In 2018, Anand Vedawala moved us all with his thought-provoking and confessional zine Hair, winning Best Perzine, as well as Best Overall Zine in the BP Zine Awards. We’re thrilled to announce that Anand will be joining us as a judge for the 2019 Zine Awards! Here’s a little more about Anand’s background, and some qualities he’ll be on the lookout for in zine submissions.
A former civil engineer and animator, Anand Vedawala is an educator for San Francisco Unified School District, an organizer of queer South Asian events, and the executive director of San Francisco Zine Fest. Anand writes about cultural expectations, discrimination, racism, queerphobia, sexism and classism. He’s the author of several zines, including his most recent titled Childhood, illustrated by his 7-year-old twin nieces. His self-published book, 100 Years from Now Our Bones Will Be Different, with co-author and illustrator Lawrence McWilliams received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Anand is currently working on revising his children’s book draft, at least that’s what he keeps telling his agent.
What kind of zines make you excited? What will you be looking for from submissions?
I tend to read a wide range of zines, but I love perzines because they often help me see others as folks who are greater and richer than their labels, more than just “writer” or “artist.” And, I have a soft spot for works about families, particularly immigrant families. Presentation matters, however, so I’m expecting to see folks play with construction, narrative, storytelling format, just any kind of risk or atypical approach. Above all, I hope to read works that feel honest and authentic.
What are you reading right now?
I just finished reading the incredible novel Ants Among Elephants by Sujatha Gidla, and I’m currently re-reading Danez Smith’s poetry collection, Don’t Call Us Dead, which made me cry several times the first time around. So, of course, I’m re-reading it. Zine-wise, the next in the stack near my bed is Lawrence Lindell’s beautifully illustrated The Garden.