The earliest sign I was meant to be in magazines came in junior high school. One of the English teachers’ flagship assignments was the magazine project: Each of us had to create (in the pre-computer era) a 24-page magazine on a topic of our choosing with articles and advertising. I made mine a music magazine from 1985.
The cutting and pasting really resonated with me, and I started making a monthly music zine, which I continued for two years, eventually reaching a circulation of about 30, including the school librarian.
When I was home for Christmas, some high school friends brought up Music News and asked if I still had any copies. Oh boy, do I ever. I scanned the whole shebang and post it here for you as an annotated PDF for your enjoyment.
I’d describe Music News as a time capsule of what it was like to like alternative music as a teenage girl in the Cleveland area from 1996 to 1998. It also includes some really bad clip art. But looking at the back issues I’m blown away at how much of a writing voice I already had as a teenager. My punctuation and style have improved, surely, but it still sounds very me. And my taste in music hasn’t changed that much, either. I made a Spotify playlist of the best 1996-1998 jams mentioned in my zine. Hope you like time travel!
Zines were definitely my gateway craft. It was the first thing that I created for myself as a kid and the first thing I got serious about as a teen.