a zine-making workshop group in San Diego, California
Grrrl Zines a Go-Go is a zine and artist book-making workshop group that has formed in 2002 and facilitates workshops in community venues and nonprofit organizations in the San Diego area, and especially focuses on the empowerment of teenage girls through the production of zines and artist books.
Zine Workshop during women's history month
Cal State San Marcos
3-5pm, Room TBA, Open to the public.
Dollars and a T-Shirt
Letras al Margen
Grrrl Zines A-Go-Go - the name stands for a small group of women who organizes zine and book-making workshops. Grrrl Zines A-Go-Go works with community groups and nonprofit organizations in the San Diego area, conducting workshops for adults and teens.
The groups’ primary focus is on the empowerment of teenage girls through the production of zines and artist books.
Grrrl Zines A-Go-Go doesn’t just want to encourage zine making, we also hope to inspire other groups of like-minded folks to start running workshops in their areas too. These sorts of workshops are easy to put on as long as you have a few people willing to share the responsibility of getting resources together and share their interest in self-expression with others.
Grrrl Zines A-Go-Go stays energized by keeping it simple, and by working in a variety of circumstances. Currently five members, the group remains small to ease communication and organizing. We also work with other DIY groups in San Diego like the S/he Collective and The Independent Media Center, as well as out-of-town visitors like The Bookmobile Project. We’ve also worked in the academic world, helping San Diego State University develop their West Coast Zine Archive. These varied interactions provide fresh energy and perspectives, and offer new venues to infiltrate with the groups DIY ethic.
there is a political motive to the group’s activities, we also like to enjoy
ourselves, hosting a “Zine Picnic” as a get-together that inevitably
produces a collaborative zine by the attendees.
|Our “Go-Go” attitude is also evident in the workshop process, in which our favorite moment is watching people dive into the “Scrap Lounge” and start cutting, pasting, and writing. We bring a manual typewriter as well, sometimes having to help the young girls use the archaic but very handy device.|
Most workshops culminate in the production of a compilation zine in which each participant has designed a single page. The resulting publication represents a unique moment in time, a collection of ideas that run the gamut from profane to poetic. The group has learned to expect the unexpected, as junior high girls produce moving pages of text and imagery, confirming the need for just this kind of creative activity for the youth of today.
Diego Free Press 2004 (PDFs
of the back page designed and written by Grrrl Zines A-Go-Go)
Current members of Grrrl Zines a Go-Go are:
You can see her work online at http://www.margaratnee.com.
Kim is Special Collections archivist, book artist, and editrix of Girl Noire.
Creator of this web site Grrrl Zine Network (http://grrrlzines.net) and former zine editrix of female sequences, a feminist art, literature and music zine in Vienna, Austria.
(our newest member)|
Ari runs HousewifeXcore Distro. The distro specializes in distributing feminist, DIY and self sufficency zines, Radical Parenting, natural med and self care gynecology zines, radical mensturation zines, zines by ladies grrrls, and womyn, queer and trans people, sex worker zines, midwifery and doula zines. She also sells crafts like buttons, stickers, patches and diy menstrual pads. Her goal is to empower womyn, queer and trans people through zines and take back their bodies, and self image while encouraging acceptance and community in the zine underground. http://www.freewebs.com/housewifexcore/
March 2004: Zine workshop with teenagers at the Mexican American Advisory Committee (MAAC) Project, President John Adams Manor community center, San Diego.
Oct. 2003: Workshop at the Zine Picnic in San Diego, California.
August 2003: „D.I.Y. or Die! A Zine-Making Workshop“ at the SheZAM!!! Festival in San Diego.
June 2003: "Do you DIY? Zine Workshop!" At the Open Air Book Fair in Hillcrest, San Diego.
April 2003: „Grrrl Zine Making, Distributing and Collecting: A Round Table and Do-It-Yourself Workshop“ at the Thirteenth Annual Pacific Southwest Women’s Studies Association Conference entitled with “Feminist Activism: Linking Theory and Practice”, Pomona, California. Images!
April 2003: “Zines Green? Tips and Tricks How to Make them!” for San Diego Girls In Roles of Leadership (SD GIRL):at the Mission Valley Library, San Diego, April 12, 2003.
March 2003: „Let’s Make a Zine!“ at the 7th Annual Young Women’s Spirit Of Leadership Conference, UCSD. Images!
Aug. 2002: “Zines! And D.I.Y. Press” at the Army of S/he Festivals in San Diego and “Zines and Artists’ Books“ at the Downtown Library, San Diego, during the USA/Canada tour of the Projet Mobilivre-Bookmobile Project.
