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GQS 360: Genealogies and Theories

What is a zine?

In this workshop, we'll become familiar with zines and what they are like. 

Skim a zine for three minutes and then switch, for four rounds. You will not be able to read these zines in their entirety. [CW: curse words, sexuality, nudity, violence]


Post a few short keywords or phrases describing zines to our GQS 360 Jamboard.


  • Now that you’ve seen a few examples -- what is a zine? How would you describe zines to a friend or family member?

  • Who makes zines? What can you tell about the author(s) or editor(s)?

  • What qualities about either the form or content did you notice? How do the graphics/art/drawings/visuals communicate information and ideas?

  • What topics are covered? How does a zine communicate knowledge or mastery of its topic?

Zines at Collins Library and beyond

Examples from the Collins Library Zine Collection

The Collins Library Zine Collection contains approximately 300 zines on a variety of topics, which are housed in the Archives & Special Collections on the 2nd Floor of Collins Library. The zines in our collection vary widely in style and content and cover a wide breadth of topics, including zines on national and local issues, politics, personal narratives, intersectional identities, activism and social justice, mini comics, and much more!

Learn more about zines and our zine collection on our collection guide.





Explore these digital collections to see more examples of what zines are like:

Making Your Zine

There are many different options for creating your zine(s)! We’ll explore both physical and digital options.

Gather your supplies (for physical projects):

  • Paper: Preferably 8.5"x11", which is standard size for printer paper. You can also use recycled paper bags cut to that size.
  • Writing implements: pen, pencil, markers, gel pens, etc.
  • Optional crafting supplies: Scissors, Glue stick or tape, stickers, decorative paper, magazines or news clippings
  • Whatever crafting tools you have available!! You can get creative with the materials if you don’t have a lot of crafting supplies on hand. Food packaging, junk mail, dried flowers, make up or nail polish work too!

General Tips:

  • Include some organizational elements: front/back cover, title, table of contents, list of contributors, page numbers*, statement of purpose, etc.
  • Play around with the form. Try to communicate your ideas in different ways--a free-write, black-out poetry, images only, a game, a list, a comic, or a tutorial. The options are endless!
  • Leave a 1/4" margin around your pages so nothing gets cut off when your zine is copied/printed. 
  • Light text and images may not reproduce well, so be bold with your contributions!
  • Relax! There are no mistakes--zines can be unpolished and messy. The point is to get creative and have fun.



For this class, you have several different options for creating your zine. You may use any tool you’d like and are comfortable with including (but not limited to) Word, Pages, Photoshop, Canva, InDesign, or physical paper. If you are creating a physical project, you may need to scan or photograph your pages to submit them online. 


Mini Zine:

Canva 11x17 template 

This is an 8-page mini zine made from a single sheet of 8.5’”x11” or 11”x17” paper. This is a great beginner project for first-time zine makers and individual projects. 


1/4-size Zine:

Canva 8.5x11 template

This is a quarter-size zine with eight page segments (four on each side) made on one 8.5”x11” sheet of paper. Add additional pages as needed, depending on the length of your zine, but remember you’ll need to re-number them! This is a good project for folks who'd like to work with slightly bigger pages.