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 Fanzine Contest 

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What are you a fan of?


In July 2023, Wellington Zinefest are running our first-ever zinemaking contest, dedicated to the humble art of fanzines. This is your chance to make a zine which tells the world all about your favourite TV show, band, celebrity or whatever else it is you love.

Submissions are open now until 11:59pm, Monday July 31. More details below.

What's a Fanzine?


Fanzines are publication created by fans, for fans, and are typically centered around a specific topic or interest. They're the first kind of zines to develop - at least in the form we know them.


Fanzines emerged in the early 20th century and first gained popularity within science fiction and fantasy fandoms. Since then they have expanded to cover a wide range of subjects, including music, movies, sports, and various hobbies.

Fanzines are passion projects - they're usually created by enthusiasts who want to share their thoughts, opinions, and creative work with other fans. Before the internet, fanzines were a key part of building fan networks, typically distributed through mailing lists, record stores or at conventions.

There's no rules about what you can include in a fanzine. They often feature articles, reviews, artwork, poetry, fiction, interviews, and letters from readers.

TWIG Issue #13

A science-fiction fanzine published in 1958

Available at

By the writer of long-running punk fanzine Positive Creed.

A comprehensive article written in 2021 filled with examples.

A blog overflowing with zine content, including some fanzines.

Read Fanzines

Below we've linked a bunch of places you can find fanzines to read and get inspired:

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FANAC Fan History Project

An online archive featuring hundreds of science fiction and fantasy fanzines, from as far back as 1930. FANAC also includes fan-generated artwork, merch and more.


Send Back My Stamps!

An archive of hundreds of heavy metal fanzines, mainly from the 80s and 90s. There's zines from all over the world with a distinctive heavy metal aesthetic.


Internet Archive

Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more. Search 'fanzines' to find hundreds of files to look through.

The Contest


The Wellington Zinefest fanzine contest is designed to get people to try out making fanzines about the things they love.


Submissions will close at 11:59pm, Monday July 31. After submissions have closed, three judges from the Wellington Zinefest board will review all the fanzines and select their winner. The winner be announced on social media and receive a prize package of zine stuff! 

You can be a fan of just about anything, so the scope of what you can focus on is pretty broad. Typically, though, fanzines are focused on things in media - film, television, music, celebrities, books etc - but we're open to other things, too. If you aren't sure your topic fits as a fanzine, you can always email us and ask.



You don't have to live in Wellington to enter, but the fanzine contest is open to submissions from New Zealand-based zinemakers only.

Though we encourage you to try making something new for this contest, your fanzines don't have to be brand new work. However they must have been something you've made in the last two years.

Fanzines can be as long or short as you'd like. They can be entirely text, entirely visual art, or a combination of the two. You can submit as many fanzines as you like.


We're accepting submissions for the contest in digital or printed and bound format. Details on how to submit are below. 


The fanzines will be judged by three members of the Wellington Zinefest board. The judges will review each of the zines independently, then meet in mid-August to select their winner. The winner will be contacted directly and announced on social media.

Whiplash Smile #1

A horror film fanzine published in 1987

Available at


Blasphemer #1

A Chilean heavy metal fanzine published in 1990

Available at

The Prize

The winner of the fanzine contest will receive:

- A parcel of Wellington Zinefest-produced zines,

- A Wellington Zinefest hoodie (size L, XL, 2XL or 3XL available),

- A $50 Gordon Harris voucher.

Advice For Makers

Below are some tips on what the judges are looking for when selecting the winner of the contest. Keep this in mind when making your fanzine.


Part of what makes fanzines special is how they involve the personal voice of the creator. The fanzine isn't just about the topic - its also about you, the fan. Through reading fanzines, you can often get a sense of who made it, their personality and why they love their subject. Your fanzine doesn't need to be an intensely personal diary entry, but don't be afraid to include yourself in it. Including your subjective opinions (good or bad) or personal anecdotes are a good way to do this.



The judges are looking for originality when reviewing the fanzines. It might be that you chose to focus on a niche or highly specific topic which they haven't thought much about before. Or perhaps you find a fresh take or new insights on an already well known subject. Whatever way you approach it, originality is a key way your fanzine can stand out.



While we encourage you to explore obscure subjects, for this contest your fanzine also needs to be easily comprehendible. The judges likely won't know anything at all about your subject, so you'll need to explain what it is first, and why it's important. Don't be afraid to get nerdy and specific, but make sure we can understand what your talking about, too.


You can submit two different ways - either by sending us a digital copy or posting us a printed and bound version. In either case, the first step is to fill out the submission form linked below.



On the submission form above, you can upload a digital file of your zine. This can be up to 10MB; anything larger will need to be emailed to us at

There's space under 'Additional Info' on the form where you can tell us more about your zine. This is a good place to tell us if your zine has any special qualities the judges won't see on the digital file.



If your fanzine includes distinct paper, printing, binding or other design and production techniques, then it's worth giving us a physical copy so we can it exactly as you intended it!

To post us a hard copy of your fanzine, please send it to:


Wellington Zinefest

105 Rakau Road


Wellington 6021

Alternatively, you can drop off a hard copy at Book Haven:

Book Haven

160 Riddiford Street

Wellington 6021 

The Book Haven team will have a box behind the counter where they'll stash entries.

Either way, make sure you've also filled out the submission form linked above, so we know how to contact you about the contest.

If your fanzine arrives a couple of days late because of the post, don't stress - we'll still include it in the contest. Unfortunately we won't be able to return your fanzine after the judging. All posted copies will be added to the Wellington Zinefest archives.

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