Winter. It's cold, it's grotty, and there's nothing on. Wouldn't it be nice to have some zine-related event to tide us through to the next summer? Not anything big or showy, just a little, no-strings-attached winter zinefest in London with thirty or so stalls. Maybe some workshops and a kitchen in case people want to get a snack.
Wait a second... where do I know in London that has a hall, a clubroom and a kitchen? That's fully wheelchair accessible and central but very quiet in winter? Oh, that's right! The Pirate Castle, the community centre where I work!
So I had a chat with my boss today, and he's very generously allowing us to use the Castle either for free or for a nominal fee. He just needs to know the date. At the moment, I'm looking at either the first or second Saturday in October, where we could have the space from one o'clock onwards. Every so often, though, I'll pinch myself and ask: seriously? Are you really going to do this? So far, I've been answering a steady yes; but I need your help!
Organising a zinefest is not a one person job. It can't be. That one person would eventually crack under the pressure (and you don't want to see that, it ain't pretty. I tend to get naked when stressed). That's why I'm asking any interested zinesters in the London area to get in contact. Things I really, really need help with:
The internet. Yes, I know that's vague. I'd be fine(ish) with coding a site, but where to host it? And how does Facebook work? WMZ is pretty much the only corner of the internet I'm fully comfortable with.
Idea bouncing and organising. Blimey, I haven't even got a name for this zinefest yet. If you're thinking 'well, I'm not a geek, but damn it can I keep a schedule!', or even 'hmm, I'm pretty good at errand type stuff': yes, message me, please.
Artistry. If it was up to me to design the leaflets, they would be written in biro and gluestick. Anyone who's ever seen one of my zines can tell you that my aesthetics are... spartan, to put it nicely.
If you've got a different area of expertise, or even no expertise at all, I still want you! Like I said, this is right at the very beginning, where everything still needs to be done.
Hopefully this zinefest is going to be small but perfectly formed. I'd also like to emphasise the skint DIY ethic I remember from the zines my dad used to read when I was a kid; stolen turns on the photocopier rather than £5 silkscreened photography zines.
If you're still interested, email zisforzine at hotmail dot co dot uk.
And please, pass it on!