OVERVIEW OF THE PUPPETRY JOURNAL
The Puppetry Journal is the official magazine of the Puppeteers of America. It is published four times a year to members of the organization. Each issue is about forty full color pages.
In each Journal, we produce a mix of articles, photographs, columns and other features – a mix that documents contemporary puppetry and profiles the work of contemporary puppeteers, but also explores the legacy of our historic and fascinating art.
The Puppetry Journal has a 68-year history of providing an ongoing chronicle of American puppetry
The Puppetry Journal is not sold on newsstands and not currently offered as an online publication, though from time to time selected articles will be featured on this website. The magazine is available only as a hard-copy publication, mainly to members as part of their membership (and to libraries around the country by subscription).
WHO PUTS THE JOURNAL TOGETHER?
The current editor is Steve Abrams, of Philadelphia, and the designer is Amy Rush, of New York. The magazine is printed and mailed by Modern Litho in Jefferson City, Missouri. Our columnists work in California, Iowa, Florida, Pennsylvania; and contributors are from all over the United States and Canada, and occasionally other parts of the world.
WHO MAY SUBMIT ARTICLES?
Anyone with an idea may submit an article, and/or photographs. The submission process is very easy and informal. Send an email to the editor, Steve Abrams at firstname.lastname@example.org, and describe what you want to write or what you wish to submit. He will give you the guidelines about word length, picture specifications, and the best way to send your work electronically.
Generally the word length of most articles is 1000 to 1500 words. But shorter articles are fine, and longer articles are possible. Photographs should be high-resolution: 300 dpi. Pre-digital photographs (historical, for example) may be mailed to the editor for scanning.
DOES THE JOURNAL ACCEPT ADVERTISING?
The Puppetry Journal prints a limited number of ads, both black and white and color. Click here for a schedule of sizes and rates. Contact the editor to find out what space is available in an upcoming issue, and to reserve space for your ad. He will also give you the specifications for ad format, etc.
HOW LONG HAS THE PUPPETRY JOURNAL BEEN IN EXISTENCE?
Volume one of Puppetry Journal dates from July 1949, but its legacy goes back to 1930. In 1930 Paul McPharlin published the first of his annual Puppetry Yearbooks. The Puppetry Yearbook later became an official publication of the Puppeteers of America. Paul McPharlin (1903-1948) was a puppeteer, author, scholar, and founder of Puppeteers of America. When the organization was launched in 1937 Paul McPharlin became the editor of mimeographed newsletter called “The Grapevine Telegraph.” Each issue was a compilation of news and opinion with a sprinkling of “how-to” articles. Marjorie Batchelder McPharlin became the second editor the Grapevine. Original copies of both the Yearbooks and the Grapevine Telegraph newsletters are quite rare, but Luman Coad, of Charlemagne Press in British Columbia, has carefully scanned all the McPharlin Yearbooks and all issues of the Grapevine Telegraph, and has now made CDs available through the Puppeteers of America’s Puppetry Store. In 1948 George Latshaw, a young puppeteer from Ohio, had a new vision for the Grapevine. In 1949 George Latshaw was the founding editor of Puppetry Journal.
At that time it was a small format magazine (5.5 ” wide by 8.5″ high), with a centerfold of black and white photographs. It was issued six times a year. (That format would be continued until 1982.) Meanwhile, after about a year as editor, George Latshaw had to devote his energy to his career as a puppeteer and the editor’s job was taken over by Vivian Michael, also of Ohio. She would continue in that role (and also operate the mail-order Puppetry Store) until 1967.
For about a year the next editor was Herman London, until he was replaced by Don Avery of Missouri. Mr. Avery continued until 1982. In that year the Journal changed to its current 8.5″ by 11″ format, and the editor for one year was Maureen Casey.
In 1982 Puppetry Journal was changed to its current 8.5” by 11” format and began publishing four times a year instead of six issues a year. The editor at the time was Maureen Casey In 1983, the same George Latshaw who had established the magazine some 35 years earlier, resumed the role of editor, assisted by his wife, Pat Latshaw. They would continue together until 1999, until they were succeeded by Paul Eide.
INDEX TO PAST ISSUES
There are two ways to search for content in past issues of the Puppetry Journal.
- Luman Coad, Charlemagne Press, maintains a complete index to all issues of the Puppetry Journal, from the beginning, and that is available as a searchable CD. Click here to purchase the Puppetry Journal Volume 1 DVD for past issues from 1949-1980.
- This website also maintains a complete index to Puppetry Journals printed since 1983.
FOLLOWING UP ON A SUCCESSFUL SEARCH
Most members build up a collection of their Puppetry Journals, and obviously searching the index is most useful if it comes up with content contained in magazines you already own – you just want a clue about where to look. However if you have found a reference to something not in your collection, we can help you track it down. Some issues printed after 1999 may be available for purchase; or we frequently assist members who may need to examine earlier articles by scanning and producing PDF files that can be sent electronically. Route your inquiries through our contact page.