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Title: Stylus
Editor(s): April Valentine, Margaret Delorenzo, Nancy Kippax & Bev Volker, and later, Carolyn Verino
Type: letterzine
Date(s): 1980-1982
Medium: print
Fandom: multimedia
External Links:
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Stylus is a gen multifandom zine.

It was a discussion forum for fanzine editors on mechanics of editing, selecting, etc. The zine Blue Pencil was an attempt to pick up when "Stylus" ceased publication.

A fan in 1987 said it was "one of the three most practical little zines that were ever published." [1]

About the Publication

From the first issue:

Welcome to STYLUS. We think we've hit upon a concept whose time has come. STYLUS is not a letterzine, but a format in which writers, artists, editors, publishers and consumers alike can exchange information. Everyone is encouraged to contribute. Those of you with experience in the field may want to write an article, as have those who sent in the contents of this first issue. Newcomers may have questions you'd like to see answered, or covered in a future article.


A word or two should be said about our editorial policies. While differing viewpoints are welcome, STYLUS will not be a medium for personal conflicts or airing grievances. Opinions expressed in the articles in this issue or those to follow are not necessarily those of the editorial staff, however. The articles printed here in appear exactly as written. We decided arbitrarily not to edit articles, though spelling and punctuation will be corrected where necessary. A list of possible topics follows this editorial, or you can write on any subject pertinent. While articles will not be edited in regard to content, we reserve the right not to select an article which is extremely negative in tone, a personal attack or which is not written in a clear, concise manner. The same applies to LoC's and responses to "Issue of the Issue". Lengthy LoC's may be excerpted at the editor's discretion without notification. Articles and other responses will not be published anonymously.

One of the best aspects of fanzine publishing is that new writers and artists have a chance to practice and learn. Criticism is healthy and ideas from the more experience are helpful. Remember,however, that we are all amateurs in this field and while many articles are of the "How I Do It" variety, they should serve as examples to others only, and not take an "I'm Right and All The Rest of You Are Wrong" point of view or an overly "professorial" tone.

Issue 1

Stylus 1 was published in December 1980 and contains 26 pages.

front page of issue #1
from issue #1. After "Nome" #2 was released, a fan described the "Nome's" collation, and of writing a filksong! Some of the filk's lyrics: "After we've seen the movie, Another twenty times, We'll have new inspiration For stories, art and rhymes. After Spock leaves Sickbay, And V'Ger's quest is done, We know where Kirk will take Spock -- The Human Adventure's begun!"

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

Stylus, a long-awaited publication, finally came out in December 1980, and although there are a lot of positive things to say about it, frankly, I'm a bit disappointed.

The layout and the presentation were excellent. The printing was good quality. The form was presented in a very professional manner. My personal gripe is this: everything I read would have been good, useful information, if I was a new zine editor just starting out, or new to fandom. But what I was looking for was something that I, as one who has been in this game quite awhile, could use to change or improve the way I do things now. Everything that was written was true and born of experience, but I did not find that the experience conveyed to me differed from those of my own. Now, I know that every fan has at least one (and usually several) things that they can relate that is different from anything that anyone else has done. Please don't misunderstand; there were a lot of things I did learn form the articles in 'Stylus.' Hell, I'm using some of the things in Nancy Kippax's 'Writing the Fanzine Review' right now. And Mary Ann Drach's 'Some Mechanics of Editing' made some good points with particularly how she handles revisions with long-distance writers. Beverly Volker brings up the valuable point that one should always approach their writing and editing with a professional attitude, which is a reality we all tend to forget at times. I notice in the opening editorial this statement: "'Stylus' is a format in which writers, artists, editors, publishers, and consumers alike can exchange information." 'Stylus' is this, indeed. This publication has a worthy potential, and I wish to see it continue. What I would like to see are more articles that are a bit off-the-wall, unique personal encounters with situations or difficulties that the author had, and from which we can all benefit. I realize that this is the first issue, and that the first baby is always the most difficult. But 'Stylus' tended to lose my interest rather quickly, mainly because most of the contents were 'old hat' to me. [2]

The format of STYLUS is designed to give those in the creative aspects of producing zines (editor, writer, artist), a place to touch base, share ideas, and compare notes. The focus of STYLUS is improving the quality of the product.

