FAPA

The Fantasy Amateur Press Association; the oldest fan apa in the world, founded in 1937 and still going. However, there are mundane apas which predate those in fandom, and at least two of the three –- AAPA and NAPA (or American APA and National APA) –- are still in existence. The United APA (UAPA) disintegrated. H. P. Lovecraft published a "paper" (as they call their fanzines) called The Conservative for them that predates the first real fanzine (or the first real sf prozine, for that matter).

Contributors: Dr. Gafia

The Fantasy Amateur Press Association ("FAP-uh") was founded in 1937 by Don Wollheim and John Michel. They were inspired to create FAPA by their memberships in some of the non-fan amateur press associations, which they learned of from H. P. Lovecraft. FAPA's original constitutional limit was 50 members to accommodate publishers using hektographs. 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 1944 and has remained at that level ever since. Mailings are quarterly.

The early years of FAPA were stormy with party politics and sociological feuds (for details, see Jack Speer's pioneering fan history, Up to Now, at www.efanzines.com), and its third year, 1939-40, was marked by the Interregnum. Thereafter the prophets of Third Fandom came into control. At the beginning of 1945 withdrawal of the Futurians, some of whom were officers, precipitated a Little Interregnum and during the next two years a series of officers who failed to properly function plagued the group (see Blitzkrieg).

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 '50s and '60s 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 wait list periodically acknowledge receipt of the Fantasy Amateur was begun in order to weed out those who lost interest during the long wait.

The 60s also saw more FAPA politics: As recounted in Ratatosk #6 and #7, ten or so members of FAPA blackballed the entire waitlist, apparently to protest the blackballing provision in the FAPA constitution, thus eliminating the entire waitlist. The Secretary-Treasurer of FAPA duly cleared the waitlist and then immediately invoked a precedent from the 40s when FAPA was short of members, and selected a group of fans to be on a new waitlist. By coincidence, the new waitlist looked a very great deal like the old one… In a similar vein, Rick Sneary proposed an amendment to the FAPA constitution that no member of The Cult (another apa) be allowed to be FAPA members. {Someone} arranged for all FAPA members who were not members of The Cult to be granted Honorary Membership in it — and Dick Eney ran a large Fantasy Rotator, Avanc 8 through FAPA — so that if the Sneary amendment passed, everyone would be thrown out of FAPA. (It failed 24 to 6.)

By the '70s the waiting list became much smaller, and in recent years (since the mid '90s) has disappeared altogether. Additionally, the number of members has also shrunk as existing members died or otherwise dropped off the roster. As of May 2008 there were 35 active participants.

Like other APAs, FAPA is primarily an agency for distributing to its members publications put out by its members at their own expense. This it does by mailings every three months. Members are required to be active in some way — writing or publishing — and produce at least 8 pages of activity a year. There are annual elections (August) of a president, vice-president, secretary-treasurer and official editor; the two former are limited to two consecutive one-year terms. Other officials have included Official Critics, a Laureate Committee, and ballot counters. The first two positions were abandoned by the mid '40s, but a teller for the annual officer elections continues to be appointed by the Secretary-Treasurer.

Robert Lichtman (2008) rewrote and updated the Fancyclopedia 2 article.

from Fancyclopedia 2 ca. 1959
("FAP-uh") The Fantasy Amateur Press Association, constituted in 1937 by Wollheim and Michel. Others soon joined, up to its constitutional limit of 50 (raised to 65 in 1943). The first year of FAPA was stormy with party politics and sociological feuds, and its third year, 1939-40, was marked by the Interregnum. Thereafter the prophets of Third Fandom came into control. At the beginning of 1945 withdrawal of the Futurians, some of whom were officers, precipitated a Little Interregnum and during the next two years a series of officers who refused to function plagued the group (see blitzkrieg). In 1947 Speer reformed the Constitution, and the Insurgents quashed the last inactive OE, Perdue. Since then official troubles have 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.

FAPA is primarily an agency for distributing to its members publications put out by its members at their own expense. This it does by mailings every three months. Members are required to be active in some way — writing or publishing — and produce at least 8 pages of activity a year. There are annual elections (August) of a president, vice-president, secretary-treasurer and official editor; the two former cannot hold the same post again for five years. Other officials have included Official Critics, a Laureate Committee, and ballot counters.

FAPA was the stronghold of the Brain Trust during Third Fandom, and has always been the most influential general fan organization; in fact, such APAs are the only general fan organizations that are really active.
from Fancyclopedia 1 ca. 1944
Pronounced variously [efeipiei], [faepe], and [fapa]. The Fantasy Amateur Press Association, constituted in 1937 by Wollheim, and Michel. Others soon joined, up to it's constitutional limit of 50 (changed to 65 in 1943). The FAPA's first year was stormy with party politics and sociological feuds, and its third year, 1939-40, was marked by the Interregnum. Thereafter the profets of the Third Fandom came into control, and it prospered to become the longest-lived successful fan organization.

It is primarily an agency for distributing to its members publications put out by its members at their own expense. This it does by mailings every three months. Members are required to be active in some way, writing or publishing. There are annual elections in June of a president, vice president, secretary-treasure, and official editor (he also does the mailing), who cannot held the same post again for five years. Other officials are the official critics, laureate committee, and ballot counters. Red tape is at a minimum.

Members of FAPA and their FAPAzines included:

FAPA Officers

Term (starting in late…) President VP Secretary-Treasurer OE
1950 F. T. Laney
1951 Marion Bradley and Art Rapp
1958 Bob Pavlat Bill Evans Ted White
1963 Bruce Pelz
1964 Bob Pavlat Bruce Pelz
1965 Lee Jacobs Rick Sneary Bob Pavlat Bruce Pelz
1966 Charles Hansen Lee Jacobs Bill Evans Bruce Pelz
2007 Robert Silverberg