Constitution and By-Laws
As amended through February 2015
Article 1. Name
The name of this organization shall be the American Amateur Press
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
Article 4. Officers
- 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; except that the Mailer shall serve
for two calendar years commencing on the January 1 following his
- 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
, 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
- The amendment shall be proposed to the Board of Directors on
a petition signed by ten or more members.
- 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.
- 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
Article 1. Dues and Rights of Membership
- 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:
- At least one member in each household must pay annual
dues of $25.00.
- The Mailer shall send AAPA mailings to those who
pay annual dues of $25.00.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Secretary-Treasurer shall forward questionable
applications to the Board of Directors for approval before
- 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
- 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.
- A former member may be reinstated upon payment of the
annual dues amount to the Secretary-Treasurer.
- 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
- The President shall be the chief executive and chairman of
the Board of Directors. He shall
- select the appointive officers provided for in Article
4 of the Constitution,
- remove officers for dereliction of duty, subject to the
approval of the Board of Directors,
- may name the site of the annual convention within 90
days after taking office and appoint a convention chairman,
- approve bills before they may be paid by the
- fill vacancies in offices caused by death, resignation
- 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
- The Secretary-Treasurer shall
- act upon all applications for membership in accordance
with Article 1 of the By-Laws,
- maintain a list of members and furnish this list for
publication as requested by the Official Editor,
- notify each member 30 days prior to the expiration of
- drop from membership any member whose dues are more
than 30 days in arrears,
- 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,
- supervise the preparation and mailing of ballots in
accordance with Article 8 of the Constitution and Article 3
of the By-Laws,
- have charge of and maintain an accurate record of the
funds of the organization, and
- 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.
- The Official Editor shall
- publish the Official Organ,
- 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
- publish the membership list and/or the Constitution and
By-Laws as directed by the President and/or the Board of
- The Mailer shall
- 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,
- generally, the name of the publisher, but
- no more than one-third commercial advertising,
- inform publishers periodically of the number of copies
- request funds from the President whenever contributions
are inadequate to cover expenses, and
- 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.
- The Board of Directors shall act as the governing and
judicial body of the organization. It shall
- decide questions of general policy,
- interpret the Constitution and By-Laws when necessary,
- decide upon admission of new members as provided in
Article 1 of the By-Laws,
- remove the President for malfeasance or for failure
to perform the duties of his office,
- expel or suspend any member for acts detrimental to
the best interests of the organization, and
- review journals for mailing by the Mailer as
provided in paragraph 6 of this article.
- 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.
- Any decision of the Board of Directors shall be that of
at least three of the five directors.
- 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
- The Historian shall
- maintain an official file of memorabilia of the
- write an impartial history of the organization
activities for publication in the Official Organ during the
following fiscal year, and
- at the discretion of the President, be in charge of an
Official Organ Exchange program.
- 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
- 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
- By May 1, the President shall announce a replacement
for the Laureate Board member whose term expires that June
Article 3. Elections
- Elections shall be held every other year, commencing in
- Candidates for elective office shall file their
declarations of intention to seek office with the
Secretary-Treasurer by July 5 of the election year.
- No member may file candidacy for more than one office.
- No member may hold more than one elective office
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The ballot shall be returned to the Secretary-Treasurer,
postmarked no later than August 15.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- No information shall be released concerning the
tabulations of the ballots until the report thereon has been
submitted to the Board of Directors.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- By September 25, the incumbent President shall notify
- the newly elected officers of their election, and
- those whose names were on the ballot but who failed
to be elected, of their failure to be elected.
- The incumbent Board of Directors shall prepare a report
on the election for publication in an early issue of the
- All ballots shall be filed with the incumbent Chairman
of the Board of Directors and retained for one year.
- The incumbent Board of Directors shall rule on any
irregularities which could affect the result for any office.
- 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
- The Vice President shall succeed to the Presidency in the
event of death, resignation, or removal of the President.
- 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
- This organization shall award laureate merit recognition to
- have produced the best amateur journals in the
- journal of overall excellence,
- letterpress printed journal, and
- non-letterpress printed journal; and
- have produced the best work appearing in an amateur
journal in the following categories:
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.
- prose fiction,
- prose non-fiction,
- poetry, and
- original work of art.
- Award certificates shall contain the signatures of the
President and the Chairman of the Laureate Board.
- 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
- 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 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.