Zone in to Zines

Toowoomba has its own Zine Library! If you haven’t got a clue about what a zine is…..never fear, you are not alone.

When you need to learn, go to the best in the business. Word Fest Toowoomba was recently able to recruit guru Jeremy Staples from his Russell Island home to Chair the much-enjoyed session on Zines in the company of our own local Ziners Bianca Martin and Bronte Geitz. Both these young writers have dipped their toes in the Zine water for years, and Bianca has now established the first Zine library in a happy little corner of Jeremy’s Book Exchange at the Uni Plaza Shopping Centre deep in the heart of Universityland on West Street.

Dropping in to the Book Exchange and seeing Jeremy in his element is always a delight. The warmth of the shop emanates from his cheerful personality and the fun that each corner of the shop holds for readers and word bargain hunters of all ages and tastes. With sections for all genres and a special focus on local authors, including his own fun childrens’ books, Jeremy has definitely hit on a winning formula for enticing customers.

So it was with much curiosity that I interviewed Bianca. The pride in her voice about the establishment of the little library was very evident. Introductory examples and her own zines have set the tone for the newest library in Toowoomba.

An added bonus was that one of the Zine contributors, albeit a self-declared novice, Nola Passmore, had just dropped a couple of her Zines off to the library. Nola is a well-known local author, former Uni lecturer and now Zine convert. Her small, but powerful pieces, came from articles she had read on themes and historical incidents and her keen eye for words and sentiments which sprung out left a strong impact on the page.

And WOW! A double bonus is The Bookmaker shop near the bookshop in the same UniPlaza row of shops. Wonderfully skilled craftspersons bringing embroidery, paper making and craft and covers, journals and kits as well as exciting workshops make this a great addition to Toowoomba’s bookish scene.

So get in to the Zine Zone! Explore and write your Zines, seek out Bianca and have fun in the zine.