On Hiatus Until Mid-August

Hey friends, hey zinesters, hey readers! Fight Boredom Distro is going on hiatus while I visit the East Coast. Please don’t order zines from me, as I won’t be able to mail ’em out ’til mid-August anyway.

If you’re in Halifax, come visit me at the Roberts Street Social Centre. For the last two weeks of July, I’ll be living in their shed and making a zine (and hopefully eating pizza and swimming in the ocean and exploring the city, if you’ll join me).

You can also catch me tabling at the zine fair at Sappyfest in Sackville, New Brunswick on Saturday, August 4th from 12-5 pm, upstairs at the Royal Canadian Legion. I’m traveling with a backpack full of zines, come empty it so I can refill it with new ones.

All orders placed by Monday, July 16th have now been shipped. Phone and internet access will be limited, so please don’t get in touch unless it’s necessary.

P.S. Sappyfest is gonna rule. Silver Mt. Zion and Julie Doiron and Canailles and BA Johnston and so much more, yes please.

Halifax, I’m Coming To See You! (You Too, Sappyfest).

The rumours are true, I am one of this year’s lucky participants in the zine residency at the Roberts Street Social Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. For the last two weeks of July, I’ll be living in a shed and making a zine (and hopefully eating pizza and swimming in the ocean and exploring the city, if you’ll join me).

I wanna bring zines to you! If you’d like to order zines and avoid postage costs, just send me a list of what you’d like. I’ll let you know the total and you can pay me in person and we can drink tea together and it’ll be lovely.

As well, I’ll be tabling at the zine fair at Sappyfest in Sackville, New Brunswick (Saturday, August 4th, 12-5 pm, upstairs at the Royal Canadian Legion). Because I’m traveling with a backpack and not much else, I’ll only have a select few titles available. Your best bet if you’re on the East Coast is to pre-order – you’re guaranteed to get the zines you want, and you’ll be helpin’ out a broke zinester.

ACCEPTING PRE-ORDERS UNTIL MONDAY, JULY 16TH, 2012.

♥ Summer Bummer Twee Picnic & Reading with Bri of Motor City Kitty! ♥

This is the first zine launch party held in conjunction with the Fight Boredom Zine Residency! Celebrating the release of issue #19 of US-based perzine Motor City Kitty.

When: Thursday June 21st at 6pm.
Where: Parc Georges-Étienne Cartier in St-Henri (along Notre-Dame, between Délinelle and Beaudoin)*

Moscow Cat Picnic, image via: http://oriox.ru/image/1836/

Bowties, babydoll dresses, dancin’ shoes and pigtails. Don your most adorable attire for the Summer Bummer Twee Picnic & Reading. Shed a few tears in yr waterproof mascara, because we’ll be reading about summer bummers: grief, loss, guilty pleasures, misandry, catcallin’ and more. But don’t be afraid to tell us about your summertime adventures and sappy romances. It’s a twee picnic, after all! Featuring readings by:

Bri of Motor City Kitty (Cleveland, OH)
Amber Dearest of Culture Slut and Fight Boredom Distro (Montréal)
Claire Evans of Unicornzine (Montréal)
More TBA – Anyone is welcome to read at this event, be it from your own zine, your favourite zine, or your embarrassing journals.

Bri of Motor City Kitty, hangin’ at the canal.

Snacks and refreshments will be available, and if you’re lucky, we’ll bring temporary tattoos and the Fight Boredom Distro catalogue.

Why the dancing shoes? Because we’ll be heading over to the dance party at Squalor afterward!

*If it rains, you can find us havin’ an indoor picnic at the Ste-Émilie Skillshare (Located at 3942 rue Ste-Émilie, on the second floor).

Say Hello To The 2012 Fight Boredom Zine Residency Participants!

