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Entry updated 3 April 2015. Tagged: Publication, Theme.

A frequent fannish term (see Fan Language), a contraction of "professional Magazine". There was once little need to define professional, although its meaning has never been as obvious as one might at first consider. However, when Science Fiction Writers of America was created in 1965 it was deemed necessary to define "professional" as a criterion of admission for its members. Likewise, by 1983, the World Science Fiction Society, which administers the Hugo Awards, found it necessary in order to distinguish between professional, Semiprozine and Fanzine categories. According to SFWA, a professional SF Magazine must have a paid circulation of at least 10,000 copies (or however its equivalent is determined for Online Magazines) and must pay its contributors at least six cents per word as of 1 July 2014. Previous SFWA qualifying rates – in the sense that story sales at lower rates did not count towards SFWA admission – were 3¢ per word up to 2004 and 5¢ per word from 2004 to 2014. The Hugo rules defined a semiprozine as one which met at least two of the following five criteria: circulation in excess of 1000; payment to contributor other than in copies of the magazine; generates sufficient revenue to support at least one member of staff; has at least 15% of its space allocated for advertising purposes; or lastly, declares itself a semiprozine. Despite attempting these distinctions between semiprozine and fanzine, the Hugo rules have little to say about what a prozine might be, since this category was abolished after 1972; subsequent awards have been made to professional editors rather than professional magazines. [MA/DRL]

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