A ZINE DIRECTORY self publish NOW!
To launch the Time Is Now season we produced a one off newspaper to accompany the program and inform the content of this site. The inspiration behind the project came directly from the zines we, your editors are involved in. The DIY ethos that drives the work we do is, we hope echoed in the content we have commissioned – if you're not seeing the media you want around you, make it yourself!
So, what is a zine anyway? In it simplest terms, a zine is most commonly a hand made, photocopied (or otherwise cheaply produced) small circulation self published magazine. Zines have historically been a way for groups and individuals to express opinions that may fall outside the remit of mainstream publishing, and often offer a financially viable alternative. In making a zine you are effectively your own editor, publisher, distributor and boss, there are no requirements and no rules.
Zines can often help us make a tangible connection to our own personal histories and in turn can help ground us in the present. Zine making can be a great way to engage with your community, make friends, and share stories and experiences. Many zinesters sell and swap their zines through the mail, online or at gigs, zine fests and libraries. I spoke to a few of my favourite zine makers about how they got into making zines, and why self publishing works for them -
I got into zines because the things I wanted to read didn't seem to exist and I was really frustrated by this. I thought: "Someone should write about - hey wait, I'M someone". Once I realised this I just started writing. Eventually this writing turned into my first zine, Angry Violist. It was a bit scary and daunting at first and made me feel very self-conscious but as I got more and more into the writing and the whole zine scene, the freedom to write whatever I wanted, however I wanted to write it, became intoxicating.voices and experiences that come through in zines. Mainstream media seems monotonous and drab compared to the cuss-ridden, spelling-mistake strewn rants, raves and monologues you find in zines. Why would you want it any other way?Emma, Hedgehog in the Fog & Angry Violist zine
Growing up queer and weird in a small northern town pre-internet, zines were my life-line to bands + people + activism + art. They were tangible. I could hold them in my hand and make them tatty from how many times I re-read them. The zines I read were accessible and cheap or free and contained no photoshop or design skills so I knew instantly that I could make them too. I made zines as a way to communicate with other people, to get myself some friends, and to tell everyone about my views on how much I loved Manda_Rin from bis’ hair and how good East 17 album tracks were. My first zines were fanzines, telling the world what I loved and why and relating it to my northern working class teenage experience. 15 years later and I have 2 things now which I didn’t then – friends and the internet. But zines are still integral to my life. I like that zines can exist outside of academia and proper media. I like that zines can coexist with my tumblr and my blog, and both are relevant and fun outlets for creativity and sharing ideas. I can publish a zine in a day and have something tangible to share with others. I can make myself visible as queer and fat and northern, I can use my zines as a platform to discuss ideas and share information and these ideas can live on and be shared outside of my immediate social circle.
Seleena Laverne Daye, Sugar Paper, Poor Lass and Brown Girl zine
I'm not sure when I first heard about zines, could have been in the back of the music magazines my sister used to read, could have been Teletext, it could have been in a copy of J17. I just knew that they sounded cool. When I was 14/15 I started getting a bunch of penpals who liked the same music as me, some made zines, we used to send flyers for zines through the post. I was 15 when I made my first zine and that was mostly thanks to my then penpal and now lifelong friend Holly, she was super cool! Around my late teens/early 20s I thought I was getting too old to make zines, so went on a zine making hiatus! A couple of years later I realised the error in my ways and started making zines again.16 years after making my first zine I make more than I ever had and enjoy more than I ever did!
I think what I love about ZINES is that there are no limitations to what you get to do with them. They don't need to please anyone but yourself, they can be about anything. You have full creative control over the production and distribution!
Ingrid, Mythologising Me Zine
Here we have prioritised UK zine projects and collectives, particularly (but not exclusively) those run by and for girls. Maybe you're looking for collaborators or submissions for your own zine, maybe you've made a zine and you want some help distributing it, or you're simply curious – take a look through our Zine Directory.