I was very favorably impressed with this zine; the articles were clearly well thought and well written including articles by Bev Volker, Leslye Lilker, Johanna Cantor, Kathy Carlson, Vel Jaeger, and reviews by [Valentine] and Volker. The topics range from Lilker's article, "Hello! Is Anybody Out There?" expressing the value and purpose of Letters of Comment and encouraging readers to respond to a writer's work, to Cantor's "Choosing and Editing Manuscripts" describing the sometimes delicate edit/or/writer relationship and some thoughts on how to avoid the pitfalls while still coming up with what is best for both zine and writer. There is also a list of topic ideas for prospective articles and an "Issue of the Issue"; a question just begging for comment. Artists are not left out of this zine, though the fact that many artists are just that, artists and not writers, could produce problems for this zine at a later date. This issue is well endowed with a detailed account, in Jaeger's "Mailing Artwork", of how to safely package, mail and receive word on the arrival of artwork. There is also an article by Kathy Carlson on "The Over-Committed Syndrome" and how artists can avoid it. "Copy Quicks" by Kathleen Shelley Lynch is to be a regular feature dealing with all of those common errors that writers are wont to make again and again, and that editors tear their hair over. In this issue, there was an introduction to the subject and the the its/it's -- lie/lay problems. Surprisingly, it did not turn out to be the stale English lesson that I was expecting, but became a delight to read because of Lynch's light touch and the 'Trek' written examples. The reviews in Stylus are in-depth reviews breaking down to the basic mechanics of the zine/story/stories reviewed as only an author/editor would. They are not your average reviews, and therefore fill a much needed gap in zine reviewing.... Stylus is, as the editorial says, 'a concept whose time has come.' It is warm, diverse, humorous at times, precise, informative, and easy on both eyes and the brain.

My only real complaint is that at one point the reviewer of Enter-comm was, I felt, very harsh in her criticism of a story by an author that I had never heard of. It would be very easy for a zine to inadvertently tread on a new crop of Trek writers and do real damage to the new souls just finding the courage to try their wings. I hope that STYLUS does not fall prey to this danger and in their zeal for improves and forget the fact that we all had beginnings. STYLUS—an excellent zine for anyone serious about improving their craft, and very definitely worth your zine green. [3]

Bev Volker's article made a very good point. I've often described fanzines to mundanes as Writer's Workshops by mail. You can tell a possible pro from someone who will stay a zine writer all her life by whether they think they can always improve, or whether they are complacent about their 'fame' at the moment. I'm also glad Leslye commented about LoCs. I admit to have succumbed to laziness in this regard, and I am going to try to do better in the future...

Johanna C. is, as always, entertaining in her instructiveness. This info re-covers things we already practice here at ChttP, but being reminded in a cheerful way never hurts...

Mary Ann's distinction between copy editing and story editing is a good point. So far we haven't had to deal with anybody (except me!) whose grammer needs correcting on every page, so we've stuck with the 'spell it out line at a time' method. We'll no doubt get a chance to use the tracing paper idea, though. Sometimes, if a writer can be convinced to trust the editor, I think it is easier all around if the writer understands and gives permission beforehand for any corrections to be made that don't change the text significantly. (Especially punctuation!) I myself would do so, IF I knew and trusted the editor. (On the other hand, I seldom double- check my stories to make sure each comma got in where I put it, so it may be a moot point.) We don't send out copies of camera ready stuff, because we have two editors under the same roof and find this double proofing adequate. Yes, we have occasionally let errors slip by - real howlers a few of them were, too. But - this may not be true for other editors - when we have something camera ready, it is going to the printers the following week or sooner. We don't have the time to wait on corrections (and this is - sigh- true of a number of pro markets as well) from the author. We figure that we cut them somes lack in having the final say in the way they write the piece (if the basic story is good, we don't INSIST on any specific correction being changed to suit us - we can be very persuasive, however) and they should accord us the same privilege on the way we edit the zine. Re the two art segments: They both make sense and seem to come from the artist's heart as well as her head. I am not an artist, however, I would like to make one off-tangent suggestion which comes from observation. Most artists I know constantly have pen in hand, whether this is at a club meeting, a con gabfest, a restaurant or in front of the TV. It's a hallmark of the breed. Those things they come up with are practice pieces to them - but they are often perfectly adequate, and even admirable efforts to the rest of us. I've seen a lot of doodles that could have been sent off to zineds as fillers, enough of which will garner a person a contrib copy. It's something to keep in mind, anyway.

