Fight Boredom Zine Residency 2012

Hello readers! I’ve been working on a new project. Inspired by the zine residency at the Roberts Street Social Centre in Halifax, I’ve decided to create my own right here in Montréal. I’ll be accepting three residents this year – likely in the months of June, August and September. Dates are negotiable, as is the possibility of travel funds. Basically, you’ll be living with me for two weeks and makin’ a zine! At the end of your stay, we’ll throw a rad event together. Details are posted below, as well as at this page. Just copy and paste the info, and send it to me either in a Word file, or in the body of an email. Deadline for applications is May 1st, 2012. If you have any questions, please feel free to post a comment.

My bedroom wall, with some of my favourite zines.

FIGHT BOREDOM ZINE RESIDENCY (Deadline for applications: May 1st 2012)

About The Residency: The Fight Boredom Zine Residency was inspired by and modelled after the zine residency that takes place at the Roberts Street Social Centre / Anchor Archive in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. After years of traveling to various cities for zinefests and the like, I want to invite far-away zinesters to explore and create in my home base of Montréal, Québec.

How It Works: For two weeks, you will find yourself living at the Tulip Farm in beautiful Montréal, Québec. This is not a farm, but in fact an adorable two-bedroom apartment in the heart of St-Henri. You will be provided with a pullout couch, bedding, a small guide to gettin’ around and livin’ on the cheap in the city, plus a whole lotta zine supplies (I have basic craft supplies like paper, scissors and glue, as well as numerous typewriters). You’re encouraged to bring anything you feel you may need. Although we may be able to provide you with a small stipend for travel costs, you will be responsible for things like meals and public transportation – but don’t worry, we like to share food and we can probably find an extra bike. [Edit to add: Funding has been confirmed and will amount to $500 per participant, to be put toward travel costs, zine supplies and the final launch party. Receipts must be saved, and any remaining funds will be donated the to the Ste-Émilie Skillshare. Thank you very much to the Union for Gender Empowerment!]

You’ll be living with Amber Dearest, author of Culture Slut and proprietor of Fight Boredom Distro – a pink-haired weirdo who loves picnics, karaoke and scathing critiques of the world around her, as well as Stefanie Canadia, a longtime zinester and artist, who loves animals and is punk as fuck. It’s a veggie household and we’d prefer to keep meat outta here. While neither of us consumes alcohol, you’re welcome to – just don’t be a jerk. Also, you cannot smoke in here! That’s gross.

During these two weeks, you’ll be working on your project with the goal of finishing it on time for a launch party. But, we want you to get out and have fun, too! We’ll show you around the city and make sure you feel comfortable, plus you’ll have access to the Ste-Émilie Skillshare, which is only a five-minute walk away from the Tulip Farm and includes a screenprinting studio, a black-and-white darkroom, sewing machines, craft supplies and a workshop / gallery space. Other nearby goodies include a grocery store, a post office, a basement venue, parks, the Lachine Canal, the Atwater Market, and a 24-hour diner with the best, cheapest, and greasiest fries in the city.

Please note: The Tulip Farm and the Ste-Émilie Skillshare are both located in second-floor apartments and are, regrettably, not wheelchair accessible. There is a friendly cat named Sebastian who lives at the Tulip Farm, so you will ideally not have allergies. There are nearby train tracks, and while we love the sound (and imagined adventures!) of trains passing by, you may not. The Tulip Farm is only a two-minute walk from the metro, which means the rest of the city is basically at your fingertips. Please read the Ste-Émilie Skillshare’s mandate here and Fight Boredom Distro’s submission guidelines here. Feel free to send any questions our way.

In a few sentences, please tell us about the project you’d like to work on during your stay.

Can you give us a brief timeline of your project? What would you like to accomplish during your stay? What is the goal of your project? How do you imagine the finished project? Feel free to include as many details as you’d like.

In the end, we’d like for you to host a launch party for your project, and / or a skillshare / workshop. Please tell us about some ideas and themes you might have for the final event.

Tell us about projects that you’ve worked on in the past. This can include zines, crafts, volunteer efforts, activist organizing, et cetera. Feel free to include your bio here.

What attracted you to the Fight Boredom Zine Residency?

How does your project fall within the Ste-Émilie Skillshare’s mandate, and within Fight Boredom Distro’s submission guidelines?

Residencies happen during two-week blocks in June, August, and September. Are there any particular dates that you’d prefer, or would you rather we choose? We’re flexible.

