Summer Writing with Zines - National Council of Teachers of English
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Summer Writing with Zines

Zines are small-circulation self-published works of original or appropriated texts and images. In 2018 some fans of zines declared July to be International Zine Month—a time when we’re all invited to celebrate zines and independent publishing with other zine aficionados all over the world.

Here are some resources from NCTE and to get you started.

In “Zines in the Classroom: Reading Culture” the author offers a brief history of zines and zine culture and describes several ways to bring zines into the ELA classroom to engage students and address standards.

Zines for Kids: Multigenre Texts About Media Icons” a lesson plan from invites students to create magazines about prominent figures using a variety of writing genres and styles.

The author of “Zines—The Ultimate Creative Writing Project” describes her creative writing project based on “independently created and published personal magaZINES.” She shares a plan and some student examples.

The NCTE Research Brief “Writing Outside of School” provides research to show that extracurricular or out-of-school writing draws on and adds strength to youngsters’ social, cultural, and linguistic resources. Students can expand their social networks and negotiate complicated relationships through extracurricular writing.

Digitizing Craft: Creative Writing Studies and New Media: A Proposal” provides decades of research on the implications of digital technologies and ideologies on the act of composing, of the pedagogical advantages of using the Web to construct e-zines for creative writing classes; the interruption of linearity in the recursive nature of hypertext; and, to a smaller degree, hypertext’s visualization of short stories and poems on the development of ways of seeing alongside ways of reading.

Do you use zines in the classroom? We’d love to hear your strategies and results!


It is the policy of NCTE in all publications, including the Literacy & NCTE blog, to provide a forum for the open discussion of ideas concerning the content and the teaching of English and the language arts. Publicity accorded to any particular point of view does not imply endorsement by the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, the staff, or the membership at large, except in announcements of policy, where such endorsement is clearly specified.


Lisa Fink is an NCTE Staff Member, a former elementary teacher, and a current university instructor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She can be reached on Twitter @fink_girl.