The Newspacket’s history

In 1969, the Stephen Leacock Associates decided to mark the centenary of Leacock’s birth by establishing a publication that would keep Associates around the world informed of the organization’s activities. The decision to call it The Newspacket was easy. The name was borrowed directly from Leacock’s Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town. Originally it was a quarterly, but the number of issues, along with its size, shape, and method of production, have changed many times over the ensuing years. And the content has changed as well. No longer is it just a vehicle of communication, ­ although it still serves this very important purpose; it also acts as a showcase for writers of humour.

For many years now, the publication has appeared in September, January and May. However, in the summers of 2001, 2002 and 2003 something new was tried. A special Literary Issue was produced in July of those years. It contained no news of the Associates’ activities; instead, it was made up entirely of articles written about and by Stephen Leacock, reviews of worthy entries for the Stephen Leacock Medal, winning entries from the Student Humorous Story Competitions, and other humorous short stories and articles. Those literary issues were an unqualified success; however, the cost of production became prohibitive and the Newspacket reverted to three issues a year. Some day the organization may find it fiscally feasible to again include an annual literary issue. We certainly hope this will be possible.

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