Amber Dearest / Fight Boredom Distro
344 rue St-Ferdinand
Montréal, Québec
H4C 2S8 Canada
amber.norrean @

Fight Boredom Distro Is Back!

After three weeks of traveling, and tabling at both the NYC Feminist Zinefest and the Chicago Zine Fest, I’m finally home. I’ve added a whole lotta zines to the catalogue, and there are even more on the way. Please click the ‘News’ tab above for all kinds of updates, including a list of events that I’ll be tabling at over the coming months.

Maranda Elizabeth (Telegram), myself, and Bri (Motor City Kitty). Photo by Meredith Wallace. Chicago Zine Fest forever!

I’ve just added All I Want Is Everything #3, Motor City Kitty #17-18, All The Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues, Reimagining Queer Community: A Perzine, Not ‘Queer’ As In ‘Radical’ But ‘Lesbian’ As In Fuck You, So This Is What It’s Come To…: A Zine About The Trials And Tribulations Of OkCupid and Mend My Dress: Collected Zines 2005-2007 to the catalogue.

Restocks include Bananarchy Now!, Pinch Kid #1, Get Fit For The Pit #1 and Telegram #22.

Zines soon to be added include Show & Tell #6 – #9, Doris #29, Real Life: A Magical Guide To Getting Off The Internet, Telegram #24-25, Echo Echo #9, Ker-Bloom, Unicornzine and FIT: A Zine About Sports, Fatness, Feminism & Disability. For more information on how to submit your own zine for distro consideration, click on the ‘Submit Your Zines’ tab above. Alongside the usual, I’m especially interested in zines about quitting drinking, zines about sex work, zines about living on the cheap, perzines that make you feel hopeful, and zines that were created in Canada or Québec, written in both English and French. Please send recommendations my way!

Hello January, Hello New Year!

Green tea and zines at Caffè Mariani.

Dear friends, I have so much to say.

We’re already eleven days into the New Year and I’ve been feeling pretty inspired and optimistic – as I do with all sorts of fresh starts. I’ve found myself out of the house, exploring the neighbourhood and adventuring with friends every day this year. Although I’m falling behind, I’ve been participating in Fun-A-Day Montréal, by writing letters everyday and working on several zines. In fact, I’m co-organizing the event with a friend, though I must admit that deciding to throw an event during the holidays and while moving into a new apartment was a little ambitious on my part, and I didn’t get to put nearly as much effort or promotion into it as I’d have liked to. So let’s call this a pratice run for next year.

A gift from Julia in Quebec City.

Lists, lists, lists. My resolutions this year are to learn how to approach people and be more sociable, to stay sober, to travel lots, to write reviews of every book I read, and to simply make things happen. So far, so good.

I’m planning a lot of trips this year. I’ll be tabling at the NYC Feminist Zinefest on February 25th and I would love to see some friendly faces there. I don’t know a lotta people in the city, but I’ll be traveling with my twin and possibly a couple of friends. Got a place for us to crash? Get in touch. I’m pretty stoked about the idea of a feminist-themed zine event and the organizers seem like really great people who understand how important it is to keep zines accessible – the event is free and it only costs five dollars to table! Here’s a little profile of me on their site.

I’ve also just begun my year-long Pizza Date project, which you can read about here and keep up to date on via Facebook. My first date of the year was last weekend. Tiffany and I went to Super Pointe on Ste-Catherine. The pizza is pretty mediocre, but we had a great time exchanging records, zines, patches and trinkets, listening to Bratmobile and The Ambulars, and talkin’ about Courtney Love and stuff. It was pretty dreamy.

In March, I’ll be tabling at the Chicago Zine Fest, which is always the highlight of my year. I’ve dedicated ten whole days to my visit this year. Gonna get tattooed by Alana Robbie (again), have a pizza date with the South Side Letter-Writing Club, take a million pictures in the black-and-white photobooths… Wanna hang out with me and show me around? I’d like to see your favourite thrift shops and secret hideouts in the city.

And if I can swing another trip, I’ve been asked to participate in a zine reading at Food For Thought Books Collective in late-April, and word has it that there’s going to be a zinefest in Amherst. Hello, Massachusetts!

That said, I’m on the hunt for new zines for the distro. You know that I like zines by queers and feminists, but I’m especially interested in zines about quitting drinking, zines about sex work, zines about living on the cheap, perzines that make you feel hopeful, and zines that were created in Canada or Québec. I’ll accept material written in English et en français. If you’ve got a zine that you think would fit well with the catalogue, please send along a copy for consideration – or if you simply have recommendations of other zines you’d like to see stocked, let me know!