2001: “Grrrl Zines - How to Make a Zine” in the course
of the exhibit “First Story – Women Building New Narratives for the
21st Century” in Porto, Portugal (By Elke). Images!
Other stuff we have done:
November 2003: First International Zine Meetup in San Diego.
October 2003: Organization of DIY, TO GO! DIY Publishing and the Projet MOBILVRE-BOOKMOBILE Project at the World Beat Center, Balboa Park.
October 2003: Interview on the Morning Show of Free Radio on San Diego, FM 96.9.
Here are a few tips and tricks from Grrrl Zines A Go-Go on how can you start a zine workshop group yourself:
and organizing the group and workshops:
|- Find other like-minded zinesters in your city (via word-of-mouth, the library, co-ops, zines at book and record stores, music venues, and the Internet). It is best if you have enough members so that you can rotate in providing workshops (we like to have at least 2-3 at each workshop)|
- Organize your workshop tools. We always bring: A typewriter, scissors (more than one pair), glue sticks, pens (ball point and sharpie), blank paper, a stapler (a saddle stapler is best), and a scrap box with a variety of newspapers, magazines, clip art, rub-on letters, decorative paper, string, and other bits that can be used in making a zine. You can ask for donations, or “borrow” stuff from work.
- Identify organizations interested in zine workshops such as youth, women’s and LGBT centers, feminist organizations, high schools, girls clubs, festivals, bookstores etc.
- Present your idea about doing a zine workshop at the selected venue. Asking your friends is often a good way to get started. Ask if the venue can provide some compensation or contribution of materials, and if it can provide a photocopy machine or free copies.
- When arranging for a space for the workshop make sure it has enough tables and chairs, and that it allows cut and paste activities.
- Decide on a time frame for the workshop. We usually allow 1.5 to 2 hours for the workshop itself and another hour for copying and stapling the workshop zine.
- If the workshop is open to the public (and not only for a specific group), make flyers and distribute them widely in the community and among your friends. Make use of activist email lists and website in your community too. You should probably keep the number of participants under 20.
The workshop itself:
- First we introduce ourselves and our zines. Next we talk about the definition of a zine, zine history, the current “zine scene,” our experience making and distributing zines, and the basics of how to make and distribute zines. We always have resource guides available (a zine itself) that repeat this material.
Most of our workshops consist of making a zine in which each participant contributes
one page. We make digest-sized zines, which are letter-size paper folded in two
(so that each page is 4.25” wide by 5.5” tall). We suggest you have
them draw a border approximately one-half inch around their page as a guide, so
that their work doesn’t get cut off when copied.
- Be sure to point out that color can be tricky when making black-and-white copies (red becomes black, for example), and encourage image-making that will copy well. Discourage pages with a majority of solid black as this tends to create paper jams when copied.
- Then it’s DIY time! It’s important to allot the majority of the time for them to work on their page. It can take some folks a while to get comfortable, and some do multiple versions. While they’re working on their pages, the organizers can make a cover, an ad a page for your group (and for any upcoming events - a good way to balance out the number of pages if you need to) and a contributors page. Have them sign the contributor’s page when they turn in their page, and allow them to identify themselves as they wish, but do suggest email addresses if they wish to keep in contact with your or other workshop participants.
- Assemble the master copy of the zine as pages are submitted to demonstrate how this is done. They will give you a half-sheet of paper, which you will then glue onto a creased full sheet of paper. Do consider the order of pages when you do this, and try to juxtapose contributions in an interesting manner.
- Before the workshop ends ask the participants to sign up for a mailing list if they want to be informed about future events. Consider using this mailing list to elicit feedback on the workshop too.
Remember that you may not have a copy machine immediately available, in which
case you will need to make arrangements for getting the zines to the workshop
participants. If your workshop is part of a conference or festival, try to schedule
it early in the day so that you can arrange a pick-up point for them later. You
may need to provide envelopes for mailing, in which case it’s a good idea
to ask for postage costs from either the participant or the organization sponsoring
the workshop. Sometimes it works out for participants to go with you to make copies,
in which case they can learn about copy techniques and get their zines right away.
- When copying a zine with lots of images, select the ‘photo’ button on the copy machine for best quality of gray tones.
- To staple the zine it’s easiest to use a saddle stapler (one designed to reach in to the center of paper). If you need to use a regular stapler: make a pile of newspaper, open the zine face down on top of it, open the stapler and staple down through the zine’s spine, then manually fold down the ends of the staples.
Voilà! The zine is ready to go!
Contact us if you want to know more about upcoming workshops (email Elke at firstname.lastname@example.org) or join our mailing list:
This list is hosted by the San Diego, California, group "grrrl zines a-go-go" and provides announcements, queries, and resources on zine workshops and DIY events in the San Diego area.