(a.k.a. "A.J." or "ayjay," for Amateur Journalism)

The name which participants in mundane amateur press associations gave their hobby, which predates and partially inspired fandom's apas. Mundane apas differ from fandom's in two important respects –- they do not have either [1] minimum activity requirements or [2] a maximum number of members. The vast majority of mundane apa members over the years have been hobby printers as opposed to hobby writers. H.P. Lovecraft published 13 issues of The Conservative for the United (UAPA) and National Amateur Press Associations (NAPA) between 1915 and 1923, and thus indirectly influenced Donald A. Wollheim and John B Michel to found fandom's first apa, the Fantasy Amateur Press Association (FAPA), which is still churning out mailings. Over the years, a number of actifans have belonged to and participated in the mundane apas and quite a few people who started in ajay made their way to the fan apas. As a result, many actifans (beginning primarily with Francis T. Laney in the mid-1940s) prefer to be called "amateur journalists" or "amateurs" rather than “fans” (as Hugo Gernsback designated us).

“Amateurish” remains a pejorative but “amateur” comes from the Latin amare, which means "to love," making amateurs people who do things for the love of doing them. And, paraphrasing Walt Willis, those who hold that professionals are invariably superior to amateurs are doomed to prefer the ministrations of gigolos and prostitutes to those of willing and imaginative lovers.

contributors: Dr. Gafia

from Fancyclopedia 1 ca. 1944
Amateur journalism. This usually refers to the hobby as carried on by the mundane amateur press associations. Fans sometimes use it when asked what their hobby is by someone who wouldn't understand what fandom] is; and indeed, fan activity is amateur journalism — plus.

Ajay was also a way to refer to Algis Budrys.