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Hey gang. I'm writing to ask for your input. I'll be doing a 2-hour workshop on zines for adults next month, and though I have done several zine how-to workshops before this one will be a bit different. First of all the people will be older (I've most often done this with kids and teens), and it's going a bit longer than the hour-long or hour-and-a-half classes I've led before, and also - these participants are paying. I've always done this for free at libraries and book festivals and such, but this class is being done through a continuing ed program and they charge a little money to cover their rental fees. I think this will affect people's expectations, and I want to put on a program that they find useful. 

I know we're all old hands at this, but suppose you weren't. What would you want to come away with from a class like this? I plan to talk about the history of self-publishing a bit, and I thought we'd do two hands-on projects as opposed to my usual one - maybe a zine from one sheet of paper as well as another one - like a group zine perhaps? I don't know. I'd love to hear your suggestions.

Thank you & <3, Katie

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A little background can be nice, but if I paid for anything called a "workshop" I'd want most of the content to be practical.

I think knowing how to do a one-page zine is great.

I'd also want to leave with some sense of how to do layout so that I could assemble pages both by hand and on the computer and then get them printed/copied so they assembled into a zine. So that includes a basic understanding of how you have to order pages so they are in the right order after a zine is folded and stapled.

An introduction to some basic tools is nice: long-arm staplers, bone folders, and paper cutters.

I'd appreciate a crash course on selling zines and networking. You can tell them about some web communities, explain the basic process of getting stores/distros to take things on consignment, and mention setting up a website or etsy store.

I think people will be left the best if they are given some resources they can go to if they want to learn more but also if they'd be able to make a zine and get it out in the world fairly comfortably without consulting any other guides.
Justify making zines as opposed to making blogs. I know I struggled with that a bit before getting into zine-making.
Yes! Interesting, thanks. I think a conversation about the difference between zines and blogs would be useful, and I wouldn't be surprised if one of the participants brings it up.

Brian V said:
Justify making zines as opposed to making blogs. I know I struggled with that a bit before getting into zine-making.
This is very helpful, Dan. Thank you. I especially like your idea to show everyone the basic tools. When I've done this class for younger people it's almost entirely hands-on so I bring a bunch of clip-art and stencils and markers and we just go to town cutting and pasting. This I will do more like a demonstration, so bringing in all the stuff I use to make my own zines makes perfect sense.

I don't know much about doing zine lay-outs using a computer. I often do my writing on my computer, but once I"ve printed it out I just cut it into chunks that will fit on the page size I want to use. Do you lay out your zines on the computer?



Dan C said:
A little background can be nice, but if I paid for anything called a "workshop" I'd want most of the content to be practical.

I think knowing how to do a one-page zine is great.

I'd also want to leave with some sense of how to do layout so that I could assemble pages both by hand and on the computer and then get them printed/copied so they assembled into a zine. So that includes a basic understanding of how you have to order pages so they are in the right order after a zine is folded and stapled.

An introduction to some basic tools is nice: long-arm staplers, bone folders, and paper cutters.

I'd appreciate a crash course on selling zines and networking. You can tell them about some web communities, explain the basic process of getting stores/distros to take things on consignment, and mention setting up a website or etsy store.

I think people will be left the best if they are given some resources they can go to if they want to learn more but also if they'd be able to make a zine and get it out in the world fairly comfortably without consulting any other guides.

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