APAs are interesting animals. They are a form of fan fiction popular through the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. Members sent a story in during each period (month; quarter; etc.). The editor compiled them and resent the whole thing to all the members. Membership varied but was usually limited to around 30 people so the size of the publication and cost of mailing would not get unwieldy. They served several purposes that ran from simply expressing your fanaticism through your own creations to review by a peer group before publication.
Each member provided the required number of copies and they were then compiled by the editor. Everything was compiled exactly as submitted so there are a variety of print qualities and paper colors as well as typos and hand-made corrections. Some articles look like a word processer was used, but most are typewritten and there are even some that are handwritten. Images are often hand-drawn by the author. The works were just compiled and sent back out as is.
A cover was often created by the editor but some even have blank covers. Many regular publications have dates and volume numbers as well as tables of contents. Regular contributors created a section for all their material and gave it a title. The material might include answers to any questions posed in the previous edition, questions or comments of their own, and their own new material.
APAs had specific rules and requirements and were typically well organized. Dues managed the cost of shipping and contribution rules were strictly enforced. Missing an edition could get you removed. There were honorary members, who were not expected to contribute but were much appreciated by the members. Frequent comments from authors such as L. Sprague de Camp show that honorary members received and read their copy.
The longest lasting Robert E. Howard APA was the REHupa, the Robert E. Howard United Press Association, which is now available online as the REHEAPA (E for electronic). Historically, there were several APAs devoted to REH. We have examples from two available, the REHupa and the Hyperborian League. After only twelve issues, the Hyperborian league merged with the REHupa.
Other authors, such as H.P. Lovecraft, had separate APAs devoted to them.* There were also APAs devoted to fantasy or science fiction in general, such as the FAPA (Fantasy APA). Based on the ones available at Ranger College Library, authors often contributed to multiple APAs.
*For those interested in Lovecraft as well as Howard, the most prevalent APA for him was the EODAPA, or Esoteric Order of Dagon.
Unlike the rest of our finding aids, this does not include a category for author. Because of the unique nature of APAs, we have elected to list the author next to the title of their work. If you are looking for the work of a particular author please search on their last name.