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Statement about increased tabling fees

We’ve gotten some questions about the increased cost of tabling this year and wanted to explain some of the factors involved.

In previous years, we were lucky enough to have an exhibition venue that we didn’t have to pay for. That’s changed this year, and we’ll need to pay for venue space for both our Friday evening events and the Saturday exhibition. We’re very excited about our move to Plumbers Union Hall, as it will allow us to host more tablers for an even bigger and better zine fest!

Some of our other costs include security, insurance, printing promotional materials, small stipends for invited guests, and CART captioning services for the deaf & hard of hearing. Our total costs for this year’s fest will be more than $10,000.

The CZF organizers didn’t take the decision to increase to registration fees lightly–we recognize that any increase in fees is not ideal. We’re constantly working on raising funds for this year’s fest with a variety of events, but increasing exhibitor fees has become a reality to close the gap.

We feel strongly about the need to keep CZF free to the public. We greatly appreciate your understanding and commitment to ensuring CZF’s longevity and success!

Our CZF 2015 panel lineup

We’ve been quiet lately but plenty busy–just under 8 weeks until CZF 2015!

Our programming is shaping up to be absolutely fantastic, beginning with our Friday May 8th panel “Zines: a Future Craft” with zinesters Julia Eff (Every Thug is a Lady, Read Once & Destroy), Jonas (Cheer the Eff Up, The Greatest Most Traveling Circus!), and Ocean Capewell (High on Burning Photographs). The panel will be moderated by zinester/librarian Jenna Freedman (Lower East Side Librarian), and the discussion will focus on the past, present, and future of zines and independent publishing. It’ll run from 5-6:30 pm at Access Living (115 W Chicago Ave). We couldn’t be more excited!!

Stay tuned for more announcements!

CZF 2015 is sold out! Register for the wait list here!

Registration for CZF 2015 is now open!

CZF 2015 is now sold out! Register for the wait list here!

UPDATE: While you are still encouraged to sign up for the wait list, please know that it’s grown to 80+ people! We are getting as many people off of the wait list as possible, but will most likely not get through the entire list. But should a registered tabler decide not to table at CZF 2015 between now and the day of the fest, you will be notified via email if you receive a table through the wait list. Thanks for your patience!

IMPORTANT: Please note that once you fill out the registration form, pay through our Big Cartel page, and receive confirmation of your payment from that site, then your table spot IS confirmed and you don’t need to worry! And if you’re paying by check, you’re good to go once the registration form is filled out (just don’t forget to send in that check!).

Registration for CZF 2015 Opens Sunday, Feb 22 at 12 pm (Central time)!

Registration for the 2015 Chicago Zine Fest opens this Sunday, February 22 at 12pm (Central Time)! Table space is first come, first served, and it sells out quickly (although we do get some people off the wait list each year, too).

Registration Details

  • We have set the standard unit of table space to a half table (3’ wide x 30” deep). Due to high demand, full tables will not be available.
  • Please note that while we love crafts and artwork, we ask that exhibitors focus their tables towards zines. At least 75% of your table should be zines or directly related to self-publishing.
  • Lunch will be provided by Upton’s Naturals to exhibitors at the cost of $5 per sandwich. All sandwiches (either a BBQ slaw or chicken salad — your choice!) are vegan & contain gluten. Payment must be made with registration, as Upton’s sandwiches will NOT be sold on site.
  • In the past, some exhibitors have shared their half table with a friend. Chair space is tight this year & we encourage everyone to register for their own half table.
  • Extra chairs will NOT be available on the day of the event. If you have two exhibitors per half table, you must purchase a second chair at registration for an additional $5 fee.


Half table registration is $30.

Save the date!

CZF will be on May 8 + 9, 2015! An opening panel, youth reading, & exhibitor reading is on Friday. Exhibition day is Saturday from 11am – 6pm. More info on the weekend’s events will be announced soon!

Have questions? Email us at!

At last! Dates for CZF 2015!

CZF is thrilled to announce the dates for the 2015 Chicago Zine Fest: Friday May 8th and Saturday May 9th!

Our opening panel, youth reading, and exhibitor reading will be held on Friday May 8th (location and times TBA). The exhibition will be Saturday May 9th from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Plumbers Union Hall on the Near West Side. Registration will open Sunday February 22st at noon (Central time) on the CZF website. We’ll continue to post updates about featured panelists, workshops, and exhibitors as May approaches, so stay tuned to our social media and make sure you’re on our mailing list (sign up at

As you know, CZF struggled to find an appropriate venue for the sixth year of the fest, one that was within our budget, spacious, close to transit, and fully accessible. We’re very pleased with the choice of Plumbers Hall, which is located at 1340 W Washington Blvd near the Ashland/Lake Green & Pink line L station–we’ll be able to host over 200 exhibitors, which will make this the largest Chicago Zine Fest to date!

We were fortunate in previous years and able to keep exhibitor costs very low. In order to put on the best Chicago Zine Fest possible there will be an increase to the registration fee for exhibitors: we’ll be charging $30 for a half-table. As always the fest will be free for attendees.

We know that any price increase is not ideal and we are consistently working on diverse ways to fund the Chicago Zine Fest. Increasing exhibitor fees has become a reality for us in order to meet all of our needs including moving to a larger space, providing support for invited guests, and workshop support. We hope you’ll agree that $30 is still a great deal for a space at one of the biggest and best zine fests in the country!

Thanks for all of your continued support as we work diligently to bring you the best Chicago Zine Fest yet!

Shameless Karaoke!

CZF KaraokeHot off the heels of a very successful bingo night, CZF is proud to present Shameless Karaoke!! Get set to sing the night away Friday, January 23rd at Chicago Zine Fest’s annual karaoke fundraiser at Beauty Bar.

The entertainment will be provided by Shameless Karaoke. Their diverse songbook covers all genres with selections from David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Neil Diamond, Duran Duran, Erasure, Michael Jackson, the Kinks, Madonna, Motley Crue, Oasis, Ozzy Osbourne, Prince, Rolling Stones, Sir Mix-a-Lot, and Britney Spears.

Beauty Bar staff will offer a unique drink special all night long, a signature martini and a manicure.

There is a $5 admission which will benefit the 2015 Chicago Zine Fest. The event beings at 9pm and is 21+. Hosted by Shameless Karaoke KJ, Liz Mason.

Take the stage and own it. Bring friends and sing a duet. Or enjoy from the crowd. Come out and have a good time and support self publishing in Chicago!

Facebook event here:

When: Friday January 23rd 2015, 9 pm

Where: Beauty Bar, 1444 W Chicago Ave.

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