APA

Tagged: Theme | Fan

An acronym taken from National Amateur Press Association, an organization founded in 1869 to coordinate the distribution of its members' writings. An apa is a collection of individually produced contributions which have been sent to a central editor, who has then collated them and distributed the assembled result to all contributors. Apas – the term was most often found used in the plural, and was pronounced as a word – were common in the late nineteenth century, and became of genre significance with productions like The Recluse, published in the 1920s by W Paul Cook (1881-1948), which distributed the work of H P Lovecraft and his circle. Figures involved in apas like The Recluse soon turned to more formal publishing (see Small Presses and Limited Editions), but younger fans came into the scene. In 1937, Donald A Wollheim founded the Fantasy Amateur Press Association, which produced in FAPA the first sf apa proper. British fans imitated the format with OMPA. Many others followed, and apas remained for many decades an important device within Fandom for maintaining affinities and circulating fiction by young writers. Increasingly since the 1990s, online networking has tended to supplant the apa as a forum; but many remain active. [JC]

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