First of all, how do we define a Zine? The Dictionary defines it as "a small-circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images, usually reproduced via a copy machine. Zines are the product of either a single person or a small group and are popularly photocopied into physical prints for circulation."
Just like literary magazines and journals, there are also an overwhelming amount of beautifully made, interesting zines out there. But In the ocean of countless independent publishers, where do we start searching? Here are some of my favorite zines to inspire you and hopefully motivate you to find more.
1. Sick Magazine
"SICK is an independent, thoughtful magazine by chronically ill & disabled people, founded & edited by Olivia Spring and designed by Kaiya Waerea. Founded in Norwich, UK in 2019, SICK is currently based out of Maine, USA and London, UK.
SICK is committed to elevating the voices of sick & disabled people by publishing essays, features, poetry, visual art, interviews, and more. Our aim is to increase representation of sick & disabled people in publishing and the arts, and to challenge the harmful stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding disability."
2. Feels Zine
"Feels is, well, a publication about feelings. It is a place to explore, to share, and to be honest. Having an open dialogue about what’s going on inside of us can foster meaningful connections and make us feel less alone, especially in the social-media era that asks us to curate and polish our lives and feelings before sharing them — if we share them at all. Feels believes there are no good or bad feelings — the value comes from how we relate to them, how we experience them, and what we learn from them."
"fragile, disorienting, breakable, naive, hesitant, loving, lusting, leaking, trembling, terrifying, fucking (FDBNHLLLTTF) Publications are self-published by designers and writers Kaiya Waerea & Sophie Paul. They are assembled through short turn around open calls bringing together fresh and messy writing concerned with de–sign, academia, art and performance."
4. Nerve Zine
"Nerve is an intersectional print zine platforming the voices of marginalised genders."
5. Fems Zine
"F*EMS (Females* for Equality Making Stuff) is a Melbourne based collective for women & non-binary people to creatively express themselves by contributing to our triannual zine. We encourage people to use our zine, in addition to the accompanying events we organise (exhibitions, workshops, markets, etc), as a platform to have their voices heard.
F*EMS is run by Anna MacNeill, Freya Alexander & Tegan Iversen."
6. Dear Damsels
"Dear Damsels is a publishing platform and writing community sharing the words and stories of women. Since setting up in January 2016, we’ve been giving women the space to come together, use their voice, and get a resounding response back. We’ve published over 400 women writers online and in print, and continue to host regular open submission periods, asking for your words and stories on a new theme every two months."
7. Dear Movies Zine
"Dear Movies is a zine for people who love film. It’s a collection of love letters to cinema celebrating the films we’re obsessed with, the films that made an impression, the films we can’t help but tell everyone we know about. We don't care if your favourite film is critically acclaimed or has a 20% rating on Rotten Tomatoes - we just want to hear what film means to you."
8. Filler Zine
"FILLER was launched in 2018 as an experimental zine, consisting of a printed publication and online space aiming to encourage discourse around millennial lifestyle trends, food and mental health. It has developed and grown into a magazine featuring international contributing artists and writers, and was a recipient of a Santander Start-up Grant from University of Brighton in 2020."
9. Potluck Zine
"an online and print food magazine all about the importance of cooking, eating and sharing food together. We exist to share the stories from varied contributors who love everything food."
10. Common Threads Press
"Common Threads Press is a project by Laura Moseley, founded in January 2019. The goal of the project is to nurture alternative formats of arts education, production and distribution that keeps community, affordability and accessibility at its core. Predominantly, we produce zines (small, self-published booklets) about art history, written with emerging or early-career researchers, students, and academics."