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Like many things, I first saw it pop up on Twitter: There was a new zine fest on the horizon, and it would be dedicated to the art of the perzine.

Like many a perzine — zines centering the personal narrative of the creator, often in an ongoing series — Dear Diary Zine Fest was created out of frustration. While there seemed to be a flourishing of expensive art zine fairs in their East Bay community, the number of cut-and-paste, text-heavy zine events were dwindling. But sharing perzines can be a sacred act, and the organizers of this new event understand this.

Indeed, a perzine maker can feel painfully out of place and self-conscious about the work they create at a zine fair dominated by art books or beautiful but expensive prints. As Dear Zine Fest states on their application for vendors:

“Some of our favorite zines are perzines, some of our favorite zines were made last minute using whatever scraps of paper that were lying around, nothing fancy. We want this to be for the freaks, the queers, people with no online presence, people too shy to submit to fests, younger folks, first time, and long time zine makers. Let it all out and share it with us!”

To ensure the vendors who sign up for Dear Diary Zine Fest fit the organizers’ vision, the application states that participants must showcase zines that contain at least 200 words, and that an explanation is given for why any zine costs $10 or more. Dear Diary Zine Fest is holding the first-ever East Bay perzine fest on February 25, 2018. To stay up to date on the fest’s activities visit

Viva la perzine! Here’s hoping festivals devoted to the perzine begin forming around the globe. (Kim Hornak)

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