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Topic: zines...where to start?  (Read 1308 times)
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fruithead
« on: August 15, 2005 02:49:24 PM »

so i've always loved writing and have studied journalism and am thinking i'd like to start my own zine (online or paper, haven't decided). it's an idea i've toyed with for years but i've never been sure where to start. i tried a while back but was a little too ambitious and got overwhelmed and it never even got off the ground.

for those of you with zines, past or present, or a good knowledge of zines, how did you get started? did you pick a theme or genre or just do whatever? i live in a boring suburb without a lot of access to zines so i haven't really read many. i've read about zine-writing on the web but i'd like the opinions of some of you crafty people.

any thoughts/ideas/websites, etc. are welcome Smiley
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mllejessy
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2005 03:00:10 PM »

I'd like to second the request for info.
My plans for Teen Read Week this year involve getting patrons to start zines and blogs.
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fruithead
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2005 09:17:03 AM »

you're a librarian? that's awesome. i've always thought about it but there's a lot of schooling involved, isn't there. what did you take as an undergrad? anyway, if i do find good places for info i'll share them here.
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mllejessy
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2005 10:19:11 AM »

Actually, there is very little school involved, compared to most professional degrees.  The University of Kentucky program, for example, is only about 36 credits, which can be done in 3 semesters, if you have nothing better to do.
My undergrad is from the University of Pittsburgh, and is in film studies, proving that, no matter how useless your undergrad degree may seem, there's a place for you in library school.
However!  I would caution anyone thinking about becoming a librarian right now that it is VERY HARD to find a job.  The American Library Association has been heavily promoting library school, and is all worried about "the aging profession" etc, but there just aren't that many openings for people with MLSs.  I was very lucky, but I know others who were looking for months, over a year even in some cases.
I don't want to scare anyone but no one in librarianship, aside from recently minted and underemployed librarians seem to be talking about this!
(and I'm totally off topic, too--uh, zines! Tongue
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fruithead
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2005 11:23:54 AM »

i worked in a library for nearly all my high school years and never once did i see a librarian position open. in the library i worked only one of the women on staff was an actual librarian and the rest were just library clerks with no formal education in library studies so here (in canada) i have a feeling librarian openings are hard to come by. in canada (ontario, at least), it's a four year undergrad degree plus a year or so masters. since i'm going into my first year of university, at least its an option.

anyway, i think i'm allowed to change the topic if i started the thread plus we have to do something to occupy our time till someone else responds.
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auzzi
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2006 12:57:56 PM »

it's been awhile since the last post but oh well... i'm not a zine expert and i'm in the same stage as you (trying to start my first zine) but the website zinebook.com has tons of resources. check under zine help for lots of articles by different zinesters on how to start. also brokenpencil.com is a site with zine/e-zine reviews, zine excerpts and lots of lists of zines and e-zines so you can read some and get a feel for the style. most of the reviews have contact info and price of zines so you can get a copy of them. hope this helps a little bit and good luck.
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Laney
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2006 01:06:45 PM »

This is something I've been thinking about doing as well. I love to write... but I just can't seem to face sending off anything to a big company and possibly be rejected.  Undecided So, a self-published zine, I think, is the way to go.

I have a little book about writing and making zines. The first rule of thumb is: keep it simple, at least when you're first beginning. Keep in consideration how much time and money you'll be putting into this project, and how many times a year you want to publish a zine (monthly, four times a year, etc.)
Then, decide what type of writing and what kind of subjects you want to write about that will fill your zine. What about pictures? At this point, I would go online and look around the websites previously mentioned and get a feel for what others are doing.
After you've decided how you want to go about it, then just start. Make your first issue small and simple, and see how many people you can get to read it. After your first trial-and-error run, you'll have a better idea of what works and what doesn't.

Now I'm all inspired to start my own zine. Thanks!  Grin  And good luck with yours. Smiley
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mollyx
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2006 03:25:25 PM »

Oh, man, I love zines. I actually like the random, I-did-this-in-one-night, god-bless- 24/7-Kinkos ones the best. If it's too slick, it feels less personal. All of mine were copied at Kinko's in the wee hours of the morning and given to about fifteen people cuz that's all I could afford to make.

I use a typewriter to type some text and handwrite the rest, some rubber cement and an x-acto knife. I also draw some crappy little graphics or bribe my comic artist partner to draw something for me. I think my best resource was taking journalism in a high school where we were in charge of the layout. We didn't have a computer to do this, so we had to print, cut, arrange and glue all the articles, headlines and graphics on boards and send them to the printer. Oh, how I miss that. I learned a lot about flow and layout in that class without the aid of fancypants publishing programs.

My best advice would be to just go for it. The best zines are ones that are unadulterated by someone else's view of what a zine should be or look like. I have so many wonderful zines from very talented people all over the world and not a single one is alike. Write what you want and give it away.

Would any one be interested in a zine swap? Or has there already been one? Cuz I've been dying to do another zine and this would be the perfect motivation.

Sidenote- I've been a library circulation clerk for four years in a public library and am still debating getting my MLS. I love working in libraries, but do I really want to go to school for it?
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trisarahtop
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2006 12:45:26 AM »

If you want to make a zine, just make a zine. I spent 10 years zining on and off, and still read them a lot. Just come up with a theme. Even though I had the most success with a personal zine, now I find they're really boring to read. The best zine I've read lately was "Slave to the Needles," a really well-made off-set printed zine about knitting.

Once you have a theme, whatever it is, just write stuff for it. And read it critically if you want people to enjoy it or take it at all seriously. There's something to be said for zines that are put together really quickly and whatever, but I would recommend not having spelling errors or ridiculous grammar mistakes, and make sure it's interesting. That's the absolute biggest thing.

If you're looking at zines as a way to get into journalism, personally made zines might not be the best way. If the zine looks professional (xeroxed 8 1/2 x 11 paper generally isn't), that's good. That's really good. But a publisher isn't going to take it as seriously as something that was published by someone else. If you want to use zines to just get comfortable writing so you can be a professional journalist, that totally works. But you'll have to write something and submit it to a magazine, newspaper, or publisher. I would recommend going independent. Send things to smaller publications first, and work your way up. Of course, if you just want to do a zine, just do it. Don't think twice, just jump into it. I didn't even know what a zine WAS when I first started doing it, I thought it was so novel (I was 7). I just wanted to make a fake newspaper with my friends, and we did it.
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rockfullofawesome
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« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2006 07:24:33 PM »

Hi guys! I know this is an old topic, but I wanted to share my two cents.

Zines are awesome, and they are a great way to express yourself. My partner and I run Dirty Napkin Distro (dirty_napkin.livejo urnal.com), and zines are some of our favorite things to carry. No matter how silly or uninteresting you may find a zine that you have created (which happens to me frequently), I can guarentee that someone out there will think it's the best thing since soymilk.

So in conclusion:

     Write lots of zines.
     Send them to us to distribute!
     Have fun!
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