June: Bri is a zinester, artist, and musician from Cleveland, Ohio. She has been writing the perzine Motor City Kitty since 2004. During her stay at Tulip Farm, she plans to create the latest issue of MCK (#19), focusing mostly on the topics of family, loss, grief and the concept of home. Other topics that have been floating through her head lately that could appear in the issue are confronting privileges, accepting “guilty pleasures” (and why that phrase is problematic), and femme identity. She hopes to include more of her artwork and diary style comics in this issue, as well.

August: Teresa Cheng lives in Toronto, Ontario and is the creator of the zines Dykes & Their Hair, Feeling Words: A Pocket Book of Emotions and Upskirt: Dirty (Un)feminist Secrets. She is a first generation Chinese-Taiwanese queer woman of colour who is working toward becoming a high school English and Geography teacher. During her stay, she plans on making a zine called Repeat Conceit, containing interviews with punks of colour, as well as excerpts and new reflections on pieces from Race Riot, Shotgun Seamstress, Femme Shark Communique and other zines by people of colour.

September: Lacy J. Davis is an artist living and working in Oakland, California. She is super pumped on making things, specifically things that reference the teenage years, coming-of-age, sexual bumblings, memory, and the (not-so) subtleties of the feminine identity. While in Montreal, Lacy plans to work on a young adult novel. Within the story you may read about the process of dropping out of high school, a lady’s first queer love, the struggle to break free of the addictive powers of anorexia and bulimia, and of course, feminism.

Info on how we chose this year’s zine residency participants is here. To stay up-to-date on zine happenings and be the first to know about launch parties for these three projects, please subscribe to this blog (at the top right corner), or ‘like’ Fight Boredom on Facebook.

How We Chose Fight Boredom Zine Residency Participants

For the sake of transparency, I’d like to write about how we chose the 2012 Fight Boredom Zine Residency participants. You can view the application on the website here. The idea was based on the zine residency program at the Roberts Street Social Centre in Halifax (which I’ve been accepted to – I’ll be in Halifax for the last two weeks of July). I travel around a lot for zinefests and stuff, and I thought it was about time people made their way to Montréal.

As soon as I announced the residency, applications started coming in. We received twenty-eight applications in all – twenty-six via email and two via snail mail. A few days after the May 1st deadline, Stefanie and I sat down to look through all of ’em. Some people were automatically eliminated. We decided that it wouldn’t be fair to consider the three applications that came in past the deadline. We also eliminated a few applications that we felt had no correlation whatsoever with Fight Boredom Distro’s submission guidelines, nor the Ste-Émilie Skillshare’s mandate. When it got down to it, there were still about twenty projects that we were totally in love with, and we realized it was gonna be a very difficult task. We then eliminated “applications” that weren’t really applications. Some people just emailed a couple of paragraphs about themselves and their zines, and even though they seemed like really great people, it was important to us that the applications be filled out properly. After all, we asked all of those questions for a reason. Having a Q&A style application made things a lot easier when we were narrowing it down to fewer participants and we wanted to check back on various information, for scheduling and the like.

We sat at the kitchen table reading over applications together. Each of us had a notepad and a pen, and as we went along, we wrote down each applicant’s name with whatever notes we thought were relevant, plus a Yes, No, or Maybe. Afterward, we compared our Yes, No, Maybe lists to each other’s. This is when things got really, really tricky. We’d narrowed it down to about eight or nine people, however we each had the same three “strong yeses”. And all three of them were only available during the same time period in September. We knew we could only choose one. So we set that list aside for a bit, and went to work on the June and August residencies.

Our first two choices for June couldn’t make it after all – one had found a job and the other had family visiting. Our third choice was available, so they quickly applied for a passport and bought a Greyhound ticket at an advanced discount. There were two people that we were considering for August, and I went with my gut on that one – I’m really excited about the project and I feel like the Ste-Émilie Skillshare and Fight Boredom Distro are the places to make it happen. I’ve told our second choice that they can be on standby in case something were to fall through.

