AASFE (now SFJ) started at the American Press Institute, then located at Columbia University. In 1947, 17 Sunday editors (all men) at newspapers ranging from the Williamsport (Pa.) Grit to The New York Times had just finished a two-week seminar. Enjoying their give-and-take, they agreed to meet at API a year later.
Thus was born the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors. The association’s early annual meetings alternated between API offices in New York City and various cities around the U.S., where they were hosted by the cities’ newspapers. (In 1956, the host-paper practice became the norm.) Membership ceilings kept the meetings small until the ’70s, when the AASFE began to grow. Membership exceeded 200 in the 1990s.
The group voted to change its name from AASFE to the Society for Features Journalism in January 2011.