... Your information this time was good, and I agreed with it, on the whole. On the other hand, I ran across only a couple of new ideas. Are you intending this to be mostly for new zineds? You might try getting in touch with people who've been in zines for several years, and seeing what they would be interested in. I, for instance, would be fascinated by a report on the use of word-processors, by someone who has actually used one for putting out a zine, by info on silk screening covers, and other ways to make them fancy that aren't outrageously expensive, info on obtaining/running one's own offset press, publicizing a zine, and How To Convince the Bank You Aren't Weird When You Keep Cashing These Checks Made Out To A Press With A Funny Name.[4]

My first reaction ((to STYLUS)) is one of satisfaction. The zine is very interesting, and I feel that it fulfills a need; that is, a guide to production side of fanzines. Mind you, I am not a writer or editor, and just a fledgling artist in fandom; all in all, you could just call me a reader of fanzines. And yet STYLUS appeals to me, so much so that I am going to order it again. For a reader, the world of production is opened up to me. I can better understand what it takes to put out a zine, and also better understand the many delays that are encountered in obtaining a zine.

There is also insight into the craft of writing, so much so that I got my second general reaction to the zine: a great feeling of being overwhelmed. You see, I have a few story ideas floating around in my head, and I really didn't know how to go about writing a story. STYLUS certainly presents some guidelines to the craft, but there seems so much that I am overwhelmed by the process. There seems so much to remember that I won't be able to do it. Am I the only one with this reaction? It may tend to frighten off some would-be writers, but I still think that STYLUS is a good zine for the beginner.

I suppose that you could say Leslye's article made one of the strongest impressions on me. After all, that's what got me to write. I didn't realize how important it was to the writer, artist and editor to get feedback. Oh, it seems obvious to me now, but I needed that nudge to see it. The article addresses what I deem the most important reason for the lack of LoCs; not knowing how to write it, what to say. Leslye is concise in her description of what a story is made of, and consequently, what can be commented on. I particularly liked her subtitles for the six components of a story. The subtitles take the academic names and make them more understandable, more easily related to by most people. Leslye's article is also the article that overwhelmed me as a potential writer, for not only does she advise the LoC writer in his/her approach but Leslye inadvertently also advises the would-be story writer of the components of a good story. After reading this, which is of course good advice, I am none the less put off somewhat in respect to trying to write my own story. All in all, Leslye actually has written a concise dual-purpose article.

Again, in Johanna's article, while she advises on "Choosing and Editing Manuscripts", she is also advising would-be writers. Her article is short and to the point, but written in a relaxed, conversational manner - easy to read and very comfortable. Johanna's tone is caring.

As I am an artist just trying to break into the fandom field, I am particularly interested in the articles related to art work. It was with interest that I read Kathy Carlson's article on being over-committed. Admittedly, I don't have that kind of problem right now, but I'm sure that it is common enough. I can readily see how easily you can over commit yourself, but I just wouldn't have thought of it, at least not until I would have gotten into a jam. And Vel's article about mailing artwork is very timely. Vel doesn't waste words; she gets to the point and crams her article chock-a-block full of very practical information. I know that she has given me some very good advice, and I will be referring to the article often. ... Every article served in one way or another to illuminate different aspects of fanzine production, and as such were informative. I liked that there were many articles in the zine.

