Why I think Film Stories Junior matters

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Film Stories Junior is the world’s only print film magazine for under 15s, that’s primarily written by them too – and we need your help to keep it motoring.

As you may know, at the moment I’m in the process of fundraising to try and keep my print magazines – Film Stories and Film Stories Junior – live and kicking through until the end of next year at the very least.

You can find that there.

I do want to talk about the magazines across an article or two though, and why I think they very much still have a place. And I want to start with Film Stories Junior.

There were a couple of reasons I wanted to start the magazine in the first place.

Firstly, primarily, because I wanted to give young film fans their own magazine. I never had that growing up and would have loved it. I always wondered why something like it never existed. I’ve got an answer to that now, given how difficult it is to make happen, but I’ve been bowled over by the reaction to the magazine from those who have given it a try.

Secondly, I wanted to give young writers an opportunity to see their work in print. Given the challenges facing print media – again, I don’t think I’m saying anything radical there! – I’m not sure how long such opportunities will exist. I had the thrill of seeing letters I’d written to magazines in print when I was young, and I can remember them to this day. It meant something to me.

I hope, therefore, the 44 youngsters who have had their work printed in Film Stories Junior so far get that too. But if not, I just think it’s an incredible achievement for them at such a young age to write the articles they have been. There are so many brilliant voices coming through, and it’s been a privilege to print them.

Thirdly, I wanted to make sure that even the youngest of writers is paid. That they can see their words have value, in a world that decreasingly seems to accept that as the norm. I think writing is brilliant, and I’ve battled for a long time against the ‘we’ve no budget for writing’ nonsense. I want to show youngsters that if they write a feature, and someone publishes it, their work deserves payment. I pay via book tokens, and I pay for the tokens myself.

I really believe in Film Stories Junior. Because I spend my budget on things like paying people for their work, it means I don’t have the funds for marketing and such like, and I’ve realised that might not be the best business plan. But I could never do it the other way around.

Film Stories Junior needs word of mouth and support to continue longer term. I don’t take that for granted, and I hugely appreciate all the support I’ve had to this point. If you think it’s worth backing, might I point you towards the Kickstarter I’m running? If you believe in all of this too, and don’t mind spreading the word, it’d be hugely appreciated.

You all take care.


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