Constitution and By-Laws

As amended through September 2019


Article 1. Name

The name of this organization shall be the American Amateur Press Association.

Article 2. Purpose

The purpose of this organization shall be to promote amateur journalism and fellowship among amateur writers, editors, printers and publishers and to circulate their work among the membership.

Article 3. Membership

The membership of this organization shall be limited to those persons who desire to pursue writing, editing, publishing or printing within the Association as a hobby rather than for financial gain.

Article 4. Officers

  1. The elective officers of this organization shall be: President, Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, Official Editor, and Mailer. There shall also be a Board of Directors composed of: the President, Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, Official Editor and Mailer. They shall be elected for a two-year term as provided in the By-Laws, and shall serve for two 12-month fiscal periods beginning on October 1 and ending the second year of their term on September 30.


  2. The appointive officers of this organization shall be: Historian, a Laureate Board composed of three members, and any other position desired by the President.


Article 5. Official Business

All official business of this organization shall be conducted by mail except, under procedures as specified in the By-Laws, the ballots may be processed at the annual convention.

Article 6. Official Organ

The Official Organ of this organization shall be the American Amateur Journalist, and shall be published every other month, commencing in November of each fiscal year, under the direction of the Official Editor, in pages measuring 5½ by 8½ inches.

Article 7. Merger

This organization shall not merge with any other.

Article 8. Amendments

This Constitution and/or By-Laws may be amended in the following manner:

  1. The amendment shall be proposed to the Board of Directors on a petition signed by ten or more members.


  2. The Official Editor shall publish the proposal in as early an issue of the Official Organ as feasible, which shall be at least 60 days prior to the time of voting.


  3. The proposed amendment shall be printed in full on ballots, under the direction of the Secretary-Treasurer, and sent by first class mail to all members for voting. Such voting shall be accomplished in connection with the regular election of officers, except that the Board of Directors may authorize a special election at any other time. Such special elections shall in no event involve submission of ballots to the members at a date earlier than 60 days after publication of the proposed amendment in the Official Organ, and shall be handled in accordance with procedures established by the Board of Directors.



Article 1. Dues and Rights of Membership

  1. Annual dues shall be $25.00 except that the annual dues of persons in the same household as another member may be $2.00, subject to the following conditions:
    1. At least one member in each household must pay annual dues of $25.00.
    2. The Mailer shall send AAPA mailings to those who pay annual dues of $25.00.
    3. Members paying dues of $2.00 under the provisions of this article shall be entitled to all the rights and privileges of membership, including the right to vote and hold office, except for the right to receive AAPA mailings as specified in the preceding sub-paragraph.


    1. Every application for membership shall be accompanied by $25.00 (except for those $2.00 memberships permitted by this article). Membership shall expire one year from date of acceptance, except for the 30-day grace period provided in Paragraph 3 of this article.
    2. The Secretary-Treasurer shall forward questionable applications to the Board of Directors for approval before accepting them.
    3. The names and addresses of all new members shall be published in the Official Organ. Receipt of objections to a membership from three or more members shall constitute sufficient cause for the Board of Directors to consider whether the new member shall be retained on the membership rolls.


  2. To remain in good standing, a member must pay his annual dues to the Secretary-Treasurer not later than 30 days after expiration of his last dues period.


  3. A former member may be reinstated upon payment of the annual dues amount to the Secretary-Treasurer.


  4. A member shall be entitled to vote and hold office, to receive the AAPA mailings from the Mailer, to receive all issues of the Official Organ, to participate in the laureate contests, and to receive the benefits of any other services offered by this organization.

Article 2. Duties of Officers

  1. The President shall be the chief executive and chairman of the Board of Directors. He shall
    1. select the appointive officers provided for in Article 4 of the Constitution,
    2. remove officers for dereliction of duty, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors,
    3. may name the site of the annual convention within 90 days after taking office and appoint a convention chairman,
    4. approve bills before they may be paid by the Secretary-Treasurer, and
    5. fill vacancies in offices caused by death, resignation or removal.


  2. The Vice President shall serve in place of the President when necessary. He shall be in charge of recruiting new members, welcoming new members and preparation or revision of an AAPA Handbook.


