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Anyone interested in writing for an online magazine for pre-teen girls that does not feature makeup, boys, horses, cute animals, pink or glitter?

(267 Posts)
MmeLindor. Sun 04-Mar-12 22:27:51

Before anyone reports me to MNHQ, this is a voluntary, non-profit making blog that I am thinking about creating.

I am sick fed up of looking for interesting magazines for my 9 year old daughter that does not feature the above. Most of the comics/magazines are so boring that she flicks through them then discards.

Who decided that all pre-teen girls are only interested in stuff like that? I think that they might be persuaded to read a bi-weekly online magazine with other topics.

My daughter loves art, for example. I could see her loving a magazine that featured stories of artists, or history of art. Maybe your dd likes to read about astronomy, science, geography, or maybe you work in that field and would like to write an article explaining what you do.

We could have articles about technology, about politics (in a general way, explaining about the upcoming US election, and how they vote), about countries, people and how they live.

I would set up the blog and anyone could submit articles for publication. I would be looking to have two articles a week on set days.

Anyone interested?

MmeLindor. Sun 04-Mar-12 23:32:06

Brilliant, R2. Good suggestions.

Am compiling large list.

NotYetEverything Sun 04-Mar-12 23:37:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ComeAlongPond Sun 04-Mar-12 23:38:15

Ooooh can I help?

My friend was applying for a job at one of those awful pink magazines a while back. She had to write two articles and asked us all for ideas. When I suggested she write one on world issues (like the Arab Spring) in a way that might be more accessible to younger girls than The Times or whatever but would still be informative, and one on a list of "Top Ten Women" in various fields/points in history, she refused because 'nobody would care'. Then she wrote one article on which easter eggs contain the fewest calories, and one on Five Things To Always Carry, including such gems as lipgloss, a mirror (for applying said lipgloss AND checking if the boys are looking at you, double win...) and tissues in case you need to stuff your bra. What the actual fuck.

They employed her as well. Though they apparently told her the bra-stuffing was an inappropriate message. The rest of it was fine though hmm

I still wish she'd done the top ten women bit. Could I do that for this? (I will construct better sentences than 'could I do that for this', honest.) I could also do anthropology and photography - they are my specialities.

swanker Sun 04-Mar-12 23:39:42


fridakahlo Sun 04-Mar-12 23:48:20

If it would not be considered too weird, could I maybe do things around occult trivia/religious history. Not a really an expert, just something that I'm interested in.
But that might not be the kind of thing your looking for?

MmeLindor. Sun 04-Mar-12 23:52:45

That is bloody terrifying. Arab Spring article would have been fantastic. Yes please, to your idea of 10 women. Sounds great.

Anyone interested please email me so that I can collect ideas. You don't have to tell me your MN name smile

mmelindor at saltandcaramel dot com

MmeLindor. Sun 04-Mar-12 23:55:20

As long as it was not instructions on how to use an ouija board...

I am open to all ideas. If I feel it doesn't fit then I may not use it, but you can give it a go.

What about an explanation of the different religions? With stories from children of those religions and how their religion fits into their daily lives.

messymammy Mon 05-Mar-12 00:00:15

Ooh I really like the idea of this, but sadly I like quite "girly" things, am a nurse and I like cooking.
What about something written about gardening? Boys and girls like digging in mud?

MmeLindor. Mon 05-Mar-12 00:05:20

It doesn't have to exclude girly things. Nothing against an article about cooking and gardening, or even about make up. As long as the articles are varied and well written, I am open to any topic.

I have written a blog post here so if you know someone who might be interested, please pass the blog on to them.

LadyPeterWimsey Mon 05-Mar-12 00:06:31

Please do this quick, MMeLindor, before DD gets too old! It sounds wonderful.

Not sure I could contribute, but stuff I think woukd be interesting has mostly been mentioned: cooking, careers, art and artists, LOTS of history, girls in other parts of the world, real animals (as opposed to cute ones), current affairs (I rather like the page in The Week which is a sort of political briefing - what's behingd the particular issues and then a brief summary of points for and against).

When I was younger, someone handed us down a number of issues of Look and Learn which both my brother and I adored. I don't remember anything in it which felt exclusive to one gender - or if it was there I obviously just ignored it! I still remember loads of information that I learned from it - what defenestration was, for example. Not sure that would be in many kids' magazines now ... grin

MmeLindor. Mon 05-Mar-12 00:09:56

That looks good, LadyPeter. I would have liked that.

I would like it to be educational, without looking educational. Stealth education.

It has to be interesting and funny so that they want to read it.

anynamesleft Mon 05-Mar-12 00:12:50

... or something about non-traditional sports / hobbies - I read something a while ago about the roller derby scene - colourful, participative, active contact sport plus the humour of the alter egos the skaters choose for themselves.

messymammy Mon 05-Mar-12 00:14:05

Oh yes, you're right. I always loved geography, you could feature a different country in each edition, and focus on a kid from there, what the environment is like, what kind of food they eat there, famous things that are made there etc.

startthefansplease Mon 05-Mar-12 00:14:18

How about a travel section? Sort of a 'my holiday in...' - a snapshot of a city/country? They say it broadens the mind grin

Somersaults Mon 05-Mar-12 00:17:07

I'm a teacher and just recently moved from teaching 8 and 9 year olds down to a younger age group. I think book reviews are a good idea and I love some ideas from other posters, top ten women, careers, world issues/affairs all sound great.

