Making Zines, Doing Feminism

The Emily Taylor Center encourages making zines as a way of doing feminism and creating community.

What’s a Zine?

A zine (/ziːn/ ZEEN; short for fanzine) is a medium with roots in science fiction fandom of the 1930s and 1940s; artistic, social, and political movements of the 1950s and 1960s; punk rock and DIY cultures of the 1970s and 1980s; and the riot grrrl feminist and queercore movements of the 1990s. In her classic text Stolen Sharpie Revolution, zinester Alex Wrekk defines zines as “physical, printed, self-published creations that can consist of a single sheet of paper or many, fastened together, usually with staples; independently made for the love of creating and rarely make a profit; created by one person or with a group of people; usually photocopied.” Today, zines are also made and distributed digitally.

Why Make Zines?

As zine scholar Alison Piepmeier argues in Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism, zines enact what bell hooks describes as “a pedagogy of hope.”  Zine making allows women, gender minorities, and other marginalized people to engage in creative self-expression, to speak for themselves in a society that often silences them. Zines allow makers to critique, question, resist, and reappropriate the patriarchal mass media by taking the means of production into their own hands. Zines are a powerful medium for advocacy and social change. They are at once personal and political. Moreover, zines promote community-building by fostering a gift economy of sharing and exchange; often, they are made collectively or in community with others. 

Make zines, do feminism!

    How to Make a Mini Zine

    As part of the Emily Taylor Center’s Virtual Skill Share Series, Assistant Director Megan Williams demonstrates how to make a mini zine. Mini zines are tiny, 8-page zines, made by folding and cutting a single sheet of paper.

    Zines & Za

    This Fall, join us for Zines & Za, hosted by our Zine Fellow Monty Protest on the following Mondays, 6 pm - 7:30 pm: 9/9, 9/23, 11/11, 11/25, and 12/9. Zines & Za offers a welcoming feminist space for people to connect and create zines in community with one another over free pizza (including veg, vegan, and gluten free options). Click here for more information, including locations and each session’s optional prompt.

    Paper Plains Zine Fest

    The Emily Taylor Center and Wonder Fair work with many campus and community partners to sponsor the annual Paper Plains Zine Fest. Paper Plains Zine Fest is a two-day celebration and exploration of zine culture across KU and the Lawrence community. The festival features our mascot Jammy, the photocopier; programming and events, such as participatory workshops, zine releases, lectures, panels, and film screenings; as well as a Vendor Fair featuring over 100 local and regional zine makers at Van Go.

      Paper Plains Zine Fest #3

      The third Paper Plains Zine Fest happens during Hawk Week on Labor Day weekend, Saturday, August 31, and Sunday, September 1, 2024.

      A photocopier reads a zine.

      Free Zine Lines & Zine Kits

      Outside our space in Burge 1040, the Emily Taylor Center offers free zines and free zine kits to our community. Our complimentary zines, made by the Emily Taylor Center, student contributors, and other independent creators, hang on our twelve free zine lines. We welcome people to take any of the zines on the lines and/or leave any self-published creations to be taken by other zine lovers. We also provide free zine making kits, which are available for pickup in our yellow zine machine. Each kit includes: a pair of scissors, a glue stick, a magazine for collaging, assorted craft paper, stickers, two pieces of white printer paper, instructions for making your own mini zine, and more. To inquire about distributing your zines for free on our zine lines or to request a zine making kit, please email us at

      Collaborative Zine Projects

      Megan Williams Zine Collection

      Our Assistant Director Megan Williams has made her collection of over 100 zines available to our community members for reading while visiting the Emily Taylor Center in Burge 1040. This particular collection is non-circulating, which means people are encouraged to access the zines while in the Emily Taylor Center; however, the zines are not available for borrowing or use outside our space. Stop by the Emily Taylor Center to take the zine racks inside our entrance for a spin or peruse the Megan Williams Zine Collection in our online catalog (currently under construction). Donations are appreciated; if you would like to have your zines included in the collection, please email us at

      Comp Zines

      The following compilation zines published by the Emily Taylor Center are available to read as part of the Megan Williams Zine Collection:

      • What is Queer & Trans Liberation?
      • Grow, Grow, Grow
      • Slash the Patriarchy
      • TDOR
      • My Bloody Valentine: A Love Letter to Periods
      • Let's Talk About Sex
      • Destroy the Patriarchy, Not the Planet

      Workshops by Request

      Since 2016, ETC has facilitated mini zine workshops at KU. Past zine making series have included Mini Zine Mondays at ECM, Queer Zine Nights with Center for Sexuality & Gender Diversity, POC Zine Nights with Office of Multicultural Affairs, and our Virtual Zine Club with KC Zine Con via Zoom. Throughout this period, we have also provided workshops for undergraduate classes as well as workshops for student organizations.

      We’ve also brought zine making and feminism to the community, offering workshops for Amplify Lawrence (formerly Girls Rock Lawrence), Lawrence High School’s Young Feminist Club, Free State High School students, Cordley Elementary School students, Boys & Girls Club, Lawrence Public Library, Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project, and KC Zine Con, among others.

      At present, we offer our Make Mini Zines, Do Feminism! workshop by request. During this fun and interactive three-hour session, participants learn about zines as a medium, explore the history of zines, analyze the relationship between zine making and feminist practice, explore KU and local zine resources, learn how to cut and fold a mini zine, as well as take part in a community making and optional sharing process. If you would like to request this workshop, or a zine making workshop tailored specifically for your class or organization, please email us at We would love to work with you to meet your particular needs.

      Magazine Donation

      The Emily Taylor Center is always seeking old magazines to include in our zine making kits or use during our zine nights and workshops by request. A magazine donation box is located next to our zine machine outside Burge 1040. If you have a large collection to contribute, please email us at to discuss drop off or pickup. 

      News Coverage

      9/4/23, The University Daily Kansan, Paper Plains Zine Fest introduces Make Mini Zines, Do Feminism! workshop

      9/3/23, The Lawrence Times, Highlights from the Paper Plains Zine Fest, a celebration of creativity and community

      8/30/23, The Lawrence Times, Paper Plains Zine Fest over the weekend to offer workshops, celebrate zine culture

      8/29/23, The Pitch, Paper Plains Zine Fest returns to Lawrence this Labor Day weekend

      9/5/22, The University Daily Kansan, Community and artists mesh at the Paper Plains Zine Festival

      8/25/22, The Lawrence Times, Paper Plains Zine Fest to debut next weekend in Lawrence

      9/1/22, The University Daily Kansan, Paper Plains Zine Fest to celebrate zine making, liberation on Sept. 3

      8/22/22, KU News, Creativity, Scholarship will be on display for Paper Plains Zine Fest

      4/26/21, CHALK, KU's virtual zine club encourages creativity for social justice

      10/5/20, KJHK, Zines: The Ultimate Therapy and Freedom of Expression

        Release & Reflection: The Body Positivity Project

        A panel and discussion reflecting on the release of The Body Positivity Project, a collaborative zine compiled by Hannah Sigourney in Spring 2021 for her LDST 532 final project.

        Release & Reflection: The Feminist Agenda

        A release and reflection event featuring contributors to The Feminist Agenda, our inaugural collaborative zine project, as part of the Fall 2020 Educate & Act series co-sponsored by Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity, The Commons, and Center for Service Learning.