Leah Zeldes Smith is a longtime SF fan, based in Chicago and Milwaukee. She entered fandom in 1973 as a teenager in Detroit, where she belonged to the W3F, and went to school in Ann Arbor, where she was active in the Stilyagi Air Corps. Upon moving to Chicago in 1985, she became a regular at Thursday. She served on the board of directors of the N3F, SFOHA, AASFA and FEN.
From the '70s through the '80s, she was an avid letterhack and apahack, as well as a frequent con goer. Apae included APA-50, MISHAP, AZAPA, RAPS, ApaCorps, FLAP, ANZAPA, The Secret Garden, FHAPA and Milwapa.
In the 1990s, she edited STET, a thrice Hugo-nominated fanzine. She has produced a variety of other zines, including several clubzines, numerous convention progress reports and program books, innumerable apazines and, with Larry Tucker, the perzine Insufficient Funds. She also contributed extensively to the later issues of Uncle Dick's and edited the fanthology Contact!. She first earned her faned cred in her teens with Imp and as editor of the Omekronicle, the clubzine of the Oak Park High School Science Fiction Club.
She has been involved in running numerous conventions, including Wondaycon, AutoClave, ConFusion, ditto and several Chicons and other Worldcons. She ran Operacon in March 2015 and published Flavor Forecast as a progress report for it. She is one of the Ditto Masters. She made endless pots of chili as a bidder for The Second Occasional LoneStarCon Science Fiction Convention and Chili Cook-off and became a member of FACT.
In 1993, she and her husband, Dick Smith, won the Down Under Fan Fund, and traveled as delegates to the Australian National Science Fiction Convention in Perth as well as visiting fans across Australia. Subsequently, they were the North American agents for the Australia in 1999 Worldcon bid.
As SF writer Leah A. Zeldes, she is the author of several short stories, published in anthologies.
In mundane life, she is a freelance journalist and professional blogger, particularly covering Chicago’s food and live entertainment scenes.
- Appointed Herbangalist High Priestess of the Midwest (1977)
- Toastmaster: Inconspicuous, Bowling Green, Ohio (1982) — she baked breads and brought a toaster oven.
- Hoagie Award (1983).
- Special Guest: Corflu 4, Cincinnati (1987).
- DUFF winner (with Dick Smith, 1993).
- Fan Guest of Honor: ConFusion XX, Romulus, Mich. (1994).
- Fan Guest of Honor (with Dick Smith):
- Hugo Award for Best Fanzine nominee for STET (with Dick Smith, 1993, 1994, 2001).