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Pace Academy Writing Program: Self-Publishing Zine Activity

An exploration of the historical and contemporary world of self-publishing and independent publishing, with a focus on Manhattan from the Lower East Side to Wall Street.


Hi! Welcome to Pace! This guide is designed to prepare you for your zine-making activity the week of August 28-September 1, 2023. You may be wondering what a zine is.

In general, zines (pronouned "zeen" as in magazine) are self-published booklets created by people seeking expression and community. People who make zines are sometimes called "zinesters." Imagine a subject. There's probably a zine about it! Zines range from very serious political perspectives to deeply personal musings. Many zines are like diaries or letters, and others are like mini research papers. Historically, people have self-published zines because they had something that they really wanted to share with others. You'll be making a zine in the tradition of a perzine, or personal zine, based on your own experiences exploring Lower Manhattan.

Zines are folded or stapled and therefore portable and flexible. They require no Internet connection to read. They usually do require some technology to make. In general, zines have been self-published on photocopy machines in places like Staples, libraries, and workplaces.  In short, a zine is a Do-It-Yourself pamphlet publication that can be endlessly reproduced.

image from Pinterest by David Galasse


Screenshot of cover and pages of the zine River Walk With Me by Kris on