Years before blogs, digital self-publishing or even ‘zines, the great horror novelist H.P. Lovecraft helped lead the United Amateur Press Association for many years (including the Great Depression).

The association published The United Amateur, a collection of writings by members. Lovecraft also wrote a long column for magazine, writing about different essays, poems and stories written by members—aggregating in the same spirit as contemporary literary bloggers.

You can download a free copy of Lovecraft’s Writings in the United Amateur, 1915-1922 over at Project Gutenberg. Below, I’ve reprinted a copy of an essay Lovecraft wrote for the magazine, sharing writing advice for members. After nearly a century, his advice still holds up.

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“Upon analysis, every piece of writing will be found to contain one or more of the following basic principles: Description, or an account of the appearance of things; Narration, or an account of the actions of things; Exposition, which defines and explains with precision and lucidity; Argument, which discovers truth and rejects error; and Persuasion, which urges to certain thoughts or acts.” (my italics)