  3. The Secretary-Treasurer shall
    1. act upon all applications for membership in accordance with Article 1 of the By-Laws,
    2. maintain a list of members and furnish this list for publication as requested by the Official Editor,
    3. notify each member 30 days prior to the expiration of his membership,
    4. drop from membership any member whose dues are more than 30 days in arrears,
    5. file a monthly report with the President, Official Editor, and Mailer with information as to the names and addresses of new members and reinstatements, names of renewals and expirations, financial information (including a monthly copy of the organization's bank statement to the President), and other pertinent data,
    6. supervise the preparation and mailing of ballots in accordance with Article 8 of the Constitution and Article 3 of the By-Laws,
    7. have charge of and maintain an accurate record of the funds of the organization, and
    8. make expenditures as authorized by the President, but pay no bills in excess of $250.00 other than those for mailing the AAPA bundle or printing the Official Organ, except when also authorized by the Board of Directors.


  4. The Official Editor shall
    1. publish the Official Organ,
    2. maintain the official file of the Official Organ and send the file, properly insured, to the incoming Official Editor within 30 days after leaving office, and
    3. publish the membership list and/or the Constitution and By-Laws as directed by the President and/or the Board of Directors.


  5. The Mailer shall
    1. mail amateur journals of members to the membership at a frequency to be determined by the Board of Directors with no fewer than six mailings per year and with such journals to include,
      1. generally, the name of the publisher, but
      2. no more than one-third commercial advertising,
    2. inform publishers periodically of the number of copies required,
    3. request funds from the President whenever contributions are inadequate to cover expenses, and
    4. request the approval of the Board of Directors before mailing any journal which appears to be in conflict with the best interests of the organization.


    1. The Board of Directors shall act as the governing and judicial body of the organization. It shall
      1. decide questions of general policy,
      2. interpret the Constitution and By-Laws when necessary,
      3. decide upon admission of new members as provided in Article 1 of the By-Laws,
      4. remove the President for malfeasance or for failure to perform the duties of his office,
      5. expel or suspend any member for acts detrimental to the best interests of the organization, and
      6. review journals for mailing by the Mailer as provided in paragraph 6 of this article.
    2. The Chairman shall be responsible for conducting the affairs of the Board of Directors and the preparation of such reports for publication in the Official Organ as are deemed necessary by the Board of Directors.
    3. Any decision of the Board of Directors shall be that of at least three of the five directors.
    4. The Board shall grant or deny permission for expenditures in excess of $250.00 other than those for mailing the AAPA bundles or for printing the Official Organ.


  6. The Historian shall
    1. maintain an official file of memorabilia of the organization,
    2. write an impartial history of the organization activities for publication in the Official Organ during the following fiscal year, and
    3. at the discretion of the President, be in charge of an Official Organ Exchange program.


    1. The Laureate Board shall be responsible for conducting the annual laureate award program, as provided in Article 5 of the By-Laws, seeking the assistance of judges if it so desires.
    2. The Laureate Board shall be initially established by Presidential appointment of three members for one, two, and three year terms, respectively, with such terms covering a year commencing July 1 and ending the following June 30. Members of the Laureate Board do not have to be members of the association.
    3. By May 1, the President shall announce a replacement for the Laureate Board member whose term expires that June 30.


Article 3. Elections

    1. Elections shall be held every other year, commencing in 1997.
    2. Candidates for elective office shall file their declarations of intention to seek office with the Secretary-Treasurer by July 5 of the election year.
    3. No member may file candidacy for more than one office.
    4. No member may hold more than one elective office simultaneously.
    5. After the filing deadline, if there is no competition for an office(s), the Board of Directors may declare the candidate(s) who filed as being elected to the respective office for which he/they filed.


    1. Should there be a need for ballots in a contested race, the Secretary-Treasurer shall supervise the preparation of ballots, which shall include the names of all members who have filed for office as well as proposed amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws.
    2. The Secretary-Treasurer shall, by July 25 of the election year, mail out ballots to each member, by first class mail, with ballots bearing an identifying number, along with appropriate instructions for voting. Ballots of members overseas shall be sent by Priority mail.


