Olympia Zine Fest

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While Olympia, WA has long been a major creative pole in the zine world, going back to at least the 1980s, it had no established festival to celebrate and strengthen that culture until 2015, when several South Sound librarians and zinesters worked together to create the first official Olympia Zine Fest that has now become an annual event.

The second annual festival in 2016 was a three day event that drew hundreds of zinesters and visitors from all over the Northwest, including Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, and others came from places as far as New Orleans and Boston. Friday evening opened the festival at Olympia Timberland Library, with performances by bands whose members were also zinesters. On Saturday, the tabling event at the Olympia Centre gathered zine people of every stripe who were able to buy, sell and trade zines at reserved tables arrayed in a massive whorl with crowds engulfing the main hall. Meanwhile, veteran zinesters led workshops in adjacent meeting rooms. Attendees inordinately encouraged one other through a centralised zine mail system, and a raffle was held toward evening, with prizes donated by zine makers and local bookstores. The festival continued Sunday with further zine workshops held throughout the day in downtown venues, on topics ranging from political zines to youth-produced zines, cookzines, zining with disabilities, and strategic zinery.

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