A Beginner’s Guide To The Broken Pencil Zine Awards

Since 2017, Broken Pencil has celebrated the best of independent zines, comix, and other underground wonders that deserve recognition. Now, some of you who are coming across this may be wondering: how do the Zine Awards work, and how do I submit? You may also be wondering what a zine is at all. To settle all of your questions, big and small, please refer to this handy-dandy Q&A right here.

Question: What is a zine?
A zine is an independent (and often hand-made) publication. A zine can be poetry, fiction, memoir, art, comics – about identity, music, hobbies, science, philosophy – in any format: digital, print, risograph, illustrative, written, full-size, half-size. A zine is a zine is a zine.

Question: What are the Broken Pencil Zine Awards?
The Zine Awards is Broken Pencil Magazine’s way of recognizing underground art and writing communities. We hold the awards every fall, and take submissions from all over the world. While we are a Canadian magazine, we have a large international readership that wants to know who the best zine creators are. That is why we started this.

Question: How do I submit for the Zine Awards? Can I submit?
We take our submissions on Submittable. For information on how to submit to the Broken Pencil Zine Awards, check out this link: https://brokenpencil.com/zine-awards/enter-the-zine-awards/

See the form to apply for the award here: https://brokenpencil.submittable.com/submit/265376/bp-zine-awards-2023

Anyone can apply, though we will only accept zines created from April 2022 to September 2023. The awards will run until September 15th, 2023.

Question: How many nominees are there?
There will be 5-10 finalists in each category. Finalists will be notified in the Fall if they have been selected.

Question: How does the judging process work?
There will be five carefully selected judges across artistic disciplines and zine circles that will review the entries and make decisions on winners.

Question: What is the prize for winners?
Each category winner will receive a cash prize of $100. The overall best zine will be awarded an additional $400. And of course, your win will be publicised in our magazine, which is shipped internationally. Winners will also be sold on our own online zine store!

Question: How can I get updates about the Zine Awards?
If you are visiting this very website you are already well on your way. On top of visiting our homepage here, you can follow us on our socials (Twitter, Instagram, Bluesky) and best of all subscribe to our extremely resourceful newsletter.