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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn
How an Apa works:
*Some* day I'll get this howto down...

Recently someone enquired how S&S works. The following is my explanation. I hope it helps:) UPDATE (12jan2020): like most print APAs, S&S ceased publication with the much cheaper web alternatives for people getting their stuff out there. It had a good run, some 2 decades/84 issues/last published roughly 2011.

Sord&Sworcery is a traditional print apa, or Amateur Publishing Association. Each member creates a trib of original art, poetry, and/or fiction (we currently have one member who is a serious critic as well). Right now we have a nice mix of both art and fiction: some people do both. Minac, or minimum activity, means they turn in at least 6 pages every six months of this; in addition most members include ‘natterings’ about their personal lives, reviews, generally of sf&f related works, and criticism on the other members’ offering.

After making this trib, the member makes enough copies for each person in the group and sends them to me. I collate all the tribs I receive, add a table of contents, sending the finished apas, with one each of all the tribs, to all the members. It works like a cookie exchange; sometimes editors are called “central mailers” for this reason, but having a snobbish streak, I prefer the cachet of ‘editor’. (And I do, in fact, reserve the right to edit people's work, though I've never had to exercise it.)

How and what kind of critiques, if any, is determined by the original creator, but to my mind getting this feedback is one of the major benefits of belonging. It is not a paying venue, like Interzone, nor a vanity press; it is merely a way to share your work with like-minded people. As such you retain all rights to your works.

This is a cover I made for one of my tribs.

Here are the “house rules”:[1]

1. Sord&Sworcery goes out four times a year (quarterly). Submissions should be postmarked by the date of the appropriate Solstice or Equinox. In order to give the Post Office plenty of time to get them to me, I will wait till the first of the following month before assembling the issue and creating the table of contents. The editor reserves the right to hold any submissions to next ish postmarked after that date. (In other words, if you mail stuff after then, I'll do my best, but you takes yer chances.)

2. Copy count. Currently 12. Total membership to be determined. I'm leaning towards a maximum of 20.

3. Dues. $16.00[2] Annually, pro-rated from Spring Equinox issue, to commence with March 2002.

4. Minac. Please try to submit 1 page of original material per month—that is, a total of six pages every two issues. Original material may be fiction, art, or essays pertaining to a science fiction, fantasy or, (since we have so many vampire storytellers anyway) horror. I'm perfectly willing to continue to allow single issue grace without explanation, but if it's going to spread over two or more, please give me some idea of your plans.

5. Submission format. I'm not into making xeroxes. Since it's one of my duties, I will do it, but I'd vastly prefer for individual members to copy and collate their tribs. I'm happy to print from disk or email people's tribs, so long as the file is in a compatible format (e.g. TeX, or StarOffice compatible. Staroffice currently handles ms-word and a bunch of other stuff—please enquire—and of course ascii/plain text is never a problem.) Please, if you'd like me to print your submission, format it into an even number of pages, starting with an odd number, and alternating between odd and even numbers—i.e. ending with an even number. Thanks!

6. Covers. We need ’em. If you don't do them, I will... and we all know how late that will make the apa. Plan on doing both a front and back, unless you make alternate arrangements with ye olde editor.

7. Content: The E will not censor creative material. As a courtesy, you may wish to warn people about explicit sex, violence, etc., but it is not required. Marg, Heather, and Pat have maintained a warm and friendly atmosphere; let's all, with regard to personal comments, try to keep it that way. I think it would be a help if you make it clear what sorts of comments you're looking for; it's been my experience that the worst misunderstandings thus far have come out of mismatches between what the creator and the critiquer thought were the goals of a piece.

8. Wait listers: As long as there's openings, new members join immediately, and are subject to minac after the first two issues. Checks should be submitted after receiving the first issue.

9.Th-th-th-tha-at's all folks, (for now).

S&S will be celebrating its 15 anniversary this fall, which I think is pretty neat. I hope you'll consider joining us.

13aug20 added calligraphy tag. (n.b. fantasy tag was probably added, & apa tag removed, in jan2020, when I did the others)

[1]These were my house rules. Bonnie doesn't publish any per se, but expects everyone to play nice. Which we do;)

[2]Postage has gone up. As of 2010, it's about $20. Basically, multiply the cost of 4 of those priority flat-rate envelopes a year, and that's more or less it. It's more for international members, obviously.


[calligraphy] [fantasy]