Slate & Style
Lori Stayer, a founding member of this division and the long-time editor of Slate and Style has written a history of the establishment of this magazine that is closely linked to the founding of the NFB Writers' Division itself. This is what she has to say:
Upon the founding of the National Federation of the Blind Writers' Division I was assigned to write a newsletter. In those days, I had a manual typewriter, period. I liked it because I could type even during blackouts. Hurricane Gloria put paid to our electricity for nearly a week, and I was able to prepare the newsletter, though I think that might have been a couple of years down the line. Initially it took six or eight months to do the newsletter. We had four pages, with contributions from Lucy Carpenter (since deceased), Rick Plumstead, myself, and Dan Hicks. Since I didn't have large print, I typed the whole thing in capital letters and hoped that would do. Our chief format was the cassette tape. We had fifteen members. At our height, we had around 200, and at the moment we have between a hundred and a hundred fifty, but many people who have been members have gone on to become published writers.
Our first newsletter was finished. So Pam, who was by then President, said, "Do another." And Nancy Scott got on the phone and said, "I'll help." So we hammered out another newsletter. One became two, two became three, and three became four, so Slate & Style is now a quarterly. The magazine was named by Dan Hicks in a contest for a title.
David obtained a Smith Corona electric typewriter with a one line print out so I could avoid some mistakes (otherwise corrected by white out). An antique dealer stole my manual Olympia Typewriter (don't ask). I went through several electric typewriters, none very good, until my first Word Processor, a Brother, whose disks are now not compatible with today's computers. This wore out, so I went to a second Word Processor, which could produce ASCII files, as well as large print type, and from this to a computer. I'm now on my third computer.
We went to Braille somewhere along the way, not sure exactly when. Initially we charged $20 per issue for Braille, but now we charge only the $10 membership fee for all, no matter the format. Our newsletter now appears in Large Print, Email and Braille. The tape version has been discontinued.
The most exciting chapter in the history of Slate and Style opened with the launch of our greatly enhanced World-Wide Web Site. Peter Donahue of Texas is an experienced webmaster and is well-known in the NFB for his work in creating affiliate and division Web Sites. We regularly post issues of Slate and Style online and will continue to build an archive of Slate & Style issues in the coming months and years. He challenged us to build an archive containing every issue of the magazine which can be converted to an electronic format. This is an on-going division project that will greatly benefit blind writers and others in the blind community.
The magazine is currently available for online reading or can be downloaded in ASCII, Rich Text, or inMicrosoft Word Format. We are exploring the possibility of making it available on the Web site in audio formats as well.
For questions, further assistance with subscriptions, and article submissions please contact robert Lesley Newman, Interim Editor of Slate and Style by using the information given below:
Slate & StyleEditor, Robert Lesley Newman
504 South 57th Street
Omaha, Nebraska 68106-1202
Phone: : 402-556-3216