WFPL Zine Fest 2021

Banner with the text, "WFPL Zine Fest: Saturday 10/2"

On Saturday, October 2, the Watertown Free Public Library will host the first-annual WFPL Zine Fest. Zines are small-batch, DIY publications that provide a powerful platform of expression for underrepresented perspectives and voices. We believe they belong in the Library. Join us in celebrating and learning about all things zine!

Zine Marketplace

10 AM – 2 PM | Browse, barter, or buy wares by over 30 zinesters from near and far. This is a great place to meet fellow artists or learn what zines are all about. (Free and open to all.)

Zine Talks

10:30 AM – 3 PM | How does zine making intersect with identity, mental health, power, and local history? Go deep, ask questions, and get inside the heads of these experienced zinesters! (Free, RSVP required.)

Zine-Making Hive

10 AM – 4 PM | The Zine Making Hive is a place where anyone can make their own zine. We give you the supplies and prompts to get you started. All ages welcome, no experience necessary! (Free and open to all.)

Button with the text, "JOIN THE EMAIL LIST" links to email list signup form.
Button with the text, "RSVP FOR A ZINE TALK" links to Zine Talk RSVP form.
Button with the text, "WHAT'S A ZINE" links to Zine information.
Button with the text, "HOW DO I GET THERE?" links to driving, walking, and bus directions to W

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TALK 1 | Mary Barba: Healing in the Zine Community

Saturday, 10/2 | 10:30–11:30 AM | Lucia Mastrangelo Room 
Mary Barba is the creator of Reflective Zines. She creates zines about mental health and writes poetry. This talk will be about the insight, validation, and support people with mental illness can get within the zine community.

Button with the text "RSVP" links to RSVP form. Opens in new window

Photo of a person standing behind a table holding a chair. Artwork in the background.

TALK 2 | Celene Chen: My Identity, My Zines

Saturday, 10/2 | 11:45–12:45 PM | Lucia Mastrangelo Room
Celene (she/her/hers) writes, draws, and publishes under the moniker Underwater Ventriloquist. In her written work, she explores love and burdens as a second-generation Hong Konger and lesbian. Her most recent publication, "Let Me Bother You" continues this exploration by charting the development of gay yearning from high school to the transition into professional life.

Button with the text "RSVP" links to RSVP form.

Black and white photo of a man sitting with hand on shoulder.

TALK 3 | Qadir Shabazz: Contemporary Arts & Literature & Zines 

Saturday, 10/2 | 2–3 PM | Lucia Mastrangelo Room
My name is Qadir Shabazz and I am an Afro Latino Author, Visual Artist and Organizer from Dorchester. I’ve contributed articles to the Boston Compass, Morton Digital and have published my own zine with a collective of diverse contributors called “The Negro Flowers Series”.

Button with the text "RSVP" links to RSVP form. Opens in new window

A person with a beard and a red bandana looks into the camera.

TALK 4 | Seth Deitch and Friends: Independent Publishing in Boston, Back in the Day

Saturday, 10/2 | 2–3 PM | Raya Stern Trustees Room
Seth Deitch, Watertown resident and a zine maker in his own right, will have a dialog with his friends who were involved in Boston’s zine scene in the 1980s and 1990s.

Button with the text "RSVP" links to RSVP form.

Overlapping, colorful zines laid out on a table.

WFPL Circulating Zine Collection

We are thrilled to debut a circulating zine collection in the fall of 2021. Patrons will be able to browse, borrow zines, and event submit their own work to the collection.

Zines and DIY publishing provide a powerful outlet for underrepresented or marginalized voices and stories that challenge the cultural mainstream: Black, Indigenous & People of Color, young people, people with disabilities, and people with limited economic resources. We believe that these voices and stories belong in the Library.

Blue square with the text, "submit your zines!"

We Want Your Zines

We are very interested in receiving zines that have been made by people from Watertown. We are also interested in other zines that you would like donate to be considered for this new collection. Do you have a Zine to donate? Please email us at and a library staff person will contact you with the details.

Small paper zine with the title "Traveling while Trans"

What Is a Zine?

A zine is a self-published, non-commercial print-work that is typically produced in small, limited batches.  Zines are created and bound in many DIY ways, but traditionally editions are easily reproduced—often by crafting an original “master flat,” and then photocopying, folding, and stapling the pages into simple pamphlets.  Zines may also be sewn, taped, glued—or even exist in unbound and other non-folio formats.  The main rule is that there are no rules!