How do I make a science zine? Can I submit it?

To make your own science zine, use the tips, template, and folding instructions below! We love it when folks submit zines to our Zine Library-if you'd like to, read on.

Refresher: Why make a science zine?

When is the last time you told a friend about an amazing scientific fact or shared a science idea with your family? Maybe just the other day. But how about also sharing science with someone you don’t know and may never even meet through writing + pictures? That is exactly what a “zine” is good for.

  • Unlike a textbook, anybody can make a zine! You don’t have to be an MD or a PhD, you only need to know and care about your topic, and want to share this with others.
  • You don’t need special equipment to make or read them. As a simple paper booklet, zines are small, inexpensive, and something you can make copies of & leave absolutely anywhere – from buses to bookstores.

Questions to think about as you start making your science zine:

(1) Who do I want to read my science zine?

Who is your audience? Depending on whom you want to read your zine, you may want to choose a science topic you think they will both be interested in and be able to understand. If you want your 6 year-old sister to understand your zine then you will need to use words and images she could understand. If you want kids and adults alike to find your zine interesting and learn something from it, then think a lot about your topic, word choice, and images that can succeed in doing this.

Of course you cannot please or reach every reader, but when you think carefully about who you imagine reading your zine and what experience you want them to have, it will really help you in making your zine successful.

(2) What  topic do I choose?

You can choose any scientific topic, from light bulbs to fireflies, global warming to gluons. It is up to you. Whatever specific topic you choose, make sure it is one that you are interested in yourself if you want others to be interested as well. Do research to find useful and credible scientific information as well as imagery that can communicate the scientific ideas.

(3) Why  will people want to read my zine?

Is it eye-catching? Does it have an interesting title? Think about making it a comic or including interesting characters that can help tell the story of your scientific idea. Humor, is of course, also a great tool for engaging your reader while also communicating. It is possible to be both silly and serious at the same time. Use interesting and clear visual images along with text (your own drawings or clip art, etc.). Correct spelling, clear lettering, and of course good grammar are also important if you want it to be easy to read.

How to format and fold your zine

Most of the zines in our Zine Library are formatted to be printed on one piece of letter-sized paper (8.5"x11") and become 8 pages when folded. Here's how to fold and format these types of zines: 

How to submit your zine to our Zine Library

Email your zine PDF to smallsciencezines (at) gmail (dot) com for it to appear in our Zine Library under a CC-BY-NC-ND-3.0-US license

✅ Before-you-send checklist: 

  • Is you file 8.5" x 11"? 
  • Is your file in PDF format (ideal)?
  • Does it have a high enough resolution to print clearly? 
  • Do you have your name on your zine (if desired)? Do you have "Small Science Collective" on your zine? This is totally optional, though this would let people know where they can print it. 
  • We often make blog posts about submitted zines. Feel free to email us any photos or videos of your folded zine, any context on why you made it, or any other thoughts from you. 
  • If you chose to make an unusual form or size of zine, please include or link to folding instructions. 
  • Feel free to contact us with any questions. smallsciencezines (at) gmail (dot) com