Wellington Zinefest is hosting a rad workshop series at Matchbox Studios over October/November, leading up to Wellington Zinefest on November 19th!
First up is Literary Zines with committee member Ellen Walker. Ellen had a chat with herself about what zines, and writing, mean to her.
- Tell us a few things you are passionate about? I’m passionate about clothes with patterns on them, especially animals, reading graphic novels, reading reviews of bad films and, of course, art and literature.
- How did you get into zine making? As the story goes I first became interested in zines in 2011. That year was the first Zinefest I attended and I remember feeling incredibly shy and I left after a quick look around. It wasn’t until late 2014 that I got truly interested in zine making after I attended a workshop on how to distribute zines hosted by Claire Harris. It was there that I met Kylie and Tessa, who were working on a project called zine review, which they asked me to contribute to. Zine making is mainly about the community it creates and once I was introduced to that community it caused a snowball effect. I got most of my closest friends and my girlfriend, also a Zinefest committee member, into zine making as well. Within a year I had joined the Zinefest committee and produced many zines with my friends. I held my first stall at the winter market in 2015. It just hasn’t stopped from there. Zines are love, zines are life.
- What kind of zines do you make? Mostly zines about me or my friends. My latest output was a two part zine totalling at about 8000 words, that was about a year of my life related to the music I was listening to at the time. That zine project was called ‘Back to the Future Islands’. I have also created some poetry and short story zines as a way to practice my writing and share it with people. Before I made zines I wouldn’t show my writing to anyone. The practice has made me a more confident writer.
- When/ why/ how did you become a committee member (tee hee)? I honestly had the best time at the 2014 Zinefest and I met the most encouraging people. Kylie Buck was there selling her zines with Tessa and she picked up on my enthusiasm. She had helped establish the first Zinefest event and was in the loop about the status of the committee. She told me that they were expecting new people in early 2015. I went along to one of the earliest meetings with Cathy-Ellen and my friend Hamish, and I have been working with the committee ever since.
- Any good zine recommendations? All zines are good zines to someone. I personally love the zines my friends have made because you have more context when you know the author, of course. Cathy’s zines are similar to mine in that they are very personal and emotional but she has a style that is distinctly different from my own work. As I’m a big fan of literary work, if you can get your hands on the Food Court zines from last year, you won’t regret it. They are all available at the library.
- What workshops are you running up to the big event Zinefest November 19th 2016?! I’m looking after a literary zine workshop this Sunday the 9th of October at Matchbox Studios. Come and listen to me ramble more about writing and zines.
- Got any plugs? Plug them now. I have a zine collective! We are called Closet Monster Zines and it’s made up of me, Cathy and Hamish. We have a page on Facebook- check us out here! I also have a podcast called High Expectations Podcast with Cathy and Jaslyn where we talk about everything from queerness, sex, relationships, our love/hatred for musicals and KFC. I also tweet under the handle @spike_for_pm.
- Most importantly, if you were a dog what kind of dog would you be? I would be some kind of cross breed scrappy Terrier. Maybe a Jack Russell. I would be slightly internet famous because my owner would dress me up in jaunty vintage outfits, think 1940s-60s little hats and suits that are hand sewn. Dog me would hate photos as much as human me and I would try to destroy the shot often.