"I created the zine after I didn’t feel connected to the stories being published in mainstream magazines. I was bored!! I wanted to publish stories that were reflective on what dating / fashion / travel / culture was IRL. I also wanted to write about dope talent I came across as a writer and not have to pitch to an editor who could shoot down my idea. What's important to me is staying true to my gut instincts. Never writing about something because “everyone else is doing it” but really thinking outside the box to keep it fresh." - Melissa Henderson
Violet Summer Zine was founded in 2015 by Melissa Henderson, publisher and owner of Mel Writes LLC. VSZ is highly suggestive urban chick literature, a genre commonly known as chicklit. VSZ features long and short form content from creatives located around the world. Melissa founded the zine after her risque stories were often rejected from mainstream publications. Today, Melissa and the VSZ team are fueled with a desire to tell stories she that resonate with both males and females, primarily individuals between ages 22-29, with 60% working in sales/marketing, entrepreneurs, students, artists and senior managers.
"I create zines in the winter to get over my seasonal depression. Winter in New York can be brutal and for me it's proven that I need to look forward to summer. That's why I love working on Violet Summer Zine with my friends and colleagues I admire around the world. The zine IG account is filled with beach pics. My collaborators do takeovers when they go on vacation and it just puts me in a better mood. Sometimes even the most creative jobs are limiting and with the zine, there are no limits. Most of it is fiction and it's the perfect beach read. It’s my mixtape of literature until i official release my first book, whenever that will be. I am currently working on a few book proposals. The zine team starts making/planning the zine in January. We come together through email and talk about what's affecting us. I usually go to Yoga classes and meditate to get my ideas. We edit together in a google document. The zine is the perfect beach read. It's meant to reflect on your life while staring off into the deep blue ocean or pool or hot subway platform. As millennials, we need a creative outlet that we won't be judged. That's why the zine is highly suggestive chick literature.
The theme is on Ego and Truth
Issue 4 focuses on mental health and domestic violence from young black women’s POV. These are topics that are currently trending in the pop culture community that are addressed in essay and realistic fiction formats.
VSZ also debuts another rendition of Sanity Addiction. Part 3 is about a girl named Princess from Philly who moved to New York after her boyfriend gets locked up for drug activities. After she starts to change her own life by moving to NYC to fulfill her dreams of being a celebrity stylist
whilst attending a fashion college, she starts to experience FOMO from her party girl roommate, Anita. So she ends up meeting another guy who is literally the worst boyfriend ever. But he treats her good the first few weeks. Then, he starts mentally abusing her which culminates into a dramatic situation after a backyard BBQ with friends leads to an heated argument.
Lesson: So many females have been complaining on social media about their horrible dating situations and it’s all negative energy. If you don’t like something fix it! You’re the one giving these guys the power to do what they want.
Insight: Mental abuse is a huge issue in the dating scene and in the african american community in general. More here. This week, I was speaking to my colleague about how her roommate cried for 3 days over a guy she only dated for 3 weeks!! He apparently “broke up” with her. She wanted to cancel her trip she had been planning and saving up for 2 years because she didn’t want to be unavailable to him. This type of behavior is super common. Women are afraid to be single again once they find a guy who pays them the slightest bit of attention. They start sacrificing their own needs and dreams to fit this perfect image of what a partner should be like and do. But fuck that, you attract what you want and can handle.
Domestic violence characteristics: Once your abuser starts #gaslighting you into believing what he says is true, then the relationship becomes dangerous. You’re literally Dangerously in Love. In Sanity Addiction Part 3 you will read how Princess 👸🏾 mindset starts to change. Her BF makes rude comments she ignores at first, but they are really red-flags. She feels lost and confused and yet her abuser may be “better” ( work in corporate America, Etc) than her drug dealer boyfriend, but her Philly guy wouldn’t offend and humiliate her. Pick your poison. Would you go through an abusive situation for a Chanel bag?
EGO TRIP , an excerpt from Issue 4 of Violet Summer Zine: Be great in 2018. That’s what people declared as their New Year’s resolutions before the year had even turned one month. EGO is a hell of a drug, which is why my astrology reading for Spring called for an ego cleanse. According
to the Quietest Revolution astrologist Amber Khan, “Leos (that’s me) are on a Ego cleanse”. It calls for “unlearning things you thought you knew a lot about,” but in reality, you had no fucking clue what you were talking about, it just sounds good coming out. Amber says the Ego has been bruised because it has feelings. It’s like getting into an accident and swearing it wasn’t your fault until the street cameras say otherwise --Or not listening to your gut instinct. That little voice on the inside will say, “Told you so!”
This is the 4th issue of the zine, head to the website to check out the incredible other issues in this collection so far.