about the zine
Songs from College started as a column of my newsletter, the fixate. It's a series of essays that combine personal history with music criticism, each one dedicated to a track, album, or artist I loved in college. You can read the archives here.
Now I'm expanding the original column into a collaborative publication. Until August 11, I'm accepting submissions of blurbs, tributes, and essays about a song you loved in college (or between the ages of 18 and 24).
To submit a tribute, email izzyampil [at] gmail [dot] com with ZINE: in the subject line.
I plan to make the finished compilation available in print and digital by late summer/early fall. Eventually, I'm also hoping to feature longer essays in the fixate and offer CD mixtapes of the songs included in the zine.
What are you looking for?
The prompt is broad on purpose: I'm looking for written tributes about songs that meant a lot to you in college — or, if you didn't go to college, songs you cherished in your young adulthood, between the ages of 18-24. The spirit of the project is more about celebrating community and coming of age than about documenting the process of getting a bachelor's degree; although, if you attended college after the age of 24, feel free to interpret the flexibility of this prompt as it suits you.
These tributes can be anywhere from 150-1500 words, and they can be about songs of any genre or type of personal meaning. Pregame songs, breakup songs, and road trip songs are all fair game, as are corny, overrated songs that are nevertheless essential to the zeitgeist. You can write about a song that meant a lot to you then or a song you've revisited in a new light since. You can submit one or a dozen; I'm eager to read anything you write. You can even submit something you've already published elsewhere, provided that's allowed by the original outlet.
For inspiration, check out Hua Hsu's zines, anything & everything by Hanif Abdurraqib, Anthony Veasna So's essay "Baby Yeah," Issa Rae's 2021 Stanford commencement speech, or The Paris Review's recent love song series, which includes tributes to Roger Troutman's "I Want To Be Your Man," Nina Simone's "You Don't Know What Love Is," and Bad Bunny's "Aguacero."
How can I contribute?
Email your submission as a Google doc/Word doc/PDF to izzyampil [at] gmail [dot] com with ZINE: in the subject line by July 20th.
Will all submissions be included in the final zine?
Kinda depends on how many I get, but probably!
Will I get paid?
Unfortunately, I don't have the funding to pay contributors at this time. But if this expands into a profitable project, all revenue will be redistributed among all participants. I'm also aiming to provide a free contributor copy to every writer who submits over 1200 words.