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A Message to King Kay

WITH THIS ISSUE the Quill will turn from the headaches, woes, and favoritism of bundle distribution to private mailings.

The purpose of this issue is to let the members of the AAPA know that we are not backing out or becoming inactive. The larger Quill will be mailed privately next month. Another purpose of this edition is to present to the members some of the things that go on behind their backs.

When the editors were new members in the AAPA, we cherished the idea of free and frequent distribution. Then came a lapse of activity, but late in 1940 publication of the Quill was resumed. We joined again in the hope the association was still the haven of those who desired to state their own opinions without fear of their papers being “censored for lack of contribution.” Lack of contribution indeed!

If the mailer had informed us immediately upon arrival of our journals that more money was needed to handle an enormous eight page paper (4½” x 6”), we would have mortgaged our press and scoured our piggy banks to find fifty cents or so! But twenty-six days elapsed before we had any inkling of the fact that our paper had been killed!

The American Amateur Press Association – exponent of mammoth bundles, the haven for the small and penniless publisher – has sometime during the last few years given the mailer the right to go through and censor the bundles. And if he decides to exclude a paper, it lays around Little Falls, dormant, until the omnipotent mailer thinks it has time enough to grow stale, and then writes a letter saying, “I hope you won’t be peeved.”

Peeved? Why should we be? We just spent a small fortune (to us), put a lot of time and energy into its production, and trusted that once it reached the mailer it was safe. But how we were deceived! How many other issues of Quills and other papers have met the same fate?

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The March issue of the Quill was mailed to the mailer, Mr. Kay, late in February. We heard nothing more of it until we received a letter on the 26th of March – approximately twenty-six days after the bundle mailing date! – informing us that our paper weighed four ounces too much, and the mailer had taken the liberty of pulling the Quill from the bundle without consultation with its editors.

We tried to heed the cry of the more advanced members concerning the quality of the AAPA papers. We used better and heavier stock (also more expensive). We stapled our March issue in order that the members would not have difficulty of gathering the eight pages and cover. But our efforts and money were in vain. They weighed four ounces too much! The American cannot handle larger papers, evidently, but the constant victim of American attacks – the National mails for the most part large, worthwhile, journals.

Before the receipt of Mr. Kay’s letter, the type was set and corrected for a sixteen page Quill. It was to have been a 7” x 5” issue and was to have had a heavy cover. But we feared that would bankrupt the association.

Kay is supposedly invaluable to the association. He has held every office from mailer to president or we should say president to mailer, as the mailer with his right of saying what the members shall read is as powerful as a dictator. Young publishers view him as the “papa of the AAPA” and think he can do no wrong. But let them print something not coinciding with his views, and they will be due for a rude awakening.

If Kay has wanted us to quit the association, he has partly succeeded. The only reason we do not take the course Wayne Williams took, is because we like to read the other publishers’ papers. The Quill will appear henceforth privately mailed, at least until a new mailer is elected. Somehow, we just don’t feel safe with a paper of ours in Kay’s hands.


ALL MEMBERS desiring future issues of the Quill, please send your name and address to Osawatomie, Kansas.

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An amateur paper issued in the interest of American ideals, especially freedom of the press.
Published by Bud and Don Weaver.

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