We Make Zines

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How do you go about introducing people to zines through workshops?

I'm running a 2 hour "workshop/discussion/whatever" on zines tomorrow for my university and was wondering if anyone had any tips of how to go about it.

We won't be making a compilation zine because a) people probably wouldn't come if that were sprung on them and b) the women's group at my uni has it's own zine and I want to have a bit of discussion about the future of that.

Alex Wrekk and a 2 other successful zinesters are coming along as well!

So yeah, any suggestions/tips/ideas?? (I do have a plan... I'm not really this last minute... but I thought it would still be worth asking...)

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I often bring zines and magazines and start by asking then what they think the difference is. Also, getting audience participation and asking what they think zines are is a good place to start too.
i always start workshops by doing a go-round with names & everyone says why they came to the workshop & what they are hoping to get out of it. that way, people who have a really specific topic or question on their minds can, i guess, help lead discussion in that way. this technique doesn't always work...at the last zine workshop i did (like two weeks ago), i did this & most people were like, "i want to learn how to make a zine." & i was thinking, okay, you have no idea how broad that is, do you? do you want to talk writing techniques, layout ideas, how to make a flat, etc etc? i try to ask to get a sense of experience levels & how basic to make the discussion, & also so i can pick out the especially curious/advanced people in the room & give them special attention, so they don't feel condescended to, you know?

it's always a great idea to bring a lot of different zines for people to look at. people love that & it can generate discussion if they ask you about different sizes, how to achieve different layout effects, etc.

but really, there is a reason why a lot of zine fests have an entire weekend of zine-themed workshops. "a workshop about zines" is not very specific. you can help narrow the focus by asking attendees what they want to learn, but there are so many different kinds of zine workshops...i've done workshops on computer-free layout, editing, starting a zine distro, zine distribution for people without distros, even just how to make a flat. plus all the other stuff: bookbinding, an overview of photocopiers, blockprinting, collaborative zines, etc etc etc.

i guess if this workshop really is just an intro to "what's a zine," i'd say, bring some zines so people can see how many different kids there are, & ask people why they came. i mean, why would anyone go to a zine about "what's a zine" if they really had no clue what a zine was? maybe folks will show up for reasons you could have never anticipated. i went & saw cindy from "doris" give a talk to a bunch of harvard students & older women from cambridge (very posh intellectual part of boston, where the harvard campus is located) & a lot of people there wanted cindy to talk about the memoir movement in book publishing & how it related to zines. cindy seemed flummoxed by this concept, since we as zinesters know that zines are really different from memoirs. it was interesting, the weird expectations people brought to the event.
wow, thanks. this is the information I've been looking for. I am in the process of collecting zines for my workshop I'm planning in July during Zine Month. Anxiously awaiting other replies..


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