2019 saw the sixth Sheffield Zine Fest organised by Bettie and Chella. We hope to be back with an in person or online zine fest next year. Sheffield Zine Fest is usually an annual celebration of zines with zine stalls, craft and maker stalls, free workshops, zine readings and exhibitions.
A zine (pronounced ‘zeen’ like maga-zine) is a magazine or booklet that you make yourself, and give away, swap or sell for roughly the cost of printing. What’s the point? To share your knowledge, or your feelings, or your experiences in a way that’s more tangible than blogging, less commercial, and more immediate than print media. The focus is usually on content, but designs, styles and print methods vary widely and can look very interesting and unusual! With short runs, some zinesters have the time to hand print covers, sew bindings, or colour in pages individually.
A rough guide to zines:
Zinester – (pronounced ZEEN-ster) someone who makes, reads, enjoys, trades, celebrates zines and zine culture.
Perzine – a portmanteau word for ‘personal zine’ – zines that are diarylike in style, and can explore serious issues and represent unique points of view.
Fanzine – traditionally, a zine that’s all about something you’re a fan of, from music to football.
Instructional zines – these teach you how to do something and are really handy!
Comic-zines – any category above, but done in a part drawn/part written format.
DIY – Do it yourself! Zines are a great way to empower yourself to create something that may seem too niche for mainstream media. If you don’t see the kind of magazine you like on the shop shelves, make your own!