I also appreciated that the articles were relatively short and concise... not that I would object to long articles, but the brevity of the various writings made for a lively zine.[5]

This issue of STYLUS has given me a great deal to think about. I'm still relatively new to fandom. Last year at this time I was totally unaware of its existence. But, with the fanatic dedication of the new convert, I've been totally immersed in trying to make up for lost time- quite a strain on my eyes and pocketbook, but well worth it. From the beginning, zines, especially the good ones (i.e. those I enjoy reading and re-reading), have prompted me to write the editors, sometimes even the authors when I have their addresses, to let them know how 1 feel about what they've done. I didn't even think of those letters as being LoCs. Now I realize that's exactly what they have been tending toward. And I'm grateful for Leslye Lilker's article for some pointers on how to make my comments more effective. I doubt I'll follow any prescribed outline (spontaneity is encouraged by trying to squeeze in some letters between adventures with 'creative' toddlers or spacy cats), but it does give me some touchpoints to guide the old brain along. I do tend to run off at the mouth - or typewriter - but writing a LoC helps me to get things straight in my own head - analysis often making elements of the story stand out better and therefore making the story more enjoyable.

"Copy Quicks" is going to be a favorite item. Though no whiz at grammer, I do find myself wincing in annoyance at certain mistakes. (Yes, I know I too fall into the same traps at times, but who's perfect?) The first two Kathy Lynch tackled are tops on the list. Lie and Lay are so consistently misused - sometimes have to stop and think what it would be in German to straighten myself out!

((Nancy's)) article on writing reviews hit home... and the reviews you did publish were fine pieces of work. That is the kind of depth I'd like to see more of in the future. I found myself in major agreement with [April Valentine] in her review of COMPANION: THE REST OF THE STORY. There were a few points of disagreement, but the review itself is excellent. Beverly's review of ENTERCOMM-3 was also excellent. It pointed out flaws as well as highlights without being condescending or downright nasty. That is something I dislike, and have been put off by in some other reviews I've read.[6]

I very much liked STYLUS #1. It is clear, concise, informative, and just plain interesting. It seemed to cover a diverse range of subjects and do it very well.

As a writer, I really enjoy any and every chance I get to hear just what is going on in the minds of the editors. Zines, in general, are run it seems a little like blind-man's bluff. The artist has never met the writer, the writer has only written to the editor. Someday it would be hysterical to write out descriptions of how we see each other physically in our mind's eye.

Mary Ann Drach's tissue paper idea sounded like a winner, and I heartily agree with her about sending a camera-ready copy to the writer for approval (having had a recent problem that that particular policy might have eased a bit).

"Copy Quicks" is great. I am constantly combing my own work for those sneaky little mistakes and just as constantly finding them. Maybe seeing the lesson in print will settle some of these things in writer's minds. (Don't bet on it.) Would that my high school English teacher had been so entertaining.

In response to Leslye Lilker's wondering about what has happened to the LoCs: I think it's the editor/publisher's fault for not putting a little line in each zine saying that LoCs are welcome. Being a relative neo (one year), I have never been all that sure that the zine/ writer wanted my two cents. Not that it stopped me; I'm basically a very vocal and forward person. I could compile a book of 'LoCs to BNFs'. But in spite of this, I only four months ago connected my letters and that mysterious 'LoC -- It sounded like something you should wash your clothes in! Something's awry someplace.

Somewhere, there are new fans who are sitting reading zines, thinking, 'Gee, I really like that. I would really like to tell her how I feel about that, but no one would want to hear from me.' And somewhere else, there are writer's thinking either, 'I know there is something wrong with my dialogue but I can't put my finger on it,' or, 'That's the best thing I've ever written. I know it is, but no one else does.'

The producers of zines have to let those neos and even old readers know that letters of comment are welcome and wanted from anyone and everyone. We all need strokes and feedback to let us know how we're progressing and where we're falling down, even, I would venture to say, the BNFs. And let's not forget: When In Rome — the tourists are as confused as hell. I would suspect that the reason writers don't LoC each other is the reluctance to sound 'know-it-all' with your peers.

...I have one last burning question. Is anyone on your staff part barracuda? I really stung over the review of Elizabeth Holden's story, 'The Volcano". I don't know the lady. I've never heard of her before. Chances are if she's new and a sensitive person, I won't again.

