Kill the Gatekeeper
As an angry woman who writes about zines, the opportunity to read a zine by two angry women about writing was very exciting. This zine examines the publishing world and its inherent unfairness, especially if you’re someone who offers a perspective outside that of white cis male heteronormativity.
Kill the Gatekeeper is about believing in your writing in the face of rejection, something aspiring writers know well. Co-author Mandy Shunnarah describes the set-up of publishing, wherein “a small number of people with questionable tastes and possibly problematic views keep the status quo in publishing by making sure the new voices, particularly those of marginalized writers, are kept out.” The makers of this zine don’t wish the literal deaths of these so-called gatekeepers, rather, they wish to see the end of an industry that upholds the status quo at a significant cost.
While there are two writers involved in the creation of this zine, each section transitions seamlessly into the next: both writers are strong and have complementary writing styles. Printed in black and white, each page has a different layout with text superimposed over images. The result is a gritty aesthetic, appropriate for the subject matter.
This zine would be a helpful read for anyone considering a career in writing. It contains a lot of sound advice and insight into an industry that is fundamentally flawed, one which undervalues queer, BIPOC voices. While all writing is a risk, “real, vulnerable, honest writing […] is the only literary risk that has any real reward.”