TEEN'S 'ZINE NOTHING TO SNEER AT
AREA GIRL MEDAL-WINNING WRITER
By RAY CHARLES; Times Leader Correspondent
Thursday, July 09, 1998 Page: 1C
PRINGLE- Summer chores for Kate Flannery: cleaning dishes, vacuuming,
Flannery, 17, a student at Wyoming Valley West, has gone from senior class
president this coming school year to Seventeen magazine's queen of 'zine for
her publication titled Sneer.
A 'zine is a do-it-yourself magazine produced without a lot of money. Sneer
was picked by Seventeen as the nation's best.
Flannery, who won a gold medal for her `zine, is now called "gold medal
Flannery" by her friends.
She felt good about her chances of winning, but experienced some doubt when
she found out how many contestants entered the competition, Flannery said. "I
was surprised when I found out that, of the thousands of entries, mine came in
first," she said.
Flannery defines 'zine as being a noncorporate magazine. They are basically
a way for kids to gain experience about the magazine business, without
spending a lot of money, she said.
" 'Zines are more heartfelt than glossy magazines," Flannery said.
In her award-winning Sneer edition, Flannery detailed the joys of digging
through Dumpsters and printed five pieces of Taco Bell trivia. But Flannery
says her 'zine is much more than titillating trash and taco trivia.
"My 'zine is mainly about feminism and politics, but I try to incorporate a
little bit of everything," she said.
A big follower of the civil rights movement, Flannery said that one of her
most exciting moments was when she interviewed Rosa Parks.
"It was like taking history from the history books and seeing it
firsthand," she said. "(Parks) reminds me of myself, because some people are
talkers and doers, and I'm a doer."
Before winning the contest, Flannery said, she traded with other 'zine
publishers to get ideas for stories and ads. But now the " 'zine queen" has
more than 400 orders for Sneer, which sells for $1.
"Since the contest, I've gotten orders from all over, including Canada and
Hawaii," Flannery said.
Because of the 30-plus orders a day, Flannery's gross income has gone from
none to some. "It only takes me 55 cents to send out a copy of Sneer and the
rest is mine," she said.
And with free labor from her mother and boyfriend, Flannery probably
operates the cheapest assembly line around. "My parents really support my hard
work," she said. "And they encourage me to do good work."
Karen and Daniel Flannery, parents of the 'zine queen, said they are very
proud of their daughter and her many accomplishments- she's a member of the
Wyoming Valley West chamber choir, the Wilkes-Barre Riot Grrrl feminist group,
and a former radio DJ for her high school.
Flannery, who has been publishing for four years, said she is uncertain of
her future career path. But says that publishing a magazine is something she
could do for the rest of her life.
"I really love doing this," she said, "and it's something I could see
myself making a career of."
TIMES LEADER/DON CAREY
`Zine queen Kate Flannery puts together her self-published magazine, Sneer,
at her family's home in Pringle.