An amateur press association (APA) is a group of people who produce individual pages or magazines that are sent to a Central Mailer for collation and distribution to all members of the group.
APAs were a way for widely distributed groups of people to discuss a common interest together in a single forum before the advent of electronic bulletin boards or the Internet. Many were founded in the 1930s and later by fans of science fiction, comics, music, cinema and other topics as a way to develop writing, design and illustration skills. Many professional journalists, creative writers and artists practised in APA groups and email mailing lists.
A Central Mailer (CM) (sometimes called a Distribution Manager or Official Editor) is the coordinator of an APA. The heart of the role is the distribution of the association's publication to its members. The CM manages the subscription lists and the deadlines to which the association works. The CM is usually responsible for chasing members to ensure maximum participation although some APAs simply accumulate contributions between deadlines and mail out whatever is available at the mailing deadline.
Where the APA requires the submission of multiple copies by contributors, the CM merely collates the contributions. Some APAs involve the submission of camera ready copy; in such cases the CM arranges the reproduction of the material. Most APAs require the members to submit a minimum amount of material in a specified format to a specified number of mailings. This minimum activity (abbreviated to "minac") is usually specified as something in the form of (for example): "at least two A4 pages to at least two out of every three mailings". Most APAs also require each member to maintain a credit balance in a central funds account to cover common reproduction costs and postage.
In most APAs the CM provides an administrative report listing the contents of each mailing and any business information associated with the association. This can include financial accounts, membership information and some news items. Although most APAs have predetermined deadlines at regular intervals it is normal practice for the CM to specify the next mailing deadlines explicitly in each mailing.
APAs that require members to submit multiple copies of their contribution (commonly called "apazines") usually set a limit to the number of members and run a waiting list if this becomes necessary. In many cases people on the waiting list are permitted to contribute to mailings and may receive excess apazines provided by the members.
The first APAs were formed by groups of amateur printers. The earliest to become more than a small informal group of friends was the National Amateur Press Association (NAPA) founded February 19, 1876 by Evan Reed Riale and nine other members in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is still running in 2011.
The second United States APA was the United Amateur Press Association (UAPA) founded in 1895 by a group of teenagers including William H. Greenfield (aged 14) and Charles W. Heins (aged 17). This became a confederation of small amateur publishers which split into two organisations known interchangeably as UAP and UAAPA. The American Amateur Press Association (AAPA) was formed in 1936 by a secession from what was then called UAPAA.
The first science fiction APA was the Fantasy Amateur Press Association (FAPA) formed by a group of science fiction fans in 1937. It continues to be active in 2012. SAPS, the Spectator Amateur Press Society, started in 1947 and is still active in 2012. VAPA, The Vanguard Amateur Press Association, formed in 1945 and lasted until 1950.
The first comics APA was started by Jerry Bails in 1964 in the United States. Called CAPA-alpha (sometimes abbreviated to K-a) it grew to its present limit of 40 members. It has become the archetype for most subsequent comics APAs. Its members have included Dwight Decker, Mark Evanier, Carl Gafford, Fred Patten, Richard and Wendy Pini, Roy Thomas, Dan Alderson, Rick Norwood, Don Markstein, and Don and Maggie Thompson. Michael Barrier's animation fanzine Funnyworld began as a CAPA-alpha contribution.
Decker and Gafford were also founding members of the minicomics co-op the United Fanzine Organization. The difference in a co-op and an APA is that an APA is helmed by a central mailer, to whom the members send copies of their publications. The central mailer then compiles all the books into one large volume, which is then mailed out to the membership in "mailings" (called "bundles" by a few APAs). In a co-op, however, there is no central mailer; the members distribute their own works, and are linked by a group newsletter, a group symbol that appears on each member work, and a group checklist in every "member zine."
The first European comics APA was called PAPA and launched by a group of comics fans in January 1978. Soon renamed BAPA (for "British APA"), it celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary in 2003, but folded the following summer.
The APA model was picked up by artists in the 1980s. Groups of artists contributed elements of combined duplicated artworks that omitted the conversational elements of the fandom-based APAs (these pieces are sometimes called "assembly art"). During this same period, a group of British science fiction and comics fans also set up a short-lived "tape APA", contributing music and spoken word to a central anthology.
The latest innovation is a digital distribution, e-APA. Copies of past "mailings" are archived at the online resource eFanzines.