A zine is a powerful weapon, wield it carefully please, and with knowledge of at whom you're aiming it. ('If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen' is a nice escape phrase but it speaks little for tolerance and nothing for gentleness.) All of the things stated could have been made equally clear in a much more thoughtful way.[7]

Its contents were rather what I had expected. After all, the mechanical problems of putting out a zine tend to stay the same, and after attending a certain number of fan panels about editing, one will have heard about most of these problems. However, I would like to respond to the question Leslye Lilker raised about the disappearance of LoC's in recent years.

Whatever pleasure reading I do, I do primarily to escape the world that I am in. I read Trek not only to escape but to see what other people think/feel/dream about fictional people that are more meaningful to me than any number of live people of whom I can think. As a reader I want to know the why of your characterization, plot, dialogue, background and theme. I used to write LoCs thinking that I could establish at least some kind of contact with people who created something meaningful to me. But in the four years that I wrote LoCs, I remember only six or seven responses. Since I tried to write LoCs like those that Lilker wants, that is a lot of time and effort for very little return. Perhaps the writers feel that writing new and better stories is adequate response, but I don't see it that way. If I didn't want contact with the writer. I'd buy pro novels and save myself from reading undeveloped stories and a LOT of money.

I want that contact with the writer and am willing to put up with your development as a writer and even to help you develop by LoCing... if you give me that contact in return. If you won't, why bother to spend my time and effort with LoCs? It would be nice if you would respond on a personal level, talking about Trek or whatever, but I'll settle for one simple sentence: "I read your (LoC)".[8]

Leslye Lilker's article about fan feedback struck an immediately responsive nerve and I - quailing, failing — am at this even before I finis-hed the rest of the issue. First, may I suggest for your consideration the third-person gender neutral "per" from Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time. As I recall its delineation in the novel, "per" was adopted to deal with just the difficulty you describe - from the first syllable of person. It does not change with use as a subject or object, nor do I recall that it changes with number (or rather, the plural is still they, them, theirs). Play with it. I find that it rolls pleasantly around the lips and tongue. Like many others, I'm relatively a neo, having sent in my very first check for a zine barely a year ago, although I had read all the pro stuff and remained a constant watcher. What I want to share with you is some of my feelings about this past year of coming into the fan network and my perceptions of the fan world. One of the most frustrating things for me to cope with is the lack of continuous availability of stories/universes. I have had my order in for "The Weight Collected" for nearly the whole last year. I have read about it, seen pieces of it, and burn to have it entire in my hand... but it drives me crazy when it is summoned up as a reference as state-of-the-art. It only enhances my feelings that I will never catch up, never be a part of the "real world" of fandom. The same has been true coming in on the tail-end of series (...Sahaj, for instance, or Diamonds and Rust). It seems ultimately pointless to write when the author has terminated the project, or at least is taking a serious gafiation. It is also hard to write when you have only the last, for which the first was made, to misquote Browning. The opportunity to appreciate the growth of the author, the characters, the concept is lacking. Without the beginning, the best I can offer is, "Gee, what a nice story, gee..." (I've READ real nice things about the previous work, but I'll never read the previous work, unless I want to enter the cut-purse world of the auctions, is the rest of this unsent LoC.) ... In the beginning glow of last year, the only LoC I could have written would have been on the order of, "how wonderful to have found you, how did you get the courage to write this, don't other people think you are strange?" There is nothing in my background to compare fanac with, and so it has taken me much of the last year to get a more informed point of view. I begin to appreciate some of the subtleties of the physical production of a zine, the time, the money, the real and hard factors that impinge. Also, in the glow of first contact, I was encountering plotlines, character developments, stylistic techniques for the first time. From my relatively deprived point of view, the first encounters with what would soon become trivial and hackneyed treatments, was thrilling beyond any thought of criticism. After all, who was I and what did I know? I have become bolder since. I have also developed a little sense of history and continuity with things. Because of fanlit in general, I have begun to be more critical in my reading of fanlit (and all writing) in specific. Fannish writing costs too much not to develop a more considerate eye. Somewhere I read the suggestion that it is bad art that develops the appreciation of great art. So true in fan writing! However, tempering my sharp critic's knife has been my own attempts to write a story or two. Boy, are you right - it is a "rare occurance" to keep all elements of a story equally represented. My hat remains doffed to those who succeed in their efforts.

