Published March 23, 2020

Looking for a project to keep your kids busy while schools are closed in response to COVID-19? Or an activity that you can do alongside your children? Maybe you just want a fun distraction for yourself while you’re social distancing?

Inspired by George Ella Lyon’s “Where I’m From” poem, many people—old and young, writers and non-writers alike—have composed poems exploring their personal experiences. As part of the Changing the Narrative initiative at Virginia Humanities, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, we invite you to make a zine that weaves together personal narratives and creativity.

What’s a zine?

zine (/ziːn/ ZEEN; short for magazine or fanzine) is a small-circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images, usually reproduced via photocopier. Zines are the product of either a single person or of a very small group, and are popularly photocopied into physical prints for circulation. Learn more from Wikipedia.

What you need to make the “Where I’m From” zine:

  • Zine template, to be printed on 8.5″ x 11″ (PDF)
  • Zine prompts (PDF)
  • Map, matching prompts to template (PDF)
  • Folding instructions (PDF)
  • Printer, to print off the template (and other provided PDFs, as needed)
  • Scissors
  • Pen, pencil, markers, and/or colored pencils

To get started…

    1. Download the four PDFs above.
    2. Fill out the zine prompts.
    3. Use the map to match your prompt responses to their locations on the template and write your responses there.
    4. Once all of your responses have been added to the template, complete your zine with decorations, which can be anything from original sketches to collages.
    5. Finally, use the folding instructions to assemble your zine.
    6. Then, share your zine with others by posting it to social media. Tag the @va_ctr_book on Twitter or @VirginiaCenterForTheBook on Facebook and we’ll help retweet or share your zine with the world!

Many thanks to Lana Lambert and Bellamy Shoffner for the work they contributed to this project! 

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