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I have no idea what I am doing and am freaking out! How would you go about teaching a zine workshop or throwing a "zine party"? I just need to pick someone else's brain for some new ideas!

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some samples of diff styles of zines is always a good place to start... something to pass around and give people ideas of what zines can be...
I was freaking out a few months ago as i had decided to do a workshop as well (first time). It went great and i have photos up of the process! Here's some ideas for the workshop...

-do a little research i found a few great artickles at ZINEWORLD under resources...VERY HELPFUL! http://www.undergroundpress.org/columns/#bringingZines

--Have a plan! i gave a little zine history talk(nerve racking), and asked questions to see who was familiar with zines and who wasn't before beginning.

-bring a whole mess of zines to show the huge of variety of what a zine can be(size, binding,topic,perzine,photo,political,etc.,)

-have plenty of supplies :glue sticks, scissors, markers, pens, paper,stamps, magazines....the imagination continues on...

-know what kind of zine your going to create! As an example, for my zine workshop i asked everyone to do one half page (8 1/2x11 folded in half)of anything they wanted. we had seven people (including me). that was nearly two pages front and back. Someone was feeling ambitious and did a full page. We had two hours which turned out to be just right.

-I handled the cover. One full page front and back including a little explanation of what the zine was about and had everyone involved sign there names.
-I handled the cost of printing. if your lucky enough to have a print shop close GO DIRECTLY THERE w/ the group. THE MORE HANDS ON THE BETTER! Everyone left with a full knowledge of the process! AND A ZINE THEY MADE!!!
-I gave everyone a zine ABOUT making zines they could use as a reference later on when they forgot what i told them :)

thats the gist. It was a great experience and i can hardly wait to set up the next one. Have fun with it OH! and bring music! that was one thing a bit unnerving....sitting in a coffee shop creating in silence no bueno! thats one thing i wont forget the second time around!! let me know how it turns out!!!

if you have any more questions about my experience just ask! :)

-jeffrey in vegas
i agree with everything kami and jeffrey suggest. i did a lot of zine workshops for a while, for young women and then for queer seniors through a local community center.

a group zine is a good way to start. people learn the basic skills and, more importantly at least with the people i was working with, loosen up about their art and writing.

if people are having trouble with their pages, choosing an organizing theme can be helpful. maybe see if the group has a theme they'd like to do. maybe there's even an obvious one depending on who you're working with. make sure to come with a few suggestions in case people blank, can't agree or just need an idea of what you mean.

if you're going to be responsible for assembling and distributing the group zine--if it's a one day workshop, for example--make sure it's something that's easy for you to do. if that means, full size/ 8.5 x 11" / A4, so be it. personally, i found that the seniors really preferred working in that size. it's also good because the pagination is multiples of 2 rather than 4. consider doing something easy and convenient for you even if you'll have help photocopying and assembling. i found it helped me be able to focus more on participants.

if you do have everyone make their own zine, the single sheet of paper with the slit on the top folded into an eighth sized zine is a great one. (here's a picture: http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/projects/mini_zine) it's also good for a sort of exquisite corpse. there's no problem with an odd number of people and it's still only one page for you to copy/print, though assembly can be a pain.

bring collage materials. people who might feel self-conscious about their drawing or writing might feel freer working with pre-existing materials.

my zine motto is, "work with what you have." sometimes you can up with something really great if you work within whatever limitations you have whether they are space, time, materials or whatever.

make a loose schedule or agenda before you go and don't try to fit too many things in. if it's happy and fun, it's going to take longer than you think so i suggest just planning a few structured activities with plenty of time for working on stuff. and i guess as a corollary --be prepared to jettison parts of your presentation or activities for the sake of happy fun and people having time to get something done.

oh, yeah, and like jeffrey, i also give out a zine about making zines that i made with a friend. besides being a nice little reminder, it helped me get my head straight about what i was trying to teach people.

I am hosting a kind of workshop this month and have decided to start it right off with a simple project which will produce an instant zine.
one sheet 8.5x11
fold twice
(8 sides)...

i made a MODEL called....INSTA-ZINE
ephemera and words and scissorings
and montage/collage and gifts and
colors and 'found-things' that
might fill those 8 pages

MODEL goes anywhere in the world inside a small envelope
I once volunteered to help teach a zine workshop at the local library. No one showed up.
I would also go over mock-ups, especially if you are going to produce a zine that is a multiple of 4 pages (if you're going with half-letter sheets). Other than that, everyone else seemed to have it covered!
I would use the Stolen Sharpie Revolution as my guide. I would also read some articles from ZINE WORLD- they have super helpful tips about distros and sending your stuff out for review. Also bring examples that you really like! Maybe you could have a zinester guest speaker! Have fun!



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