What’s a zine?

A zine (/ziːn/ ZEEN; short for magazine or fanzine) is a short, self-published booklet.

Since the invention of the photocopier, zines have been a favored medium of creative expression as well as a means of accessing power and agency for artists working outside mainstream culture either due to systemic oppression or by choice. Zines inform, inspire, and instruct. They explore a diversity of topics and genres, including art, design, illustration, poetry, personal narratives, politics, and subcultures, or dive deep into single-topic obsession and miscellany. There’s something for everyone!

Paper Plains Zine Fest is a one-day event where participants exhibit, sell, and trade their independently-published zines, pamphlets, comix, books, and other radical readables of many forms. The zine fest will host over 80 local and regional artists, including BIPOC, woman/femme, LGBTQIA+, and youth zine-makers as well as zinesters with disabilities. Zines will be available for sale (and some for free!) alongside zine-oriented programming and workshops throughout the day.

Planning committee member Megan Williams, Ph.D., is Assistant Director of KU’s Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity, a co-sponsor of the festival. In her role at the Emily Taylor Center, Megan encourages making zines as a way of practicing feminism and creating community. Of Paper Plains Zine Fest, she says, “I am thrilled to partner with Wonder Fair and Van Go to feature the work of a local zinesters and KU scholars while building a diverse zine community in Lawrence.”

Paper Plains Zine Fest is free to attend and all are welcome to come and explore the exhibitor’s tables, chat with the artists, and attend programs. Attendees are encouraged to bring spending cash to purchase zines from the artists, which are usually priced in the range of $1 -$15. Many artists will also be prepared to accept payment by credit card.

The zine fest will have vendors both inside and outside in the adjacent parking lot. All programming and workshops will be indoors. Masks are required inside at all times. Learn more here about our COVID-19 mitigation efforts:


Amongst the day’s programming will be a mini zine-making workshop for kids hosted by the Lawrence Public Library, a panel on self-publishing, and a roundtable discussion with KU instructors who use zines in their class room. At the festival, the Emily Taylor Center will release “Queer Futures,” a zine collaboration with KU’s Center for Sexuality & Gender Diversity, and host a discussion with its contributors. The day will cap with a keynote from Imani Wadud, a Ph.D. Candidate in KU’s Department of American Studies. 

Paper Plains Zine Fest was originally planned for April 2020 in conjunction Lawrence’s Paper Plains Literary Festival as an opportunity to highlight the empowering world of independent publishing. Zine culture makes the bold assertion that anyone sufficiently motivated can be an author.


More can be found online at

Our website: paperplainszinefest.com

Instagram: @paperplainszinefest

and at this awful place: Facebook


Paper Plains Zine Fest is sponsored by Wonder Fair, the KU Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity, and Van Go. 

If you have any questions or require a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this event, please contact Megan Williams. 

Megan Williams 

Paper Plains Zine Fest Planning Committee

518-522-4428 (c)