The founding fathers of our fraternity were wise in the selection
of its name. You will note that they did not call it the National
Amateur Literary Society. That would have condemned us to the
production of books and written compositions of the kind valued
for form and style, which is the classic definition of
literature according to Oxford, and very well might have sunk us
without a trace during the first decade of our existance. Nor did
they call it the National Amateur Writers Guild, limiting us to
scribbling of one kind or another, and relegating to limbo all our
readers, lusty printers, crafty politicians and social
They baptised us the Amateur Press, and thus let out all the seams,
giving us plenty of room to grow and stretch in.
They had no grand illusions about themselves or their posterity.
They did not expect any great shakes in the membership, then or
ever. No "mute, inglorious Miltons," no embryo Shakespeares, no
big shots. Just a lot of dubs who'd like to putter around with pen
and ink and type, putting ideas on paper, printing the same,
exchanging random thoughts with other dubs and annually getting
around to knowing a few of each other. No harm in it. Just for the
fun. . . .
We are in amateur journalism for the fun of it and, the world being
what it is, this spirit should be encouraged. We were not intended
to be world beaters. We were intended just to amuse ourselves and
each other. And as long as we can do that we have no need of
arsenals, guns or forts.
Edna Hyde McDonald