The following announcement was provided by the Watertown Free Public Library:
On Saturday, October 14, the Watertown Free Public Library (WFPL) will host the third-annual Watertown Zine Fest — a celebration of DIY publishing, creativity, and idea sharing. This year, festival highlights will include over forty zinester-vendors from near and far, a “zine-making hive” where anyone can get creative, and guest lectures that explore the intersection of zines, mental health, and Indigenous perspectives. As always, the event is free to all. Not sure what a zine is? No problem!
Zines — pronounced “zeens” — are small-batch, hand-made publications that come in all shapes, sizes, and formats. Many are handwritten, photocopied, and stapled, while some are professionally printed. A favorite medium of punks, the Riot Grrrl movement, and superfan sub cultures, zines have flourished in various forms for decades. They provide a powerful platform of expression for voices and perspectives that have been historically excluded from the mainstream publishing industry.
And that’s exactly why Watertown’s librarians are so excited about them.
“Few people will get the opportunity to have their views and ideas printed and distributed by traditional publishers,” says Zine Team co-leader and WFPL Teen Services Supervisor Carey Conkey-Finn. “Zines are the perfect vehicle for commonly unheard voices to be heard by many. By hosting a zine collection and a zine fest, we can provide everyone the opportunity to share their stories and perspectives with the larger community.”
On October 14, the main event at Watertown Zine Fest will be the Zine Marketplace, where zinester-vendors from across the region will set up tables to trade and sell their work. If you are coming to learn what zines are all about, this is a great room to start exploring. Walking the aisles, you’ll discover zines about monsters, climate change, dreams, activism, tarot, gender, and more.
Also at Zine Fest, the Library will host a Zine Hive stocked with craft supplies, paper, and prompts so that anyone can make a zine. Want some inspiration? Be sure to check out the Library’s growing zine collection, with over 1,000 titles available to borrow.
Throughout the day, drop-in Zine Talks will offer attendees the chance to dig a little deeper and get inside the heads of some experienced zine makers. This year, Elisandra Lopes, Stephanie Li, LB Lee, and Anna Wyman will offer a joint panel on zines and mental health. Julie Fiveash will talk about Indigenous Peoples’ connection to small press, as well as how they explore their Indigeneity through zine and comic making.
“I can’t wait for our Zine Talks speakers this year!” says Zine Team co-leader and WFPL Programming Librarian Allie Fry. “It’s an awesome opportunity to hear from local zine makers, with different maker styles, about their expertise and lived experiences.”
Watertown Zine Fest takes place from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, at the Watertown Free Public Library, 123 Main Street in Watertown. The Library is accessible via MBTA Bus routes 52, 57, 59, 70, 70A, 71, Express 502, and Express 504.
Just like the Watertown Free Public Library, Watertown Zine Fest is free and open to all. To learn more head to watertownlib.org/zines
The Watertown Free Public Library provides access to a wide variety of popular materials, resources, services, and programs that fulfill the informational, cultural, and recreational needs of Watertown and surrounding communities. Our Library works to create an environment that attracts and welcomes users of all ages and abilities. watertownlib.org