Just the facts:
What: Biweekly Montlake Zine Club
Where: Montlake library meeting room
This event is NOT sponsored by The Seattle Public Library
When: Wednesday, October 4th from 6-7:30pm (and every other Wednesday after that until December, when the days will switch to accommodate holidays)
Why: make zines, share zines, meet your neighbors, express yourself!
Who: all are welcome! Please see the non-discrimination and community guidelines below.
Space is limited to 48 people in the room, so if we hit that we unfortunately can’t squeeze more folks in without violating library policies. If we ever get to the point of consistently overflowing, we’ll have to look for an alternative meeting location. #goals 😉
- If you have favorite paper craft supplies, bring those to use (you don’t have to share if you’re particular about your things; no one is allowed to use my fountain pen, so I completely understand). Maybe a pair of scissors, and anything else you might want to include in your zine. National geographics and other magazines make excellent collage fodder.
- 8.5×11″ printer paper, random pens and pencils, and a glue stick will be available.
- Don’t know what to make? No problem, we’ll have an optional Zine prompt and other fun ideas to help inspire you.
- Masks are up to individuals, though the library strongly recommends them. If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask, especially as cold/flu/COVID circulation increases, please do!
- If you are sick or have been exposed to someone who is, please exercise good judgement, keep the health of the community in mind, and either stay home or mask up.
- No food, and drinks only in containers that seal, please. The last thing paper crafters want is their zine in puddles.
We hope you’ll join us!
Answers to questions
What is a zine?
Whatever you want it to be!
Zines are self-published pamphlets containing whatever their creator wants to include. Sometimes they’re just art or photos, sometimes they’re poems. There are zines about personal experiences (“perzines”), zines to talk about your favorite thing (“fanzines”), zines to rant about politics, zines that mean nothing, zines that mean everything, the list goes on and on!
They come in a wide variety of formats, too. You can make a half-sheet zine (one 8.5×11 folded in half; total pages divisible by 4), quarter size (cut the paper in half, either direction, fold those in half and you have your pages; ie. 8 pages per sheet of paper), 1/8th zines (typically these are made using a single sheet, all on one side of the paper, then folded and cut to form an all-in-one booklet), and even teeny tiny 1/16 zines! Some people make zines with popups. Some are “cootie catchers”. The world is your oyster!
Why would I want to make a zine?
You tell me! Folks use zines for creative outlets, for telling people what it’s like to be them, to rant about what irks them, to spread their love of their special interest, to teach skills, to inform, to inspire, and even just for themselves and no one else! If you’re interested, but have no ideas, drop in and see if any of our prompts tickle you, or contribute just one page to the club’s communal zine. You don’t have to be a writer or an artist, no one is going to judge the quality of your zine. A large part of zine making is to buck commercial publishing and make something because YOU want to, not because someone else might want to buy it. Most zinesters don’t make zines to make a profit.
Bonus: it’s a great way to stop using social media and reconnect with the people in your vicinity.
Who makes zines?
All kinds of folks! Seriously. I’ve got a zine a 7yo made about how much they like Minecraft.
The zine community tends to have good representation of folks on the fringe: people of color, queer folks, trans folks, Deaf folks, Blind folks (yes, Blind people make zines and write books), neurodivergent folks, folks who struggle with mental illness, all kinds of folks.
It’s tempting to look at someone’s beautiful, artistic zine and think, “ugh. I couldn’t make something like that” and quit before you start. Stop that. Spit it out.
To reiterate, zines are diverse. There are people making fancy zines because that’s what they want to make. There are people literally just writing or scribbling on paper with sharpies because that’s what they want to make. For some, zines are a form of self-reflection or therapy. For others, zines are art. There is space for both AND.
What do zines look like?
You’ll have to come and find out! 😉 I’ll have a small selection of my personal zine collection for perusal.
Comment and I’ll answer as best I can.
Club Community guidelines
We want to keep this club a welcoming, open, and safe space for everyone; free of discrimination, bullying, and harassment of any kind. We can do this by:
- being respectful
- being aware of our prejudices and insecurities and how our words affect others
- receiving criticism on our behavior gracefully by pausing to actively listen rather than jumping to combative self-defense mode
- providing room for each of us to explore our own identities, allowing others to define their own identities and to speak for themselves
- respecting the privacy of others by maintaining confidentiality, which includes not “outing” people even if they are “out” to us
- keeping inappropriate language to a reasonable minimum
- keeping political and religious discussions civil and respectful
- keeping discussions age-appropriate
- exercising good judgement with NSFW and possibly triggering zine topics. You can and should make whatever zine inspires you, but please be respectful of others’ experiences when sharing. If your zine contains things sensitive topics, gore, violence, explicit sexual content, addiction, self-harm, etc. please check in with the group and respect their collective decision
- not discriminating. The Library does not discriminate based on age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, political ideology, creed, ancestry, or the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability, and we won’t, either.
And library rules:
- Advertisement/self promotion for profit/commercial marketing/solicitation are not allowed
- Use of alcohol or drugs is not allowed
- You may not collect contact information from attendees, as doing so for the purpose of registering, selling, or advertising is prohibited.
- Leave the room clean. Pack in, pack out.