Tabler FAQ

How do I become an exhibitor?

Applications for the fest usually open in the spring. We announce application dates on all our social media and via our mailing list. This zine fest operates on a lotto system, meaning applicants that pass through our initial safer spaces screening are chosen randomly using a number generator. A curated shortlist of around 10 applicants is personally selected by the GRZF team. Emails about the lotto results will be sent out soon after registration closes. Those selected to table will be sent all payment information, and your spot at the fest is secured once you have paid.

I have a lot of zines. Can I apply for a full table?

Full size tables are only available to zine distros. Meaning, you collect/publish zines from multiple authors and distribute them. Applicants who apply for a full table who are clearly an individual zinester will not be accepted. This policy maximizes how many zinesters can participate, so we appreciate your understanding.

Can I sell things other than zines?

2/3rds of what you bring to sell should be zines. As long as this benchmark is met, feel free to bring other small items like buttons, prints, or stickers. We do not allow display methods placed outside your table (like large garment racks on the floor or hanging things on the walls), so please keep that in mind if you're considering bringing larger items. If you're unsure about your ratio of zines to other items, try viewing your table as an attendee. They should think, "Cool zines! Oh, they have pins and plushies too!" instead of the other way around. We appreciate folks who make other forms of art and literature, but applicants who do not make zines will not be accepted. This is one of the few annual zine events in Michigan, and we're excited to highlight zinesters!

What if I need to cancel?

Please contact us as soon as possible if you need to cancel. Table fees will be refunded up to two weeks before the event. Exhibitors who cancel after this period will not receive a refund. We rely on table fees to fund our event, and it's very unlikely that we will be able to get someone to take your spot on such short notice.

How big is a table, and how can I decorate it?

Feel free to decorate your table as you wish! Keep in mind that half tables are about 3ft wide, so be mindful of your neighbor. If you need to secure anything, please use gentle tape, such as painter's tape, so we don't damage the tables and chairs generously provided by our venue. Items like tablecloths, signs, small shelves, small display racks, and decorations are totally ok! Please limit your decorations to your table. We don't allow large additional display structures that are a walking hazard or encroach on your neighbor's space. Space is tight, and we want to make sure everyone has enough room to move around and be comfortable. Wall space and outlets are unavailable as well. This is an all-ages event, so please keep that in mind when decorating your table. Some kind of notice of mature content is appreciated. If you have mature content, please avoid placing extremely graphic images front and center.

What should I bring to the fest?

Besides your zines, make sure you have everything you need for selling. This means plenty of cash for change and a safe place to keep your money. If you are using a card reader, we recommend bringing an external battery to be safe. (The building does have Wifi.) Think about how you want to display your work, including price information. It's common for people to bring items like a tablecloth, informational signs, business cards, etc. We also recommend bringing a water bottle (there is a drinking fountain) and something to eat. A "be back soon" sign may be helpful for bathroom breaks!

What can I expect regarding the venue?

Fountain Street Church has Wifi, air conditioning, a drinking fountain, gendered bathrooms, and a gender-neutral bathroom. The space is ADA accessible, and our event has no religious affiliations.Tables and chairs are provided. There is no specified parking for tablers or attendees, but there is plenty of street and ramp parking near the building. Check out all the parking available here. The building does have air conditioning, but things tend to get warm with so many people in one space. It's an automated system, so we cannot control the AC. You may want to dress accordingly!

Is any type of zine okay?

We welcome all genres and styles of zines! However, we are an all-ages event, so we appreciate appropriate content warnings if you have mature or graphic material. That being said, we will not accept applicants/zines that violate our safer spaces policy. You can read the policy in full here. We do not accept zines or zinesters that promote oppression and bigotry.

How much does it cost for a table?

A half table is $15. (3ft long) A full table is $30. (6ft long, distros only) All of the table fees go directly to covering our operating costs, like paying for the venue space. GRZF is completely volunteer-run and non-profit, so the table fees really help us reach our goal of breaking even every year. You can pay more for your table if you'd like to help support our event!

Can I share my table with another zinester?

If you make it clear in your application that you're applying as a group, you can share your space. We have room for a maximum of two people at a half table and four people at a full table. However, tables are only six feet long, so we strongly encourage only one person per half table. If you want to table with a friend, we highly recommend applying separately and requesting to be sat together. We do not allow exhibitors to share space with someone without our knowledge and approval. If you would like to inquire about sharing your table or selling your friend's zines, please contact us.

Can I choose who I sit next to?

We do our best to seat everyone according to their seating requests on their application form. We cannot guarantee that you'll be able to sit next to someone.
Requests regarding accessibility take priority.

Will I be able to leave my table to look around the fest?

We will have about half an hour before and after the fest where you can check out other tables and chat with your fellow exhibitors. During the fest, people typically do one of the following: 1. Ask their neighbor to keep an eye on their table. 2. Have a friend attending the fest watch their table. 3. Have an organizer or volunteer watch their table. 4. Place a "be back soon" sign on their table.

When is the 2021 zine fest?

The 2021 zine fest will be on August 7th from 1pm-6pm at Fountain Street Church. If you'd like to be notified about any updates, including tabling, please join our mailing list (see above).

I'm from out of town or out of state. Can I apply?

Of course! We welcome zinesters regardless of where you live. We enjoy having a mix of artists from Grand Rapids and from out of town.

Is there an age limit for applicants?

We welcome young zinesters, but ask that they apply with an adult. Also, zines with mature content will likely be present at the fest, if that is a concern.

Attendee FAQ

Is there a fee to attend this event?

GRZF is a free event! If you'd like to support GRZF, you can make a donation at the organizer's table on fest day. Or, you can donate anytime online on our Ko-fi.

What is a zine?

A zine is a self-published magazine. Typically zines are created more out of the desire for self-expression and/or sharing information rather than profit. Usually, zines have limited printings and are relatively inexpensive. They often look like booklets and range from a few pages to dozens of pages. Zines have a long history, which you can read more about here. The Milwaulkee Zine Fest describes zines well, saying, "Zines can touch on a variety of topics from music and art, to politics, sexuality, humor and personal memoir. Their content may be written, drawn, printed, collaged, or any other form of combining words and imagery—a zine’s structure may be narrative, journalistic, comic-like, or completely abstract." Want to make your own zine? Check out this guide.

How do I buy a zine? How much do they cost?

We encourage you to bring cash if you're interested in buying zines! Some exhibitors will have card readers if you'd like to pay with credit or debit, but some people will only be accepting cash. Zines typically cost anywhere from $1 to $15, with the average price being around $5. We recommend that attendees bring smaller bills, like $5s and $1s.

Where can I park?

There is street parking available near Fountain Street Church, as well as parking ramps. Check out all the parking available here. Grand Rapids also has a bus system if you'd prefer to take public transit.

Is this event appropriate for kids?

GRZF is an all-ages event! Exhibitors with kid-friendly zines will be noted in our exhibitor list. However, we do allow zines with mature content, including nudity and profanity, so please use your best judgment when deciding if this event is appropriate.

Does the GRZF have sponsors?

We love and appreciate our sponsors! This year we are sponsored by Fountain Street Church and Issue Press. Sponsors help us keep this event going every year. Their donations cover various operating costs such as printing, poster commissions, venue fees, and event insurance. If you or your organization is interested in sponsoring, please contact us!

What time is the fest open?

The fest is open from 1 pm until 6 pm. We have a short window of time to set up before the fest, so we ask attendees to please wait to arrive until 1 pm so you can fully enjoy the event! If you arrive early, our vendors will still be setting up.