUSCRIPT audio book. Recently published projects include THRILLER ANTHOLOGY 2, FIRST THRILLS, WATCHLIST, COPPER BRACELET, FEAR (YA Anthology), LOVE IS MURDER and FACEOFF.
  • Being a part of ThrillerFest, the publishing industry’s fastest growing writer’s conference along with accompanying CraftFest and PitchFest
  • Opportunities to participate in exclusive strategic relationships with,, and other author-oriented websites.
  • Participation in the exclusive Debut Author Program helping to launch new thriller writers into the exciting world of publishing
  • Opportunities to have your book reviewed by noted websites such as and others
  • Many opportunities for midlist authors to advance their careers through special programs, signings, events, free promotions, publicity, and advertising, networking, and participation in anthologies.

Authors, click here to apply.

If your publisher is not recognized by ITW, but you feel it meets all ITW criteria for a commercial publisher, either you or your publisher may apply to ITW for publisher recognition. Active Members also include screenwriters and playwrights whose work is commercially produced and authors of thriller genre-related non-fiction..

Associate Membership.

ITW welcomes applications for Associate Membership from authors, readers, publishers, agents, reviewers, librarians, booksellers, experts such as criminologists and intelligence operatives, and anyone who is interested in and supports the thriller genre. Associate Members receive ITW’s official member bulletins, sit as members of committees, receive notice of and attend ITW functions, participate in ITW’s own online listserve bulletin boards, and are listed on ITW’s website in the Associate Members directory.

Associate Member annual dues are $95.

Associates, click here to apply.

Current associates, to renew or upgrade your membership please email

Additional Memberships.

ITW offers authors and interested others three additional membership opportunities. Each carries all of the above membership benefits and also provides honorary and promotional status. The one-time dues for these three levels are tax deductible business expenses for industry professionals.

  • Patron — $5,000 dues. Open to Actives and Associates. The following perquisites for Patrons last ten years: Invitations to all ITW events, both private and public. Names posted on the ITW Website and listed on programs and brochures of all events whether or not in attendance. Names listed on ITW stationery.
  • Sponsor — $1,000 dues. Open to Actives and Associates. The following perquisites for Sponsors last five years: Invitations to all ITW events, both private and public. Names posted on the ITW Website and listed on programs and brochures of events that you attend. If there’s room on ITW stationery, names will appear there, too, following only the names of Patrons.
  • Supporter — $500 dues. Open to Actives and Associates. The following perquisites for Supporters last three years: Invitations to all ITW events, both private and public. Names are posted on the ITW Website and listed on programs and brochures of events that you attend. If there’s room on ITW stationery, names will appear there, too, following the names of Patrons and Sponsors.

Please email us for details on applying for the Additional Membership levels.

Above and beyond these membership levels, ITW needs and gratefully accepts additional financial support from our members and other interested parties. Your contributions can be made using your PayPal account and contributing to or by mailing your contribution to:

P.O. Box 311
Eureka, CA 95502

Please include your real name with your check or PayPal submission.