Chicago Zine Fest 2019!

Most Cherished Readers,

I am so excited to announce that we have a half-table reserved for Chicago Zine Fest 2019! See you on Saturday, May 18th during Exhibition Day at Plumbers Union Hall. This will be the 10th anniversary fest!

The Chicago Zine Fest (CZF) is a celebration of small press and independent publishers, with free workshops, events, and an annual festival (http://chicagozinefest.org/). CZF 2019 will be held May 16th, 17th, and 18th.

Registration for the fest is first-come, first-served. Tables fill up very quickly. Last year, tables sold out in a record 24 minutes! I was so discouraged by these facts that I considered not even trying. But then, what else do I have to do besides look for a job in the state of Michigan? So, I thought to myself that if Michael could get into medical school, then he just might be able to get us into CZF 2019 as well.

Registration was Sunday January 20th, 2019 at 12 pm CST. You had to keep an eye on social media for the registration link since the website could not handle all the traffic. In a record-breaking 10 minutes, about 200 tables sold out for the 10th anniversary fest. And we got half of one of them!!!

So, how did we do it?

dsc06839crop

The key is being prepared. It helps to have applied to this zine fest, or any zine fest, before. You had to anticipate the questions that you would likely be asked on the registration form. Luckily, I already applied for the Omaha Zine Fest, so I had some idea what they could ask you about to register for a zine fest, although there was no rush in that case.

What could they ask you to register for a zine fest? Well, most likely they will want to know about you and your zines. So, I had descriptions of my zines as well as a list of titles of my zines in a word document ready to copy and paste into the online form that I would see for the fist time at noon on Sunday January 20th. I also had my biography and the address of my website ready to go. I had even prepared different length versions of my bio since I was not sure what the character limit would be. To get an idea ahead of time, Michael examined exhibitor’s lists from previous years to get an idea how others had presented themselves and about how many characters with spaces might be allowed. In the end, just a sentence or two about yourself was all that was asked for.

Filling out the application went quickly, especially since I had also been to the CZF website ahead of time and had reviewed the safer spaces policy. It saved a lot of time being able to click the button right away saying that I agree with the safer spaces policy. Once the registration form was complete, then it was necessary to arrange payment, preferably using PayPal.

Congratulations to everyone who successfully registered. I can’t wait to meet you at CZF 2019! It would be wonderful if the event could be large enough that everyone who wanted to could get a table. My condolences to anyone who is disappointed that they could not get a table this year. Hopefully our advice above can help people register next time.

See you May 18th in the windy city! In the meantime, I will be working hard to prepare…

Lots of Love,
Marie

dsc06863crop

 

New Zine Available at Quimby’s Bookstore

Beloved Readers,

First, thank you for all your support in getting me where I am today!  Thank you for buying my books and liking, sharing and commenting on social media and even writing awesome reviews.  You keep me going, and I love you always.

I finally have some great news to report to you.  After finishing our latest zine, Michael and I went to the literary hub of Chicago, Illinois, USA to make it available at Quimby’s Bookstore (www.quimbys.com)!

dsc06714blur

Before telling you about the bookstore and our zine, allow me to begin with my take on what zines are and what makes them interesting and why I unexpectedly find myself with a growing collection of zines from all over the country.  While zines can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people, in general an independently published periodical can be considered a zine, especially if it is associated with little or no advertising or profit.  So, a zine is like a magazine, but without the “maga.”

Zines can be a single sheet of paper or many fastened together, usually with staples.  Zines can incorporate writing, photography, art, comics and/or drawings, for example.  They can be created by one person or more than one person.  Zines are made by diverse people throughout the world for many reasons, such as taking control back from corporate consumer influences.  Zines are about creating on your own terms and doing it yourself (DIY).  Zine culture is more about community and sharing than money or prestige.  You can buy zines at zine fests, bookstores, distros, and online sites like Etsy, for example.

It is in the zine culture where works such as our latest zine, Understanding and Surviving Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): A Real Story have found a home.  Indeed, without a free press, without free flow of information, this country, any country, is finished.  Michael and I have worked our asses off, and we have not done anything wrong.  That is why we created the zine about PTSD to explain the physiology of the disorder and how marijuana works to treat and even cure it.

We and many others sell our zines at Quimby’s Bookstore because Quimby’s supports independent publishing in the community.  Indeed, Quimby’s is an independently owned bookstore that sells independently-published and small press books, comics, zines and ephemera.  As you can read on Quimby’s blog and website, and as I can attest, Quimby’s Bookstore is committed to the First Amendment.  To me it’s no surprise that Quimby’s Bookstore is going strong while so many other bookstores are closing all over the country.

Over winter break, Michael and I delivered our zine to Quimby’s Bookstore in the heart of the windy city on an unusually warm and sunny, glorious winter day.  I found several additions to my own zine collection, namely, some porn for women, a zine in which voices of indigenous women on the frontlines speak, and a zine about zines (Stolen Sharpie Revolution) to help me write this blog post.  As an author and a reader, I value Quimby’s Bookstore, a real gem in the literary hub of Chicago with fun opportunities to take self-portraits (selfies), including a vintage photo booth that works!

scan0002crop

Lots of Love,

Marie