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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.

Come to our zine meetings every 2nd Thursday of every month (in San Diego)!

And join our mailing list!

postal address:
Grrrl Zines A go-Go
P.O.Box 33654
San Diego, CA 92163-3654



February 26th
Zine Workshop: The Third Wave: Change through action!
at the
annual conference Change The Status Quo. Organized by the Women's Programs at the California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo.

March 16th

Zine Workshop during women's history month
Cal State San Marcos
3-5pm, Room TBA, Open to the public.

Friday, May 13th
Zine Movie Night
$100 & a T-Shirt & Grrrly Show & Letras al Margen
Plus local zines on sale
Voz Alta, 1544 Broadway, San Diego

"An 18 minute explosion of fringe feminism and print
media, "Grrlyshow" is a powerful and rebellious
message from new voices often left unheard. Filmmaker
Kara Herold examines the girly Zine revolution and
culture in such a way that the film intellectually and
stylistically addresses anyone's question concerning
whether or not feminism has reached its 3rd wave: the
postmodern. By interweaving head-shot interviews,
clips from the zines and 1950's television-esque
vignettes, Herold clearly illustrates feminism's
ability to exist within a system that generally
doesn't give women their own voice. "Grrlyshow"
successfully brings to the surface alternative voices
and projects that are vital to the continuation and
expansion of feminism."


Hundred Dollars and a T-Shirt
"A video documentary about zines in the Northwest US (65 mins.) is a new documentary by Joe Biel, co-owner, Microcosm Publishing and publisher of The Stolen Sharpie
Revolution. The documentary is a cultural analysis of
what causes zine makers to tick; what the hell zines
are, why people make zines, the origin of zines, the
resources and community available for zine makers, and
the future of zines. The video contains interviews
with about 70 zine makers, ex-zine makers, and readers
from the northwest, with footage from the Portland
Zine Symposium, other zine events and activities
bringing zine culture to life. For people with a new
interest in zines as well as pros and novices, the
video sparks untapped creativity and new interest in
zine making and reading. Artwork by Cristy Road and
music by J Church, Fer De Lance, and Defiance, OH!
Collaborators include Rev. Phil Sano, Basil Shadid,
and Joe Biel. For more information about Microcosm
Publishing, go to"

Letras al Margen
"En un fanzine se tiene la libertad de hablar sobre temas tan diversos como poesía, dibujo, cibercultura, fotografía, crónica, ensayo, música, narrativa, cómics, etc. La creación de revistas "caseras" conocidas como fanzines es un ejemplo más de la energía creativa de los jóvenes.’’ (11 min., subtitled). By Bulbo TV, Tijuana, Mexico:



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.

Formed in 2002, the instigator of the group was Elke Zobl, founder of the Grrrl Zine Network. As a visiting graduate student from Austria, Elke networked with local zinesters in San Diego. She hooked up with Margarat Nee, editor of Oya and Dogrrrl, Glue Magazine’s Claudia Lucero, Kim Schwenk, creator of Girl Noire, and Wives Tale’s editrix Britton Neubacher. Just over a year old, the group as already hosted eight workshops and events, starting with the S/he Collective’s Army of S/he Festival. Our latest event, in October 2003, was playing host to The Bookmobile Project along with DIY TO GO!, a showcase of local zinesters, book artists, and independent publishers.

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.

This DIY ethic is the cornerstone of the political aspect of Grrrl Zines A-Go-Go. We believe zine-making embodies the phrase “the personal is political” by encouraging active participation in the creation of one’s own culture, and independence from mainstream media. This is especially important for teen girls who discover a new avenue for expression that is uncensored; something that they can produce alone, without the need for experts or expensive tools – their tools are their mind and a pen – anyone can do it. It is a truly democratic form of media, everyone who reads a zine can create one. Every reader should be a writer, and zines make this possible, removing the fear of writing and emphasizing the process for each person.

While 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.

Grrrl Zines A-Go-Go Writings:

San Diego Free Press 2004 (PDFs of the back page designed and written by Grrrl Zines A-Go-Go)

January / February (361k):"Self-publishing power for teen grrrls"

March / April (824k): "Where the heck is the local zines scene!"

May / June (4.2mg): "Zine reviews" (Pinche Chronicles, Scooter Girl, Wizdumb, HousewifeXCore Distro)

Current members of Grrrl Zines a Go-Go are:


Margarat Nee
Margarat published the zine OYA: a feminist rag from 1993-95, and has continued to support the causes of women and community arts through art making and arts organizing. While continuing her art career she also owns her own dog training business, called, appropriately, "the ART of DOG". She currently publishes the zines Dogrrrl and Radical Pet.

You can see her work online at

Kim Schwenk
Kim is Special Collections archivist, book artist, and editrix of Girl Noire.
Elke Zobl
Creator of this web site Grrrl Zine Network ( and former zine editrix of female sequences, a feminist art, literature and music zine in Vienna, Austria.
Ari (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.



So far we have facilitated some of the following workshops:

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.

Oct. 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:

Forming 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 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.

This list is a forum for people interested in participating in our zine workshops and events, as well as in creating and trading zines in Southern California.


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