This list is not exhaustive. Unless otherwise stated, these APAs are based in the United States.
Alarums and Excursions (A&E) is an amateur press association started in June 1975 by Lee Gold which continues monthly to this day. It was the first publication to focus solely on role-playing games. The name "Alarums and Excursions" comes from a stage direction for the moving of soldiers across a stage, used in Elizabethan drama.BAPA
BAPA may refer to:
British Amateur Press Association, an amateur press association founded 1890
British Amateur Press Association (comics fandom), an amateur press association active 1977-2004
Birds Australia Parrot Association, a special interest group of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union
Beverly Area Planning Association, a neighborhood organization in Chicago
Los Angeles High School of the Arts, formerly known as the Belmont Academy of Performing Arts
Beta-peptidyl aminopeptidase, an enzymeBritish Amateur Press Association
The British Amateur Press Association (BAPA) was the first Amateur Press Association in Britain. It was founded in 1890. In September 1910 it began to publish a quarterly collection of its members' publications under the title The British amateur from Bishop Auckland. This was renamed The British amateur journalist for its second issue before reverting to the earlier title in 1915. A magazine published in July 1964 by J. B. Easson of Hanworth is titled British amateur journalist: Argo. By Christmas 1965 the magazine was being published by John Atkins of Oxted. Bob Tyson of Wimborne became General Secretary and published a monthly news bulletin until at least May 1976.Initially, largely literary and news oriented, BAPA became broader with members such as John Carnell, who published two collections of science fiction in 1945 and 1946, respectively. A collection of poetry published for the 150 members of the Association in 1972 (The Wine The Women and The Song edited by Arthur Smith of Pyle was notable for having the word 'fuck' cut out of a poem by Gerald England on the last page of every copy. In 1990 the Secretary was Mr L E Linford of Stratford, London.British Amateur Press Association (comics)
The British Amateur Press Association was an amateur press association created by comics fans in late 1977, following a proposal from Phil Greenaway in the letter pages of the comics fanzine Bemusing; the first mailing (under the name PAPA, the first initial standing for "Prime") was circulated in January 1978. Greenaway was the first Central Mailer and his successors included Maureen "Mo" James, Howard Stangroom, Les Chester and Steve Green. For most of its existence, up to thirty members of BAPA submitted multiple copies of at least two A4 pages to the central mailer every two months. BAPA was disbanded on 17 August 2004 with a final mailing distributed early in 2005. A one-off publication was also distributed under the name B-APA (sic) in 2005, in memory of Andy Roberts; a similar publication was announced in 2008, in memory of Steve Whitaker.
Notable members of this association included Eddie Campbell, Mark Finch, John Freeman, Steve Green, artist Nigel Kitching Martin Lock (later to launch Harrier Comics), Andy Roberts, Martin Skidmore (later editor of Trident Comics) and artist Steve Whitaker.CAPA-alpha
CAPA-alpha (sometimes abbreviated to K-a) was the first amateur press association (APA) devoted to comic books, started by Jerry Bails (the "father of comics fandom") in the United States in 1964.Cliff Biggers
Cliff Biggers is a comic book writer and journalist. His first published writing appeared in fanzines in the mid-1960s. He was a founding member of the amateur press alliance (APA) Myriad and was active in the Southern Fandom Press Alliance, a southeastern-based science fiction amateur press association. He was also involved in Galaxy, CAPA-Alpha, Apa-5, and other amateur press alliances.Crypt of Cthulhu
Crypt of Cthulhu is an American fanzine devoted to the writings of H. P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos. It was published as part of the Esoteric Order of Dagon amateur press association for a short time, and was formally established in 1981 by Robert M. Price, who edited it throughout its subsequent run.
