Film Stories Jr: can you help us bring a film magazine for under 15s to life?

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We’re launching a brand new film magazine for under 15s – and we need your help.

Please let us introduce you to Film Stories Jr, the latest project from Film Stories.

It’s a brand new magazine – entirely separate from the existing Film Stories publication – that’s aimed at under 15s. We want it to be their own film magazine – and crucially, we want them to write most of it too!

Here’s an early draft cover…

The basics

Film Stories Jr, then, will initially be published four times a year, will be A5, and 52 pages long. It’ll be available in print, and we’re looking into the best digital option too. The intention longer term is then to gradually scale it up, although obviously we have to give you all a magazine you want to read to earn that.

The initial fundraising we’re doing on Kickstarter is to cover the first four issues. You can find the campaign here, and please help us spread the word. We can’t do this alone.

How can I write for Film Stories Jr?

As you may know, our existing Film Stories monthly magazine has opportunity at its heart. That we use over 25 freelance writers per issue, every one of whom gets paid for their work. Furthermore, at least two per issue are getting their first paid writing work. We fundamentally believe in the value of words and writing, and have seen the confidence boost that getting paid writing work can give.

Thus, that ethos will be carrying over to the new magazine. Three quarters of the magazine will be written by under 15 year olds. Each will be rewarded for their work. We’ve taken advice, and paying under 15s cash is a little bit tricky. As such, the reward will come in book tokens or cinema vouchers. We will be paying for these: it’s not a way to shortchange paying for people. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Everybody who writes for the magazine will need to sign and return a safeguarding form to us. This is compulsory, else we can’t print your work.

What, then, are we looking for? We’re after a smattering of reviews, although that’s not going to be the heart of the magazine (geography knocks too many people out, sadly). We’re looking for people who might want to interview filmmakers for the magazine. We’re after feature ideas (what do you love about cinema? What’s your favourite film? Do you have any stories about watching movies with your friends? Have you got opinion on how people behave in the cinema?). We’re looking for people who might want to go behind the scenes of their local cinema (we’re already arranging one or two pieces around this idea). We want to get your questions about films and filmmaking answered. But crucially, we ultimately want it to be your magazine.

If you’re interested in writing for us, then our email address is [email protected]. We need to know you have your parent or guardian’s permission to get in touch. Please, though, send your ideas to that address. We can only fit so many articles in each issue, but we genuinely at this stage don’t quite know what response we’ll get!

Also, please note that I’m holding off a little on commissioning pieces until I know the magazine will get funded. At the moment, it’s looking a bit 50/50.

How can I support Film Stories Jr?

To those who believe in this project, as we do, please help us bring it to life. If you know of people who would invest in adverts/sponsorship (all audience appropriate please), then please let us know (let us assure you that independent publishing is not making us rich. Again, quite the opposite!). If you’d like to buy subscriptions for yourself, your children, donate copies to a school, it’s things like that which help us enormously too.

And if you can help us get the word out, that’d be amazing.

When will it be out?

Issue one of Film Stories Jr is planned for the end of July. Issue two will follow in October.

Will I be able to buy individual copies or do I need to subscribe?

Individual copies will be available through the online Film Stories shop. Given the enormous cost of getting magazines into newsagents – and the fact that we’re not loading Film Stories Jr down with free tat on the cover – it’s not feasible for us to distribute it this way. Just to get into a high street newsagent costs four figures, sadly, and that’s before you’ve printed a copy!

Thank you

I believe wholeheartedly in this magazine. I believe it’s something that’s been missing. And not for the first time, I’m putting my own money and time where my mouth is to do something about it. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Any help you can give would just be amazing.

Thank you again,

Simon Brew
Film Stories

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