13 June 2015

Day 13: Zines, Zines, Zines

Zines, in the words of Rookie’s Emma Dajska, are “self-published, small-circulation, often nonprofit books, papers, or websites. They usually deal with topics too controversial or niche for mainstream media, presented in an unpolished layout and unusual design.” The powerful thing about zines is that you are in complete control: there’s no strict form or guidelines to follow. It can be as zany or as organised as you want! Anyone can create a zine, about any given topic. Creating your own zine means you can fill as many roles as you like—writer, editor, illustrator, designer and distributor. Or get your friends together and collaborate on a unique piece of art. Check out Rookie’s how-to guide to get started.

Self-publisher Tsari Paxton spoke to Time Out about the importance of finding your niche, but still making your zines relatable to a broader audience.

“Many zines thrive on obscurity; like collages that depict what the maker ate for breakfast one week or a hand-drawn depiction of all four seasons of Glee. While you mustn’t lose what makes your zine unique, try to make something that people can relate to so someone other than your best friend ends up reading the thing.”

Sticky Institute is Melbourne’s home for zines. It’s a non-profit arts space dedicated to Australian and international zine culture, and the best part is you can submit your own zines to be stocked there. Take a stroll down Degraves Street in Melbourne and visit the underground zine wonderland. If you can’t get to Melbourne, jump online and submit your work anyway!

You can also distribute in Sydney through The Rizzeria, a collectiove of self-publishers and printmakers, based in Sydney’s inner-West. Check out the work online, head to their shop and get your print on.

But, if you just want to contribute your writing, The Suburban Review, a zine that prodices both online and offline content, is keen to hear from you. They want writers from all around Australia, and the world, to get involved. They’ve got open submissions for Volume 6, and themed submissions of True Equals False for The Corner on their website. Check out the submission requirements and set yourself the goal of submitting by the end of National Young Writers’ Month.

Two zinesters we love are Cameron Baker and Vanessa Berry. Check out their different styles, buy some zines, then go forth, create, and collaborate! Whether it’s meant for the shelves of Sticky Institute, to share between friends or for your eyes only, zines are a great outlet of creative expression.

NYWM Challenge

It’s writing sprint time! Let’s try one hour of uninterrupted and unedited writing. That means no peeking at your Facebook page, and no standing at the fridge door waiting for food to appear. Grab yourself a cup of tea, set the timer to 60 minutes, and start writing!