Described by its editor as "a bizarre miscegenation; half Lovecraft Studies rip-off, half humor magazine, a 'pulp thriller and theological journal,'" it was a great deal more than that. Lovecraft scholarship was always a mainstay, with articles contributed by Steve Behrends, Edward P. Berglund, Peter Cannon, Stefan Dziemianowicz, S. T. Joshi, Robert A. W. Lowndes, Dirk W. Mosig, Will Murray, Darrell Schweitzer, Colin Wilson and Price himself. However the magazine published stories and poems too: resurrected, newly discovered, or in a few cases newly written, by Lovecraft and other such Weird Tales veterans as R. H. Barlow, Robert Bloch, Hugh B. Cave, August Derleth, C. M. Eddy, Jr., Robert E. Howard, Carl Jacobi, Henry Kuttner, Frank Belknap Long, E. Hoffmann Price, Duane W. Rimel, Richard F. Searight, Clark Ashton Smith and Wilfred Blanch Talman. It also had stories and poems by newer writers paying tribute to the old, including Ramsey Campbell, Lin Carter, John Glasby, C. J. Henderson, T. E. D. Klein, Thomas Ligotti, Brian Lumley, Gary Myers and Richard L. Tierney. Several issues were devoted to showcasing one or another of such authors. Its contents were illustrated by such artists of the fantastic as Thomas Brown, Jason C. Eckhardt, Stephen E. Fabian, D. L. Hutchinson, Robert H. Knox, Allen Koszowski, Gavin O'Keefe and Gahan Wilson. Its reviews covered genre books, films and games.
The magazine's run initial run encompassed 107 issues over a span of 20 years. The first 75 issues (dated Hallowmas 1981 through Michaelmas 1990), were published by Price under his own Cryptic Publications imprint. The next 26 issues, (dated Hallowmas 1990 through Eastertide 1999 and numbered 76 through 101) were published by Necronomicon Press. The last 6 issues, (dated Lammas 1999 through Eastertide 2001 and numbered 102 through 107), were published by Mythos Books. The magazine was inactive after 2001; however, Necronomicon Press revived it in 2017 with issue 108 (dated Hallomas 2017).Erwin Strauss
Erwin S. Strauss is an American author, science fiction fan, noted member of the MITSFS, and filk musician, born in Washington, D.C.. He frequently is known by the nickname "Filthy Pierre."Esoteric Order of Dagon
The Esoteric Order of Dagon is a fictional cult in the Cthulhu mythos of H. P. Lovecraft.Fantasy Amateur Press Association
The Fantasy Amateur Press Association or FAPA ("FAP-uh") is science fiction fandom's longest-established amateur press association ("apa"). It was founded in 1937 by Donald A. Wollheim and John B. Michel. They were inspired to create FAPA by their memberships in some of the non-science fiction amateur press associations, which they learned about from H. P. Lovecraft. (It is also fandom's longest-running organization of any kind, preceding the founding of the runner-up, the National Fantasy Fan Federation, by nearly four years.)
Like other APAs, FAPA is primarily an agency for distributing to its members publications published by its members at their own expense. FAPA has "mailings" every three months. Members are required to be active in some way — writing or publishing — and produce at least eight pages of activity a year. When needed, there are elections (in August) of a secretary-treasurer and official editor. Other officials have included Official Critics, a Laureate Committee, President, Vice-President, and ballot counters. The first two positions were abandoned by the mid-1940s, and in 2009 the positions of President and Vice-President were also eliminated. The President Emeritus is the author Robert Silverberg, who was the last serving President and who has been an active member of FAPA longer than any other current member. When necessary, a teller for the annual officer elections is appointed by the secretary-treasurer.
FAPA's original constitutional limit was 50 members to accommodate publishers using hectographs. There were 21 members listed on the roster of the first mailing in August 1937; it took until the November 1938 mailing to fill the 50-member roster. The membership limit was raised to 65 in 1943 and has remained at that level ever since.
The early years of FAPA were stormy with party politics and sociological feuds (as recounted in the late Jack Speer's pioneering fan history, Up to Now). In 1947, Speer reformed the constitution, and the Insurgents quashed the last inactive OE, Elmer Perdue. Since then official troubles have mostly not disturbed FAPA, and red tape has been held to a minimum. The constitution was again revised in 1958 (also by Speer) to incorporate amendments, bylaws, and practices adopted since 1947. Another major revision occurred in 2001 under the oversight of Robert Lichtman (Secretary-Treasurer since 1986 and still holding that office), clarifying and conforming constitutional requirements with actual practice.
During the 1950s and 1960s FAPA was so popular and membership so sought after that the waiting list grew to monumental proportions, for a period of time exceeding the number of membership slots on the FAPA roster. A waiting list fee was instituted to cover the cost of sending the Fantasy Amateur to so many fans awaiting membership, and a requirement that waiting listers periodically acknowledge receipt of the Fantasy Amateur was begun in order to weed out those who lost interest during the long wait. By the '70s the waiting list became much smaller, and in recent years (since the mid 1990s) has disappeared altogether. Additionally, the number of members has also shrunk as existing members died or otherwise dropped off the roster. As of August 2018, there were 20 active participants (including one joint membership).Gordon Eklund
Gordon Eklund (born July 24, 1945 in Seattle, Washington) is an American science fiction author whose works include the "Lord Tedric" series and two of the earliest original novels based on the 1960s Star Trek TV series. He has written under the pen name Wendell Stewart, and in one instance under the name of the late E. E. "Doc" Smith.
