Over the course of March, I have been taking part in a little challenge called Mini-Zine March, hosted by Sea Green Zines. Over four weeks, I made four very different mini-zines, and I would love to share why I think you should write them too. Here is a link to my first post.
Let’s start with: what, exactly, are mini zines? Mini zines are eight-page mini booklets in which you write whatever you want; they’re usually associated with underground organisations, so they’re great for individuals who want to express something but don’t know how.
Here’s a template of one –> To make up the zine, take a piece of A4 (or A3 if you want A5 sheets of paper) and fold along the block lines. Cut along the dotted line, and fold in half long-ways. Take the ends of the zine (pg 1 and cover, and pg 4 and 5) and squish them together in the middle! It should create a cross-shape – simply bend into a little book. Simples!
Over Mini-Zine March, I made four mini zines – one for every weekend of the month. They were called Pictures and Poems, Doodles in Biro, These Are My Teeth, and Words I Like Saying. #1 and #3 were poems; #2 was just drawings; and #4 was, of course, words, with little doodles of the words underneath.
One of my favourite things about making zines is how rewarding it is. It’s so humbling and exciting to see your writing in print! Admittedly, you printed it yourself, either on a crappy home printer or paying a lot for a university printer (sigh), but it’s still your words in print! Especially if, like me, you don’t even print your short stories out prettily, it can just be awesome to see them on a piece of paper. Folded into a little booklet is something else, though.
I was also excited because I knew I could do whatever I wanted to. I wanted to write in the style of Amanda Hocking and Rupi Kaur; so I could. I wanted to do doodles of puppies and thimbles; so I did. I wanted to do experiments in graphic design; so I made it happen. Zines mean no restrictions, and that is a really exciting prospect to have!
They were also super quick to make, if that’s what you’re worrying about. At most, I spent about 4 – 5 hours on one zine. Relatively speaking, that doesn’t take long! So overall, I’ve spent about 20 hours on my zines this month, slightly less than one day (although of course that doesn’t cover the inspiration time). But I reckon that you could easily make a mini zine in an hour or two if you really wanted to!
I think you should write zines because they are fun and exciting and new and you. Zines are so individual and personal, which is one of the reasons I love reading them; for example, Ariel Bissett’s zine #NonSpon is full of products she loves, which simply gives an insight to her as a person. One of the zines I wrote in March was so personal that many tears were shed writing it.
The downside to mini zines, of course, is that they are mini. I want to expand my zines, especially These Are My Teeth, and I may well write many more poems and collect them into bigger zines. Nevertheless, this has been an important starting point, but more importantly: it’s shown me that I want to do more!
An example of this: Doodles in Biro is, in my opinion, mostly crap. I am not a drawing artist, so although I really like some doodles, the back and front cover especially make me shiver. Y’know what? Ah well. I’m not giving up, as evidenced by Words I Like Saying, but I know that doing zines filled with drawings is not in my forte.
So why should you write zines? Because you want to! But even if you’re a bit nervous, give it a go anyway. You might discover something new and awesome that you absolutely love.
Tell me: have you ever written a zine? Would you ever want to in the future? If you’ve written one, what would you say to someone who hasn’t? 🙂