From Amateur Press Association, an apa is a kind of social media conducted via snail mail, made up of dead-tree artifacts in the form of apazines – or, in less convoluted terms, a means for distributing fanzines to a specific group of people. Typically, each member of an apa produces a short fanzine and sends an appropriate number of copies to an official editor who collates and (usually) staples one copy of each zine together, adding covers, an official organ and a toc, and sends out the collection of zines, called a mailing, to each member.
Some apas (in plural, sometimes apae), are designed for discussion on specific topics (e.g., APA 69, sex; REHUPA, the Robert E. Howard apa; CAPRA, the movie apa, etc.); others are geographically oriented, such as Milwapa in Milwaukee, APA-L in Los Angeles, and ANZAPA, in Australia and New Zealand, but most are general interest. FAPA, the Fantasy Amateur Press Association, is the oldest extant fannish apa.
Members of city-and club-based apas, sometimes called "local apas," often meet to hold a joint collation, a social event at which the collections of zines — in that instance called a distribution — are put together and handed out. Some apas, notably FAPA, don't bind the individual zines together but simply bundle the collection of separate apazines into envelopes, whereas in others, such as The Cult members mail their material to the OE, who edits them together into a single fanzine.
Apazines generally include (and sometimes consist mostly or entirely of) mailing comments, responses to material published in the preceding mailings or distributions.
To remain a member, one generally must meet minimum activity (minac) requirements, usually defined as a certain number of pages of original material within a given timeframe, plus pay dues to defray the costs of postage and the printing of the Official Organ (OO) which accompanies them. Distribution intervals may be weekly, every two weeks, every three weeks, monthly, every other month, quarterly and yearly.
As noted under ajay, the apa began in mundania, but there are differences between mundane and fannish apas. In the mundane apas like NAPA and UAPA, to be a member, one simply pays dues; publishing activity is encouraged but not required and there is no requirement to send all "papers" (as they call their apazines) to the entire membership.
Contributors: Dr. Gafia, Leah Zeldes Smith
|from Fancyclopedia 2 ca. 1959|
|Amateur Press Association. A group of people who publish fanzines and, instead of mailing them individually, send them to an official editor, who makes up a bundle periodically (altho these mailings have sometimes not been temporally regular) and distributes one to each member. Such apazines are contributed to the bundle by their publishers without charge, being considered exchanges for the other members' fanzines. The procedure saves time, work, and postage for the publishers; and since the mailing bundles are identical and all members may be assumed to know their contents, comments on them lead to lively discussions. For fan APAs see under FAPA, OMPA, and SAPS, all still active, and 7APA, Vanguard, and WAPA, now defunct. (Whether the Cult is an APA is hard to decide, but go ahead and look it up anyway.)
Many mundane APAs are in existence — in fact, fandom got the idea from them. These mapas usually print their publications with hand-operated equipment, and are for the most part distinctly more interested in getting a pleasant format and appearance than in producing interesting writing. Several fans have vanished into or emerged from the mapas, and some stfnists, notably HP Lovecraft, have been active Ajays at the same time. The memberships of mundane associations are considerably larger and less active than those of fan APAs, and it does not seem to be required that publishers send in sufficient copies to cover the entire membership.
|from Fancyclopedia 1 ca. 1944|
|A group like the FAPA (which got its idea from them) existing for the purpose of facilitating exchange of publications between its members thru a periodic mailing (the mailings have not been temporarily regular in some cases). Of the mundane amateur press associations, the National APA dates from the 1870's; the American was established fairly recently, mainly by younger people. There are also the United APA, a British organization, some regional groups, locals, and some interassociation committees. These ajays usually print their publications with hand-operated equipment, and are for the most part distinctly more interested in getting a pleasant format and appearance than in writing anything interesting. Several former fans have disappeared into the mundane APA's, and several other well-known scientifictionists, notably H. P. Lovecraft, have been active ajays at the same time. The memberships of these associations are considerably larger and less active than the FAPA's, and it does not seem to be required that publishers send in sufficient copies to cover the entire membership.|