  1. The ballot shall be returned to the Secretary-Treasurer, postmarked no later than August 15.


    1. If the convention is held between August 25 and Labor Day weekend, inclusive, the ballots received from the members shall be transmitted unopened to the annual convention by the Secretary-Treasurer or his delegate.
    2. A Counting Committee of three members, to include the Secretary-Treasurer or his delegate, shall be selected by the convention delegates. This Committee shall open the ballots, prepare a report of same, and present the report to the convention assembled.
    3. The report of the Counting Committee shall be signed by the three Committee members and submitted to the incumbent Board of Directors by September 10.
    4. Alternately, if the convention is held before August 25, the incumbent Board of Directors may direct the Secretary-Treasurer to prepare and sign a report of the ballots, such report to be submitted to the incumbent Board of Directors by September 10.


    1. A report on the election shall be prepared and signed by the Secretary-Treasurer, and submitted to the incumbent Board of Directors by September 10.
    2. No information shall be released concerning the tabulations of the ballots until the report thereon has been submitted to the Board of Directors.


    1. The member receiving the most votes shall be elected. If the vote for any office other than the presidency results in a tie vote or no member is elected for some other reason, the incoming President shall appoint a member to fill the office.
    2. If the vote for the presidency results in a tie vote or if no member is elected President for some other reason, the incumbent Board of Directors shall establish procedures for a special election to be consummated as expeditiously as possible. The incumbent President shall continue to serve until a new President has been elected in the special election.


  2. If a member receives the most votes for two or more offices, he shall be elected to that office for which he officially filed. If he did not file for any office, he shall be elected to that office for which he received the most votes. The remaining offices for which he received the most votes shall be filled by appointment of the incoming President.


    1. By September 25, the incumbent President shall notify
      1. the newly elected officers of their election, and
      2. those whose names were on the ballot but who failed to be elected, of their failure to be elected.
    2. The incumbent Board of Directors shall prepare a report on the election for publication in an early issue of the Official Organ.
    3. All ballots shall be filed with the incumbent Chairman of the Board of Directors and retained for one year.


  3. The incumbent Board of Directors shall rule on any irregularities which could affect the result for any office.


  4. An officer whose membership expires during his term shall automatically be removed from office. The Secretary-Treasurer shall notify the President of any such expiration so that a replacement may be appointed.


Article 4. Succession to the Presidency

  1. The Vice President shall succeed to the Presidency in the event of death, resignation, or removal of the President.


  2. A Presidential vacancy which can not be filled by the Vice President shall be filled by means of a special election, under the supervision of the Board of Directors.


Article 5. Laureates

  1. This organization shall award laureate merit recognition to members who
    1. have produced the best amateur journals in the following categories:
      1. journal of overall excellence,
      2. letterpress printed journal, and
      3. non-letterpress printed journal; and
    2. have produced the best work appearing in an amateur journal in the following categories:
      1. prose fiction,
      2. prose non-fiction,
      3. poetry, and
      4. original work of art.
      In addition, honorable mention may be designated for other works of merit. No award need be given in a category if, in the opinion of the judges, no work in such category merits laureate award designation.


  2. Award certificates shall contain the signatures of the President and the Chairman of the Laureate Board.


  3. Selections shall be made from material appearing during the period commencing on July 1 and ending the following June 30. The awards shall be first announced at the annual convention of the year that includes that June 30, except in situations where a convention is held so early in the year that the results are not yet available. In such event, the individual award recipients shall be notified and full laureate results sent to the President and Official Editor by August 15.


Article 6. Conventions

  1. An annual convention may be held on a weekend in a city selected by the President and on dates approved by the Board of Directors. The convention shall be directed by a convention chairman approved by the President, as provided in Article 2 of the By-Laws.


  2. The convention may transact no official business, except that it may process the ballots as specified in Article 3 of the By-Laws, if the convention is held between August 25 and Labor Day weekend, inclusive. It is also encouraged to conduct discussions concerning the affairs of the organization and make appropriate recommendations concerning same.



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