this is my quick, unedited response to recent anons asking about help with starting a zine / motivation!
NOTE! I wrote this just a few hours ago, a little sleep deprived on a long flight back home. it’s not complete and it’s just thoughts off the top of my head. sorry to anyone if it’s visually straining,
@sundayschoolkid totally inspired the zine prompt about making lists (Grace is one of my favorite zine makers + based in l.a. also)
this is my piece for the PCC zine! my prompt was “Pokémon at work (power plant)”. I kinda wanted to do something outside of the “traditional” power plant scene so here are a couple electricians at work on the Sunyshore solar panel walkway!
From the handout I made for the perzine workshop I’ve taught a couple times. Feel free to print it out for your own personal use, or even distribute it (as long as you give me credit and aren’t making $$ off it).
Hello! I super admire your writing and love your zines. I was wondering if you had any recommendations for beginning zinesters who are trying to find some direction?
Well, the first thing I’d recommend to anyone who wanted to get into writing - of any kind - is to read a lot and write a lot. Since you want to get into writing and making zines, specifically, I’d say read all of the zines. Read fanzines and perzines and lit zines and comp zines and how-to zines and political zines and zines that blend some or all of the above. Figure out what you love and what you hate and what you’re indifferent to - in the writing itself but also in the layout and execution. Take the things you love and try to use similar tactics in your own zines. The things you hate or are indifferent to, throw those out.
Here are some other things you might want to check out:
As much as I agree with Cometbus (see: A Call to Arms) that zines and other self-published writing and art should be just as good as - if not better than - anything the big guys produce, and that we shouldn’t just let ourselves produce shoddy work with the mindset that ‘no one cares’ or ‘so what, it’s punk,’ I also don’t think you should hold yourself to an impossible standard, especially with your early zines. I started making zines in 1994. Notice how I haven’t posted anything from any of my zines pre-1997? Yeah, that’s cos my first three years of zine-making were truly cringeworthy. But that’s okay! It took me three years of zining to produce anything that wasn’t a waste of paper, and another two years to produce anything that was even halfway good, and I’d been making zines for nearly a decade before I produced anything I was truly proud of. Don’t let me scare you off; I’m not saying it will take you a decade to make a great zine. What I am saying is: just go for it! Don’t worry if your zine isn’t better than every other zine ever written. It’s still worth it, and you’ll still find people who wanna trade for it and buy it. And here’s something to keep in mind every time you make a zine: once again, don’t worry about making it better than every other zine ever written. Just try and make it better than your last zine.
That was a tangent, but an important one, I think.
You were asking for direction. I’ll repeat what I said at the beginning. Read lots of zines, of all kinds. Figure out what kind of zine you want to make, or what elements of different kinds of zines you want to combine, then go do it.
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS FOR A YET-TO-BE NAMED ZINE FOCUSING ON ACNE/SKIN/BODY POSITIVITY!
subtext: I can’t even name myself how the hell am I going to name a zine jeez
I’ve been having some recent conversations surrounding what body posi movements have accomplished and what they are lacking with folks I care for and one common experience that we brought up was a general lack of representation of what we/our parents/our culture bluntly refers to as “bad skin”; the logical step forward from this seemed to be “hell, let’s compile a zine about it”.
I think the content for this zine in both form and content should be open ended. Photographs, stories, poetry, collage, comics, quotes etc. are totally welcome. In the aforementioned bud talks, we generally agreed that our relationship with our skin was, well, complicated. So you are hardly required to frame your experience with yours in an entirely positive way to contribute. All in all, this project is shakily aiming at uncovering visceral and emotional feelings that we have been convinced to cover at one point or another.
send submissions, questions, and criticisms to email@example.com or ask me for a mailing address! & give this a reblog if you care to! <3
a/s/l?: a zine about non-binary identities on the internet
what is a/s/l? The Internet has cultivated a unique atmosphere in which the physical body is, so to speak, optional and identities are not constrained by the limitations of embodiment.
The Internet creates an entirely new terrain through which to explore and shape gender.a/s/l? is a zine + project aimed at exploring how non-binary identity and gender expression interact uniquely in that environment.
submissions! This is an open call for submissions from anyone who self-identifies as non-binary, gender non-conforming, genderfluid/genderqueer/genderweird, trans, agender, gender questioning, etc.
The theme is, very loosely, non-binary gender and the internet, which leaves a lot of creative breathing room! Submit your art, an essay, a poem, a screenshot of that dude who won’t stop harassing you on okcupid, a forum rant. Send me your nb fursonas, that criminally underrated text post you made, your fly-ass selfie from last weekend, anything!
If you’re looking for a place to start, consider the title of the zine as a prompt of sorts.
Someone sends a brief message, anonymous and unexpected. The window flashes:
about me +background I am a 22 yr old non-binary/agender student at nyu. a/s/l? is part of a final project for my gender and communication class. This zine is by a non-binary person, about non-binary people and how folks have used technology and digital spaces to shape and express their gender (or lack thereof).
This project is not for any sort of financial gain. Given free-reign on the project, I wanted to explore to subject matter close to me.
disclaimer The other side of this project is an academic paper, and that language is reflected in the project. However, I’m fully aware that a lot of the language and heady theory in academia (esp. gender studies) is very inaccessible and that’s bullshit.
The zine is supposed to facilitate a more free-form way in which to explore these idea. Genuine expression is much more important in this case than any sort of background knowledge on gender theory. That said, if anything here is inaccessible, please let me know and I will do my best to communicate my ideas more clearly.
!!!SUBMIT!!! Please direct all submissions and questions to me (Piper/beretta-bite) at pcm291@nyu with the subject: ‘a/s/l? Zine'
Please include along with your submission: How you want to be credited: Name, username, url, etc. Your pronouns: Your pronouns will be included in the credits for your submission Any accompanying text for your submission: A title, description, anything you want included with your submission. Are you interested in receiving a physical copy of this zine when it’s complete?: My goal is to be able to send a physical copy to anyone who takes the time to send a submission! Please indicate yes or no (and if multiple copies, how many you want.)
Final deadline for submissions is Monday, December 1st! Please reblog and signal boost!