Underground Literary Alliance
The Underground Literary Alliance is a Philadelphia-based, but internationally membered, group of writers, zinesters and DIY writers who seek to expose what they see as the corruption and insularity in the American book-publishing establishment while providing alternative avenues for writers who don't easily fit into mainstream institutions and agendas.
Among many other activities, they have gained considerable attention for their exposure of an insular literary practice whereby establishment authors serve on juries to award monetary prizes to their writing friends. In particular they have been able to point out cases where the prizewinning authors are in fact already wealthy, and thus can be seen as taking money from other authors who actually need it.
In general the ULA favors direct, vernacular writing over the more cryptic and mannered styles of the present-day academy. They present their literary aesthetic in their communal compzine, Slush Pile.
A quote from Karl Wenclas, the organization's Publicity Director: "The Underground Literary Alliance is the most controversial writer's group in America. They stand up for writers, expose corruption in the publishing world, and work to create a fun & exciting alternative to the literary mainstream."