Zines and collaborative editing

This is Our Voice is the first publication from Moss Vale High’s Creative Writing and Publishing Stage 5 elective. Not everyone in this class attended the student Writing Room day at the Powerhouse late last year, yet we worked together to edit and create our zine.

This is the process we followed as a model for future zines wholly produced by students:

  • all submissions were shared in small groups to edit
  • edited submissions were projected onto the board and discussed to reach consensus
  • final drafts were printed in Times New Roman and distributed back to original small groups to create individual pages adding artwork if desired and choosing information from the official This is a Voice exhibition catalogue (with permission from the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences: MAAS)
  • one group created the cover and sale poster artwork, while two students developed the end paper collage
  • once all pages were complete, we stood at a large table and made choices about the ordering of pages (though these remained un-numbered
  • photocopying – fortunately, my school does not restrict colour copying for valid reasons. Even so, we plan to limit the use of colour preferring to keep the impact of its use on the cover or an individual page per publication.
  • Copies of zines shared with MAAS who organised copies for the Wellcome Collection, London where This is a Voice originated and was exhibited in 2016.

Future zine covers, posters and end papers will be produced by different students. We aim to publish two zines per term, although students have the opportunity to create their individual publications too. The profits from our sales venture will be used to subsidise the class to attend writing excursions and events, as well as offset the cost of inviting authors to the school.

In an earlier post, Little Mountain Readings, I discussed the difficulty of finalising a draft poem inspired by  an artwork at This is a Voice, the first draft written as part of an ETA Writing Teachers workshop. I included my draft as a zine submission for students to edit. There is a simplicity and honesty in student discussions, and I am pleased with the final result:


inspired by Liquid Consonant


Your words

screeching, grating

invading my ears, seep

into my brain and

creep into my heart.


Love delivered as brutal knives



whirring emotions

Heart hardened like bone.


From the exhibition guide:

This video presents a digitally animated head ‘speaking’ sounds. As the head rotates, the sensually modelled lips give way to a cold synthetic cavity where tongue and teeth form Greek words containing the rolled ‘r’ sound of the letter ‘rho’ prominent in Greek language describing motion, such as current, flow and whirling. Blocks of sound issue in place of words, questioning the possibility of a correspondence between sounds made by the fleshy apparatus of the  mouth and their meaning.

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