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The Fan Writers of America

by Ted White

The FanWriters of America were born in a serendipitous moment at a party in my room one night at the 1984 LACon. The room was packed with fans and the air was thick with smoke (the hotel's airconditioning system endlessly recycled the room's stale and increasingly smoky air for the entire weekend) and as if by magic the smoke shaped itself into thick, balloony letters which hovered over our heads and spelled out “fwa.” It required only moments for us all to realize that we were present at the actual formation of the FanWriters of America. I called up the already sleeping Lucy Huntzinger and told her, “Fanhistory is in the making! You need to be here!” And soon she joined us, a bit bleary-eyed but brightening at the sight of Fandom's Very Best, murkily outlined in the smoke.

It was immediately obvious to us that:

  1. For purposes of fannish inclusiveness (and perhaps American imperialism), “America” is defined as “the entire world.”
  2. Generally “fanwriting” is defined as “writing by a fan,” and its preferred venue is fanzines, but not exclusively so. (In 1984 the internet was still to come for most of us.)
  3. If you do fanwriting and think you could be a member of the FWA, then you are a member. It's that simple.
  4. The FWA has no current president, and never has had one. All of FWA's presidents are past presidents at the time of their selection.

In the Early Years past presidents for the years preceding FWA's founding (going back one more year in each subsequent year's selection) were selected at Worldcons. But quorums of assembled members of FWA were less easily assembled than they had been in 1984, and after the 1986 Worldcon this idea was abandoned. It was decided that the membership of each year's Corflu represented the best quorum (all members of Corflu are considered members of FWA) and that the previous year's president of FWA would be selected at each Corflu. Selecting pre-1980 presidents would not continue. (Occasional exceptions have been made, such as John Foyster's posthumous selection as president for 1975.) The selection process has taken place, beginning with the second Corflu, at the Sunday brunch-banquet—where all of Corflu is assembled and can both nominate and vote. I run the selection process with an iron fist (in a velvet glove).

Biographies and photographs of some past presidents are at the Fan Gallery.

Past Presidents of FWA

  • LACon, 1984: Avedon Carol, 1983
  • Corflu 2, 1985: Suzle Tompkins, 1984; Terry Carr, 1982
  • Corflu 3, 1986: Lucy Huntzinger, 1985; Gary Farber, 1981
  • Confederation, Atlanta, 1986: Ted White, 1980
  • Corflu 4, 1987: rich brown, 1986
  • Corflu 5, 1988: Judith Hanna & Joseph Nicholas, 1987; Stu Shiffman, 1979
  • Corflu 6, 1989: Terry Carr, per documentation found by Geri Sullivan
  • Corflu 7, 1990: Harry Warner, 1989
  • Corflu 8, 1991: Bill Bowers, 1990
  • Corflu 9, 1992: Robert Lichtman, 1991
  • Corflu 10, 1993: Bob Tucker, 1992
  • Corflu 11, 1994: Jack Speer, 1993
  • Corflu 12, 1995: Charles Burbee, 1994
  • Corflu 13, 1996: Bob Shaw & Peter Roberts, 1995
  • Corflu 14, 1997: Bill Rotsler, 1996; Lee Hoffman, 1951
  • Corflu 15, 1998: Greg Pickersgill, 1997
  • Corflu 16, 1999: Shelby Vick, 1998
  • Corflu 17, 2000: Geri Sullivan, 1999; Walt Willis, 1952
  • Corflu 18, 2001: Art Widner, 2000
  • Corflu 19, 2002: Eve and John Harvey, 2001
  • Corflu 20, 2003: Mark Plummer, 2002; John Foyster, 1975
  • Corflu 21, 2004: Arnie & Joyce Katz, 2003
  • Corflu 22, 2005: Bruce Gillespie, 2004; Buz Busby, 1960
  • Corflu 23, 2006: Mike Glicksohn, 2005
  • Corflu 24, 2007: Pat Virzi, 2006
  • Corflu 25, 2008: Dan Steffan, 2007
  • Corflu 26, 2009: Andy Hooper, 2008
  • Corflu 27, 2010: D. West, 2009
  • Corflu 28, 2011: Spike, 2010
  • Corflu 29, 2012: Earl Kemp, 2011
  • Corflu 30, 2013: Roy Kettle, 2012