Eklund's first published SF short story, "Dear Aunt Annie", ran in the April 1970 issue of Fantastic magazine and was nominated for a Nebula Award. Eklund won the Nebula for Best Novelette for the 1974 short story "If the Stars Are Gods", co-written with Gregory Benford. The two expanded the story into a full-length novel of the same title, published in 1977.
Eklund's Star Trek novel The Starless World was the first Star Trek story about a Dyson sphere.
In his teens, Eklund was a member of a Seattle SF fan club, The Nameless Ones, and in 1977, Eklund was a guest of honor at the 1977 SF convention Bubonicon 9, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Cushing Memorial Library of Texas A&M University has a "Gordon Eklund Collection" housing the typed manuscript of the story "The Stuff of Time".
Eklund has retired from a long career with the U.S. Postal Service, and is considering writing full-time again. He's a member of the Fantasy Amateur Press Association and the Spectator Amateur Press Society.Interlac (APA)
Interlac is a bimonthly amateur press association devoted to the DC Comics science fiction superhero team the Legion of Super-Heroes. It was the first APA devoted to the Legion and, despite the decline of APAs due to Internet forums, continues to operate to this day. June 2016 marked the 40th anniversary.
Interlac’s name comes from the designated communication language of the 30th-century United Planets confederation (the milieu in which the Legion of Super-Heroes operates).J. Vernon Shea
Joseph Vernon Shea (1912–1981) was an American author of horror, fantasy, poetry, and essays; and a correspondent of H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and August Derleth.
Shea was born in Dayton, Kentucky, the son of a professional magician. When corresponding with Lovecraft in 1931–1937, he resided in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Shea later served overseas in the Army Medical Corps, then returned to civilian life and worked as a metallurgist in Cleveland, Ohio. He was a long-time member of the "Esoteric Order of Dagon" Amateur Press Association at the time of his sudden accidental death.Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society
The Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society, Inc., or LASFS, is a science fiction society that meets in the Los Angeles area. The current meeting place can be found on the LASFS website.
LASFS is the oldest continuously operating science fiction club in the world, helped considerably in that record by being one of the few to own a clubhouse. The organization continues to hold regular weekly meetings on Thursdays. The club maintains a private lending library of books, videos, and other genre-related materials, for use by members.
Members of the club have run the World Science Fiction Convention several times, initiated the regional science-fiction convention Westercon, and hosts a yearly science fiction convention called Loscon. It maintains a web site and discussion forum, publishes (at irregular intervals) an amateur magazine called Shangri L'Affaires, and hosts the collations of a weekly amateur press association, APA-L. The LASFS monthly newsletter, De Profundis, is named for the club motto, De Profundis ad Astra ("From the Depths to the Stars"). DeProf is available (in PDF format) for reading at the LASFS web site, and can be obtained by writing its editor/publisher, Marty Cantor.Rowrbrazzle
Rowrbrazzle is an Amateur Press Association magazine devoted to funny animal cartoon illustration.Sonia Greene
Sonia Haft Greene Lovecraft Davis (16 March 1883 – 26 December 1972) was an American one-time pulp fiction writer and amateur publisher, a single mother, business woman and milliner who bankrolled several fanzines in the early twentieth century. She is best known for her two-year marriage to American weird fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft. She was a president of the United Amateur Press Association.Tryout
Tryout was an amateur press journal published from 1914 to 1946 by Charles W. Smith of Haverhill, Massachusetts. It was connected to the National Amateur Press Association.
Smith (1852-1948) was a friend and correspondent of H. P. Lovecraft; Tryout was the first outlet for the H. P. Lovecraft short stories "The Cats of Ulthar" (November 1920), "The Terrible Old Man" (July 1921), "The Tree" (October 1921), and "In the Vault" (November 1925). Smith provided the plot idea for "In the Vault".
Tryout also published non-fiction articles and several poems by Lovecraft. The publication was noted for its typographical errors, which Lovecraft referred to as "tryoutisms".