Back to September. This was the toughest decision to make. In the end, the person who was chosen was one of the two people who applied via snail mail. They sent us a typewritten letter in a hand-sewn envelope and they were one of the first to apply. We’d been excited about their project since the very beginning and just couldn’t resist. Our other two choices know that they will be re-considered if something falls through – we’re really sad that they can’t all be here.

I can’t stress enough how difficult the decision was. Almost everyone had excellent proposals, and I wish they could all stay at the Tulip Farm. There are some projects that I’m really stoked on and even if they can’t create them in Montréal, I wanna do whatever I can to support them and of course add them to the distro catalogue in the future. And hey, maybe we can even become pen pals! I’ve alerted those who were not chosen, and if they’d like some more information or critiques, I’m into it.

I’d like to turn this into an annual event if I’m able to. Anyone who didn’t get in this year can certainly apply next year, and so can you, dear readers. (This year’s participants are listed here).

Hand-Delivered Zines and the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair

In March, I got a distro order from someone who lives in the city. Instead of giving me their mailing address, they told me where they worked and asked if I could drop off some zines. Of course! I put ’em in my backpack, rode my bike up to the Plateau, and hand-delivered ’em. I was on my way to a pro-choice demo in the area anyway. I’m pretty sure that delivering zines by bicycle is totally adorable and fun, and I wanna do it more often! Ever since the article about my distro was printed in the Montreal Gazette, I’ve been getting a lot more orders from people within the city, including people who had never even heard of zines before! So, if anyone in Montreal wants to place an order and avoid postage costs, you can always send me an email with your address and we can work out a plan. I live in St-Henri, but I bike all over the city all the time. Let’s talk!

That said, I’ll be tabling at the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair all weekend. Please stop by! The bookfair is taking place in two buildings right across from each other – the Centre d’éducation populaire de la Petite-Bourgogne et de St-Henri (CEDA) at 2515 rue Delisle, and the Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (CCGV) at 2450 rue Workman. Fight Boredom Distro will be at CEDA, but please make your way through the whole shebang. I hear there’s gonna be free coffee! And the Midnight Kitchen is providing food (there’s still time to volunteer to help cook, by the way).

Mostly, my life has been taken over by a few specific projects. One of them is preparing for the anarchist bookfair – ordering zines, screenprinting patches and posters (and helping friends with their screenprinting projects at the Ste-Émilie Skillshare), and working on some new zines. Still gotta do some cutting and pasting and photocopying and folding and stapling and and and… Speaking of, if you’d like to volunteer at the Ste-Émilie Skillshare, now is your chance! There are info and training sessions for the Sidetracks Team taking place on May 26th and 27th. I highly recommend joining! I’ve been on the Sidetracks Team since maybe two years ago, which means helping print t-shirts and posters and whatnot for various community groups, as well as having access to the space for personal projects. It’s a seriously amazing resource – the more, the merrier!

I’M ALSO WORKING ON TWO SECRET PROJECTS SSSHHHHHH.

If you applied for the Fight Boredom Zine Residency and haven’t heard back from me yet, don’t worry, you will. There were about thirty applications sent in, and out of those, we’ve managed to narrow it down to six people. Of course, we’re only able to choose three. We’re still workin’ on it. I can’t even tell you how difficult it is – there were so many exciting proposals and I wish I could make them all happen. Whether or not you’re chosen for the residency, I’ll still be in touch with thoughts and feedback. Soon!

I was riding my bike to the Plateau yesterday evening, and walked uphill on Clark because dammit I’m just not good at riding uphill. A middle-aged Francophone man stopped me and asked about the feminist killjoy backpatch on my flannel shirt. I told him that I’m a feminist who ruins everyone’s fun.

He asked how old I am. « J’ai vingt-six ans. »

« Et vous êtes féministe, puis vous l’annoncez? Je vous félicite. »

He said he was happy to see young feminists in Québec, he said there weren’t enough of us, he smiled, and he wished me une bonne journée.

(Yeah, I don’t update this blog much anymore, but I write about things on my Tumblr sometimes).