ZineWriMo Day 2: Brainstorm Zine Ideas

Hello and happy Thursday, zine friends!

It’s day two of ZineWriMo and, if you hadn’t noticed, I went for the slow rev up to actually making zines this month. Get a firm foundation and all that good stuff before jumping right into making things. (Of course, that doesn’t stop you from jumping right in and making things.)

Today the prompt is brainstorming zine ideas.

“What do I make a zine about?” is a variation of a very common question for creatives. There can be so much energy, but with no idea what to do with that energy, things can get frustrating. Hence brainstorming ideas.

How you choose to brainstorm is up to you. There are heaps of possibilities out there from mind mapping to writing down everything you can think of as fast as you can. You may want to write down or print out 51 Ideas for Your Next Zine as a way of getting started.

There’s no wrong way to do it so long as you find your way to inspiration.

How you choose to store your ideas also comes with many options. One fun idea I’ve always liked is the idea jar where you write down your ideas on slips of paper and stick them in a jar (or a box):

Whenever you’re ready to start a new project but aren’t sure what to do, you can pluck an idea or two out of the jar to get you started.

This is my version of the idea jar. It goes with me wherever I go and contains all the strange and wonderful (and not so wonderful) ideas for what to make zines about. Sometimes it’s an idea for a whole zine, while other things are rough sketches or small blurbs to include somewhere. Either way, this little notebook means I don’t forget any ideas I have.

I already have a pretty huge list written down today, so I don’t think I’ll be looking for new zine ideas anytime soon!

Be sure to share links to your posts/pictures showing off your ideas and where you keep them.


51 Ideas for Your Next Zine

So Many Zines

I am someone who always has a list of ideas running, so I tend to forget that other people sometimes don’t know what they want to write about. As your resident zine enthusiast, I think it’s my duty to be as helpful as possible in your journey to making a zine. So here are…

51 Ideas for Your First/Next Zine

In no particular order…

  1. Your life! Yep, start a perzine
  2. Mental health/mental illness
  3. A physical condition/illness
  4. Politcal zine
  5. A holiday, road trip, etc
  6. Moving house/self/etc
  7. Your favourite animal, species, pet
  8. Zine reviews
  9. A zine about zines – the lovely ‘zine zine’
  10. Your spiritual and/or religious views
  11. A television show
  12. A movie, series of movies, or genre of movies
  13. A book, series of books, or genre of books
  14. Book reviews
  15. Poetry zine
  16. A sport, sports person, or team
  17. A fiction zine with a single story or a collection of stories
  18. Photography zine
  19. A game, series of games, specific games platform, genre of games
  20. A band, musician, or genre of music
  21. Comic! Illustrate your life, a fictional story, anything
  22. A colouring zine
  23. Sex, sexuality, views about sex-related topics
  24. Your heritage/background
  25. Your hobby
  26. Your collection
  27. A ‘how to’ guide
  28. A ‘how to’ guide for something that isn’t real/hasn’t occurred/been needed yet (like ‘how to actually taste a rainbow’)
  29. A social issue you feel strongly about
  30. Nature, gardening, or other outdoor-focus
  31. Interview someone, a group of people, or several people individually
  32. DIY zine
  33. Something silly
  34. A spotlight on your hometown
  35. Lists!
  36. A lifestyle choice you have made or want to make
  37. Mail
  38. 24-hour zine thing (whatever it is, make it in 24 hours or less)
  39. Art zine
  40. Split zine (you do one half/part and someone/other people do the other)
  41. Single topic, multiple perspectives
  42. Parenting/raising children
  43. Your craft
  44. A collection of recipes
  45. Experiments in cooking
  46. Relationships
  47. Current events
  48. A zine centred around a specific event
  49. Fashion
  50. Secrets
  51. Randomness all shoved into one zine

Zine Review: The Radical Uprise 6: Summer Kicker!


The Radical Uprise 6: Summer Kicker!

I know the timing of this might not be the best, what with the northern hemisphere heading into autumn, but here in the southern hemisphere, we’re pretty excited about spring. And, well, what follows spring…

The Radical Uprise 6: Summer Kicker! is an excellent example of a zine that is unabashedly and wholeheartedly what it is. What does that mean? In this case, it means this zine is a list zine with an abundance of ideas for what to do about your summer boredom – or the fact you should, you know, see the sun and the outside world.

With suggestions like ‘Learn Calligraphy’, ‘Flea Market’, and ‘Go Raw for a Week’, there’s a great combination of active and quiet activities to suit various personalities.

The real beauty of something like this is that, though it’s a summer boredom breaker, it’s good all year ’round – regardless of boredom levels. You could grab this zine out for finding out something new to do for the day or for winter activities, too. Okay, so walking around barefoot might not be the best idea in winter, but there are plenty of ideas that are definitely year-round or could be with just a little tweaking.

The extra touch I really loved in this mini-zine is the extra space at the end to put in your own ideas for kicking the boredom (and the computer addiction). Either that, or listing out your answers to the prompt that comes before it: Create a summer soundtrack. I’m not sure what the original intention for these lines are, but either way, I love it.