My reading STYLUS is essentially vicarious, developing my sense of the process involved in writing/editing/publishing. I hope the issue of "how to review" does not billow... since the great T'Yenta struggle set on, a general caution to kindness is appropriate. But the peskiest times in "rejoicing in our differences" is when the differences are really different. Even the cranky have their place (if only to serve as object lesson to the rest of us).[9]

Re Bev's "Amateur vs. Professional, Your Approach to Fan Fiction", I agree that a professional attitude will yeild dividends to everyone concerned, but do you think that perhaps there is a danger that the existing fan fiction set-up is too professional for approach by the new writers? It could scare them off; how often do you come across -a closet Trekker who is happily writing and then upon reading the really good stuff (and let's face it, it's that which sticks in the mind) decide that their material comes no where near and they are going to burn all their stories on a giant bonfire in the garden! When this reaction sets in it is sometimes years before they have the courage to take up their pens again, they feel inferior surrounded by such experienced and prestigious writing, there is no need for them to feel so, but the pleasure of writing has been taken away. I do totally agree with Bev's article, but wanted to point out this inherent danger in a too-professional facade to fandom. The only answer I could suggest for Leslye Lilker's question about Letters of Comment is that in my limited experience as a zine ed, the letters of comment I get (I don't run a LoC column so the letters are just comments to the editor) are nearly always from new fans. I had the same reaction on reading zines for the first time; I wanted to discuss the stories with someone, preferably the writer, and normally this feeling can only be satisfied by a good long letter of comment to the editor. But after a while the readers become passive. Three reasons for this spring immediately to mind: (a) You get the idea that no one is interested in your opinion (b) you get a ST friend who you discuss the stories with or (c) you have discovered the vast amount of Trek literature and you are too busy reading to write a letter of comment. I think this is the reason that LoCs are becoming so rare; fewer new fans, eager to discuss their reactions to stories with SOMEONE, the editor being the most easily accessable. There is a point made in Nancy's article which I would like to underline: ‘The purpose of a review is twofold', it is a public comment about the zine which will be read and enjoyed (agreed with as well as disagreed with) by people who have already read the zine, but also by people thinking of buying the zine. We each have only so much money to spend on zines, and especially for those of us who have to pay airmail postage for zines, we often have to make a choice on • which to spend our limited funds. Very helpful is a good run-through of the type of stories in a zine, the breakdown of stories, poems, artwork, number of pages, type of and if possible, reduction. In short, a description of the zine besides the reviewer comments adds to the value of the review. A discussion point I would like to see aired or perhaps covered by an article from an editor is the practice of an editor requiring a deposit with the order for a zine. Why is this practice growing? I realize that the financial outlay for a large run of an offset zine is very: expensive, but is it right to get the fans to finance a zine when that should be the editor's responsibility? "You put your money where your mouth is," if the editor believes their zine is good and will sell, surely they should finance it. My first zine. Computer Playback, cost me around $500 to publish and sold 13 copies at the first con I took it to. I drove home wondering how long it would take to recoup the money on my fuel bill, using the zines to insulate my loft! They all sold and I'm now working on issue #6, but I well remember that sinking feeling when I thought of the cost. What happens if the zine which we have paid a deposit for doesn't get ahead? (some zines have been cancelled before they reached the printers) It's going to cost the ed a lot in bank charges and postage to return all the deposits. What happens if you read reviews that say the zine contains a type of story you dislike (e.g. death stories, alternate universes, serialized stories)? The readers buy without seeing the zine, sometimes without even seeing a flyer, and to ask them to part pay for the zine seems to be asking rather a lot.

Ok, I will buy some zines without knowing the contents and even pay a deposit for a zine I know from experience that I will enjoy, but surely the editors are cutting their own throats with this practice. If not enough people order and send a deposit, the printing does not go a- head, and editors, writers and readers lose out, then. And certainly per copy it is cheaper to print say, 1,000 than 200 on litho offset, so only printing orders you have is bound to keep the price up. Perhaps I don't understand the system properly from this side of the Atlantic, but it sure sounds odd to me. I imagine someone taking in deposits and 'losing' the deposits in their bank account; it's very easily done and could be very frightening to find yourself in this position: 500 orders with $2.00 deposit means $1,000. added to your bank account. If you can handle the financial management involved, fine, but what if you find you have only $700 in the account?

