Olympia Zine Fest

Zines for All

by Jonah Barrett for OLY ARTS

For those wanting to find an escape from mainstream media, zines provide a type of oasis. Olympia Zine Fest celebrates its third year this October, and everyone is invited. What are zines? They’re little, self-published pieces of literature, with topics ranging from short-story collections to activist manifestos to lists of items found on the ground during a walk. One can write anything one wants in a zine, and that’s what keeps “zinesters” coming back to OZF every year.

“Olympia is full of creative weirdos, and zines lend themselves to creative weirdos,” said Naomi Bell, one of eight organizers for the third OZF. They’ve been hard at work over the year, preparing for the festival via fundraisers, tabling and hosting zine-making workshops at various events throughout the Pacific Northwest. Planning the event for the third time, the organizers find the process easier than in previous years. Part of their task is to look at past events from OZF and bring back what worked — such as a quiet, zine-reading area and a kids’ table.

“It’s exciting to see some of the things that were brand-new ideas last year come back,” said another organizer, Melanie Shelton. Attendees can look forward to such exciting workshop subjects as creating a giant comic with Taylor Dow, lessons from Stolen Sharpie Revolution author Alex Wrekk, Shrinky Dinks, screen printing and creating new zines at a zine-making station. “There are such a variety of tables,” said organizer Chris Sabatini.

“All kinds of people that show up find something that they like,” added Bell. “Even people that don’t know what a zine is come and discover something new and have a good time.” A kickoff event will be held in the form of a zine-making party October 13 at the downtown Olympia Timberland Library. Guests are encouraged to finish zines and enjoy the tunes of a live disc jockey.

What: Olympia Zine Fest 2017

Where: The Olympia Center,
222 Columbia St. NW, Olympia;
Sunday workshops at 119 N. Washington St., Olympia

When: Oct. 13-15

How much: free

Learn more: email | Olympia Zine Fest




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