MZF celebrates and promotes zine culture, DIY creative literary work, small press publishing, and other independent, self-created wonders in magazine-like format.
We’re one of the Midwest’s longest-standing zine fests: 15 years strong and kicking!
Zines provide a safe, independent platform of expression for underrepresented and marginalized voices: Black, Indigenous & People of Color, young people, people with disabilities, the LGBTQ(+) community, persecuted religious groups, and people with limited economic resources.
Founded in 2008, MZF is an annual explosion of zine-focused wonder in the form of a boisterous festival featuring over 100 vendors from across the country. It's always free to attend, and always super fun for all ages.
The single day event is held at the Central Branch of Milwaukee Public Library, and packed with opportunities to explore and purchase various forms of DIY and independent publishing presented by diverse artists, writers, illustrators, photographers, poets--and more!
The festival also features hands on experiences and workshops throughout the day. Stop by to test a typewriter, make a letterpress print, construct a flipbook, or learn about zine culture, history, and social impact. Every year the fest is a little different, but our vision always remains the same:
We believe your voice should be represented in the published world.
We support radical, independent, and unorthodox ways of publishing by cultivating a community of those who support one another in doing so.
Proactively creating space, equity, and leadership opportunities for Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Zinesters of Color is woven into MZF's mission. We are listening, learning, and evolving to do this better.
MZF is a program of The Bindery in partnership with The Milwaukee Public Library. The Bindery runs additional zine programming year 'round including a collective zine publishing house and communal retail for zinesters.
Interested in tabling at Milwaukee Zine Fest? Every year we run a lottery in winter to determine the roster for spring.
The lottery is only open for a few days every January.
Click the link above to learn more about how the lottery works and join The Bindery's e-list for the annual lottery announcement on our contact page.
MZF frequently asked questions:
We run at least one scholarship, internship or apprenticeship a year. Stay tuned for info.