... I've just thought, how about a section on typos? My favorite was one I spotted in a zine a couple of years ago, 'One man must die so that countless millions could live' and they had left the 'o' out of' countless'. Obviously a Freudian slip by a male chauvinist.[10]

Issue 2

Stylus 2 was published in July 1981 and contains 27 pages.

front page of issue 2

From the editorial in issue #2:

"We apologize for the delay in completing the second issue of Stylus, but it took this long to gather enough material. And therein lies the problem. ...We have almost decided to fill our obligations for three issues and then cease to exist.

Without creative input, STYLUS simply cannot continue, and we have almost decided to fulfill our obligations for three issues and then cease to exist. It seems a pity. We have received many letters which confirm our belief that STYLUS is a worthwhile and needed format, but kudoes alone do not a publication make. A few fans have been extremely helpful and enthusiastic, but the support of a few is not enough.

Why does this problem exist? Perhaps Beth Carlson hit on it, at least partially, in her LoC, when she stated that, "... the reason writers don't LoC each other is the reluctance to sound 'know-it-all' with your peers." If that is your difficulty, then you've misjudged the goals of STYLUS. We're not out to tell anybody that a certain way is law, but we certainly hope that others can profit from our mistakes, our experiences. How many of you out there who are editors have had to answer the same questions on 108 separate occasions? Wouldn't it be better to state it once and for all? Granted, this won't completely eliminate the personal mail, but if STYLUS can garner a large enough circulation, it will certainly cut down a bit on repetitiveness and misunderstandings.

This issue we've printed a large selection of reader responses and a question/answer section in addition to the articles and reviews. If anything prompts additional comment, please express it.

A prevalent theme in our responses seems to be the reaction, particularly from new fans, that "no one really cares what I think." Here, then,is your arena. We at STYLUS care. We're interested in your opinions. Let - us hear from you

Issue 3

Stylus 3 was published in December 1982 and contained 28 pages. It was edited by Nancy Kippax, Margaret Delorenzo, April Valentine and Carolyn Verino.

front page of issue #3

From Boldly Writing: "The editors hoped the addition of Carolyn would revitalize the publication. In the editorial, she announced, 'Stylus will be going on a twice-yearly publication schedule.' The publication still contained many helpful hints about fanzine publication -- for instance, Johanna Cantor contributed a short article on 'Coping with a Backlog' -- but issue three was the last issue published."

  • Editorial (ii)
  • Issue of the Issue ("Who is responsible for a zine lost or damaged by the post office? The buyer or the editor?") (1)
  • Realer than Reality by Susan Crites (using physical description in writing) (3)
  • Cheating in Black and White by Mary Lowe (explains the process of "Doubletone," a way to create art out of existing art) (5)
  • Pits and Ladders by Sharon Gates (fanzine publishing hints) (7)
  • So You Want to Publish a Fanzine by Mary Ann Drach (fanzine publishing hints) (18)
  • Coping with a Backlog by Johanna Cantor (hints about how to get out from under a mountain of commitments) (13)
  • Copy Quicks by Kathleen Lynch (grammar glitches) (15)
  • Copy Kats by Mary Ann Drach ((about capitalization) 18)
  • Letters of Comment (21)
  • Pardon My Blooper (26)
  • Issue of the Issue question proposed for the next issue (which never happened): "Often, an author will make up her own minor characters for a story or series. Is another fan writer justified in borrowing them for her own fiction?"


  1. ^ Vel Jaeger in K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #28
  2. ^ from Datazine #10
  3. ^ from Universal Translator #8
  4. ^ from a letter of comment in "Stylus" #2
  5. ^ from a letter of comment in "Stylus" #2
  6. ^ from a letter of comment in "Stylus" #2
  7. ^ from a letter of comment in "Stylus" #2
  8. ^ from a letter of comment in "Stylus" #2
  9. ^ from a letter of comment in "Stylus" #2
  10. ^ from a letter of comment in "Stylus" #2