I’ve recently added Dig Deep #3 / Your Secretary #10, Bring On The Dancing Horses and Sassyfrass Circus #6 and #7 to the catalogue. Many more are soon to come!

Your Secretary #10 / Dig Deep #3

Please note that I have a new mailing address:

Amber Forrester
344 rue St-Ferdinand
Montréal, Québec
H4C 2S8 Canada

I’d like to write recaps of Expozine, my trip to Halifax and fun stuff like that, but have not yet found the time. You know how I always give myself too many projects to work on at once. ‘Til next time!

Halifax Readers, Listen Up!

Hi, friends! Just hangin' at the Union for Gender Empowerment, same as every Wednesday afternoon.

I’m going to be in Halifax, Nova Scotia from December 15th – 23rd. Totally on a whim. As usual, I haven’t made any real plans yet, but I’m looking forward to spending some time at the Roberts Street Social Centre, meeting up with a few pen pals, and having Brad show me all the best pizza. And maybe crashing on your couch? Seriously, get in touch.

Anyway, if you currently reside in Halifax, now would be a really awesome time to place an order with Fight Boredom Distro and avoid the cost of postage. You can just email me a list of zines you’d like (or comment on this entry), then pay me immediately via Paypal, or with cash in person. I’d be really happy to bring a stack of zines your way! And to go out for tea! Please note that some of the zines say ‘temporarily out of stock’ next to the titles; they will be re-stocked in the New Year. Listed below are some new titles that were just added to the catalogue this week and come highly recommended. Just click on the ‘How To Order’ tab above for more details. The entire catalogue is listed above in alphabetical order.

Bring On The Dancing Horses
This is the kind of perzine that ought to be savoured over several sittings, then read and re-read. Named for one of the best songs that came out during the year I was born, and containing sixty-something half-size pages of beautifully-written non-fiction about long-distance bike trips and a month-long stay at New York City’s Bowery Manor squat, Bring On The Dancing Horses is a zine about travel, love and anarchy. Might sound cliché, I know, but Shaun possesses excellent storytelling skills and manages to describe his life and politics in a way that is intelligent, thoughtful and endearing. In writing about relationships, he says, “I’ve heard friends say they’ve never felt love like that first love. I don’t know how to respond. I only know that mine become more intense with each successive burst,” a feeling that I can completely relate to. I’ll be honest, I let myself get lost in this zine for a week or so, and it’s one of numerous recent events that has really made me re-think the kind of life that I’m living. Highly recommended.

Culture Slut #25
This is the latest issue of Culture Slut. I write about heartbreak, Patti Smith, quitting drinking, participating in research studies for cash, an obsession with knuckle tattoos, and life in Montréal. Cut-and-paste, quarter-size, 30 pages. Please read it in a safe space; I had a rough year.

Hungry: A (Re)collection of Memorable Meals & Disordered Eating
What a wonderful zine from Clara, whom you may know from Little Gardens For Invalids and I’ve Got Strange Powers. Although illustration is her main means of expression, this zine is one of her more text-heavy efforts. Completed during a two-week residency at the Roberts Street Social Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Hungry chronicles memories of meals throughout her life – documents of disordered eating (consider this your trigger warning) as well as moments shared with friends and past lovers. It’s beautiful and unique and absolutely worth a look.

Pinch Kid #1
I seriously can’t get enough of this zine. Kit has a way with cut-and-paste and does some pretty adorable illustratin’ as well. With a combination of some vintage typewriting and neat handwriting, Kit expounds upon their recent “deconversion” from Christianity and a newfound love of science (“Drugs or religion aren’t needed to walk through the park in awe of how much we have in common with the organisms around me; all I need is a basic knowledge of biology!”), living with integrity inside and outside of the “queer community”, body dysmorphia and experiences of anti-trans bigotry, confronting racism in oneself and a whole lot more. Kit asks a lot of questions in this zine, and it feels like the beginning of a really excellent conversation.

Root #6
First of all, this is one of the most amazing zine covers I’ve ever seen. Talk about eye-catching! In this issue, Sarah writes about her love of bicycles and a burgeoning interest in long-distance bicycling. She writes about creating the Brevets Cycling Club, designed to be welcome to cyclists of varying skills levels, and going on bike trips with these lovely people. Pages are alternately black-and-white and full-colour and feature photographs, maps and some nice cut-and-paste work. Adventure time!