Are you looking for people who can commit to submitting something on a weekly/monthly basis? Or to build a pool of writers/articles that you can then pull from each issue? I'd like to be involved but probably can't commit to submitting something for every issue.

I don't know exactly what my areas of strength are. I love gymnastics and would consider myself obsessed well informed about cuyrebt affairs in that area but beyond that I'm really not sure!!

Oh and I think the Internet safety thing is paramount.

Name wise I will keep thinking.

Is there any way of asking your DD and her friends what they'd be interested in? The classes I taught had a lot of very 'pink' girls in but the ones that bucked the trend were into: maths, times tables, astronomy, geology, mythbusters (that would actually be quite a fun regular piece - something that... busts myths. Wow I'm not sounding eloquent or at all qualified to be involved with this at all!), scouts, football, athletics, history, chess, reading, puzzles, making things.

I know cooking could be seen as being girly but what about featuring a healthy recipe each issue? Or a cool easy to do at home science experiment, like putting a White flower in coloured water and waiting for the leaves to change colour and then explaining the science behind it. That'd be cool. In my experience all kids like practical science.

LovedayPan Mon 05-Mar-12 00:22:11

marks place. Dd is 12, reads and writes short stories and id's herself as 'not a girly girl and not a tomboy either'. Will chat to her about this.

sydneysuze Mon 05-Mar-12 00:30:57

Hi this is a great idea!

And PM me, I have a friend who runs a Masters in Creative Writing, I'm sure some of her students would love to write for you. Plus I've a practical idea of how you can link to stories about girls in other parts of the world without (sadly) needing to travel.

MmeLindor. Mon 05-Mar-12 00:35:45

I think having a pool of contributors would be best. Some people would write regularly, some perhaps just once or twice. I would like to do set days, and set up the posts at least a week in advance so that we are not scrambling at the last minute to get posts written.

Part of the push to start this was the sight of a group of approx 10yo girls in the cinema this weekend. There was a "ringleader", a pretty girl who did the full hair swish and mincing walk of older girls. She was wearing patent ballerinas and was carrying a handbag in the way that only models do - that over the lower arm way, with the hand gesturing. She was like a mini-adult and I found it really sad and frightening to think that my DD is not far from this.

Someone on Twitter suggested an acronym for the name, eg.


Does anyone know what that means? I didn't.

MmeLindor. Mon 05-Mar-12 00:38:10

Have PMed you. Creative writing sounds great.

If any of you have kids who would like to write something, let me know.

We could also have photo posts.

KatieMiddleton Mon 05-Mar-12 00:47:36

The children's version of Great British Bake Off was about 50/50 boys and girls.

I think make up should be out if it's pre-teen. There's quite enough premature sexualisation of children and I think aiming to be accessible to both boys and girls is good to keep the gender bias at bay.

Stock content that might be useful:

Film, tv, theatre and book reviews
On this day in history
Short story - ask creative writing students to submit to get it going??
Comic strip
Letters page
Crafty corner
New round-up
Science spot (how things work, what happens when, experiments, astronomy etc etc make it topical if possible)
What life is like in... - series about day-to-day life for children in other countries (could become user generated)
Editor's letter
What's On
Puzzle or quiz (could invite user generated contributions)
Things to do... Christmas/Easter/Halloween/School holidays
Women who changed their world - series of articles. Suggestions include Florence Nightingale, Rosa Parks, Marie Curie, Bodica, Margaret Thatcher spits, Queen Matilda, Jane Austen, Helen Keller etc etc

User generated contributions:

My town (a guide to a specific place - could invite children to submit their own piece)
My family (piece about family life - who, what they do, bit like the section on the back of Guardian family)
Reviews of festivals, theme parks, other activities

KatieMiddleton Mon 05-Mar-12 00:48:48


blackcurrants Mon 05-Mar-12 00:57:26

it's a bit older than you're thinking of, op, but my favourite online mag for teen girls that doesn't make them hate themselves is Rookie and I think it has that brilliant "not patronising'' tone. In case it's useful/inspirational.

Scarleteen (sex and health advice for tweens and teens) also has brilliant writing.

toobreathless Mon 05-Mar-12 01:33:42

Count me in!

I'm a doctor, would be very interested in writing about the following areas:

Health promotion eg healthy eating, smoking, transplants etc
Health for children: puberty etc
Biology: articles about human body etc

FreddieMercurysBolero Mon 05-Mar-12 02:03:45

I would love to do something for this, book reviews, or social issues would be greatsmile

Marking place. I could do something sports related. I am not really a writer but could give it ago. With some creative editing (!) It may be OK grin

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