The MCA Zine Fair is one of Australia’s largest celebrations of DIY and independent art and publishing. Over the last nine years we’ve had hundreds of zinesters sell, trade and share their work with audiences of all ages at the fairs. Some stallholders return year after year whilst others apply for a table after visiting a previous zine fair, having been inspired to put pen to paper and share their work with the world.
In 2017, the Zine Fair returns to its original stomping ground, the MCA’s Foundation Hall, for one day only. Whether you’ve joined us for Zine Fair before or if you’re applying for the first time, here are our top tips for a great application to increase your chances at getting a coveted spot at this year’s Zine Fair!
Applications close midnight, 19 February 2017. When you apply, take the time to consider your application and read through the form carefully. Even if you’ve had a table at a previous Zine Fair, this unfortunately doesn’t automatically guarantee you a table at this year’s Zine Fair. Ensuring your form is filled in, correctly and with the best samples of your work, is essential Confused about the application form? Send us a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we are happy to help clarify!
Are you part of a collective? It’s always great to see the variety of work presented at the fair including work from groups. What can be confusing for us as organisers is when we receive more than one application from the same group! Due to the limited number of tables at this year’s fair, please choose just one member of your group to apply and provide us with a selection of the group’s work when you upload your zine samples. This will avoid much confusion for everyone involved!
Just started making zines and wanting to share your work at the MCA Zine Fair for the first time? We welcome submission from bourgeoning zinesters of all ages! We acknowledge that zine making is an incredibly personal art-making experience and aim to create a fair that represents a variety of genres and styles. So don’t be deterred if you’ve never applied before. No matter how long you have been creating, we encourage you to apply and are happy to provide feedback if your application is not successful.
Whilst many zinesters now promote and share their work through digital channels, we understand that many of you may prefer to present your work separate to the digital world. If you’d like to send samples of your work via post, don’t hesitate to be in touch. Just make sure they reach us before midnight on 19 February! If you prefer to work offline entirely, please call +61 (0)2 9245 2400 to request a hard copy of the application form.
This tip is perhaps our most valuable one! When describing your zine style and philosophy, have a think about the language you use to describe your work. Whilst we endeavour to know as much as possible about the zine community in order to work with you all on this great program, we can’t know everything. Provide us with a clear and concise introduction to you and your work. Are zines your entire world? You’d be surprised as to how many people will ask us ‘What is a Zine?’ leading up to and on the day of Zine Fair. Think about how you’d talk to those people about your work, how you can invite people to learn and discover your zines. The more we understand about your work and about you as an artist/writer/designer/photographer/skater/riot grrrl/activist/poet or however you identify as a zinester, the more chance you will have for a successful application.
Good Luck! Each year we are amazed at the many applications for the MCA Zine Fair, and we know 2017 will be no different. We can’t wait to see you work!
Vivian is an arts administrator and producer who currently works at the MCA as Public Engagement Assistant. Originally from Adelaide, South Australia, she has worked in a range of arts organisations in Australia and the UK. She is interested in socially engaged and intersectional practices, performance, new media and sound-based art.