Telegram Ma’am #23
“Of course the past can never change, we hear that so often we don’t really think about it anymore. But what if you did think about it? Like, right now? Everything that has happened up to this moment absolutely cannot be changed no matter what.” This appears on the last page of this issue and has had quite an affect on me. I am learning to finally let things go. Maranda’s writing is often strong, honest and profound, and this is no exception. This issue covers a two-month stay at a mental health institution, a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, radical sobriety, identifying as genderqueer / genderless, their Be Your Own Therapist project and more. Featuring cover art by Clara Bee Lavery. I really can’t recommend it enough.

Root #6 by Sarah Evans, a new addition to Fight Boredom Distro.

Culture Slut #25 – Now Available!

Culture Slut #25

I pulled an all-nighter and finished my latest zine. Culture Slut #25 is about heartbreak, Patti Smith, quitting drinking, participating in research studies for cash, an obsession with knuckle tattoos, and life in Montréal.

Cut-and-paste, quarter-size, 30 pages. Please read it in a safe space; I had a rough year.

Order online through Fight Boredom Distro or my Etsy shop, send me a mixtape, or come see me this weekend at Expozine in Montréal.

The First Snow & Adventures In Zine Organization

I went to bed at 2:45 in the morning and woke up four hours later to the first real snow of the season. And it didn’t bother me at all. I am slowly unlearning my hatred of the winter and trying to look at it in a more positive manner. Preparing yet another winter survival strategy – this year, it means planning a week-long trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia as well as a visit to my hometown to see my family, looking for a new apartment in Montréal, working on zines and teaching myself to play the ukulele. Today has been really hectic and it’s only halfway over. I was out of the house shortly after sunrise, and on the metro toward Parc-Extension, where I went for a blood test as part of a pharmaceutical study that I’m participating in. Afterward, I finally sat down to respond to some emails that had been sitting in my inbox for over a month. Honestly, I don’t really enjoy writing emails and people are likely to get a speedier (and more thoughtful) response if they send me snail mail. Just sayin’. Afterward, I was off to another study at the Montreal Neurological Institute, then I grabbed a couple of slices of pizza and settled in for an afternoon of staffing at the Union For Gender Empowerment. Have since been drinking green tea, listening to this mix of 1960s girl groups posted on Rookie and trying to get some things prepared for Expozine this weekend. (Facebook event here). The boots that I thrifted for eight bucks have been keeping my feet warm and dry. Score.

Still left to do: Stop by Vincent’s to pick up a drawing that he’s contributing to Culture Slut #25, go to the Ste-Émilie Skillshare to edit and print some photos, pick up Maranda and Yaz at the bus terminal, grab some dinner and perhaps head to Jesse‘s craft night if I’m not too exhausted. Long day, and pretty typical, actually. In case you ever wondered why you never see me, or why I don’t update my blog so much anymore.

Something else I’ve been up to: Re-organizing my zines! Maybe one day I’ll even count them, but for the time being, they are at least in alphabetical order. I’m considering donating a large portion of them to the zine library at the Union For Gender Empowerment (as part of what I want to do here involves expanding and promoting the zine library, as well as getting my letter-writing club going again and other such things). I’ve already donated about twenty-five of my books. Lately, I’ve been feeling strange about hoarding all of these fantastic things away in my bedroom where no one gets to see them but me (and others who occasionally spend time in my bedroom, wink-wink). Besides, I’d like to move to a new apartment soon and this’ll give me a couple of crates less to carry with me.

My bedroom floor.

Sebastian has always loved zines.

Never-ending stacks of zines.

8 Letters: A zine about knuckle tattoos.

Does anybody have contact info for Johnny who does the zine 8 Letters? I’d like to distro it, but his NYC mailing address is no longer valid and I don’t have any other info.

Zine books!

How do you store your zines? Do you think you’d ever be able to part with your collection?

Let’s Eat Pizza And Make Out

Pizza Time (All The Time): Patch made by Izzy Jarvis, photo by Vincent Wilde.

Pizza Date is a new zine by Amber Forrester of perzine Culture Slut, and Fight Boredom Distro.

The goal is to go to a different pizza place with a (platonic or not) date once a week throughout the year 2012, then write a review of the pizza. At the end of the year, reviews and cute date stories will be compiled into a zine.

The Facebook page (please click ‘like’!) will be used to provide updates on the project, as well as to solicit suggestions on good pizza in various cities, favourite recipes and other pizza-and-date-related fun times.

You can also ask me out on a date via this page, or comment on this post.

Vegan dates welcome!

Pizza Date: My bestie took this photo at a tasty pizza place on Sherbrooke. Yum!