Children Magazine

designing a communication media for children

Children and Media October 29, 2008

Filed under: Articles — angganapuspita @ 12:45 am

Years ago the media was a neutral source of information for the public however today, between the citizens using their freedom of speech and acting without using rationale, media has been corrupted to be negative, creating a bad influence on children. The media is the most influential factor in everyday life; children interact with some form of media everyday. The chart in Figure 1 shows the percentage of media use by teenagers on a daily basis.

The reality of the deep connection with the media would not be such a problem if the media itself was not so destructive and harmful. From the 12 year-old girls wearing mini skirts, anorexia increasing in teens, and rising juvenile crime rates, children have suffered the repercussions of this negative influence. Whether it is from the music, television, magazines, video games, or Internet, the constant flow of fictitious and damaging information through the media has and will continue to change the youth of our society.

read more about children and media


How Reading Helps Your Children

Filed under: Articles — angganapuspita @ 12:25 am

How many of your children actually know how to read? Obviously they all do. How many of them read fluently? Not as many. Reading levels are only declining each year.

In this day when television is the major source of news and entertainment, who needs to read? The answer is everyone. Reading is the only form of entertainment that is also an essential life skill. It is something you can do no matter where you are. The ability to read will help them comprehend subjects better at school. One will find that most children with learning disabilities have a problem with reading and related language skills. Children with poor reading skills end up receiving poor grades, get easily distracted and frustrated, have behaviour problems, seem to dislike like school and often fail to develop to their full potential.

Research shows that reading helps

  • To write better
  • To concentrate better
  • Process new information in a better manner
  • Develop other interests when you know more about them
  • Develop an ability to understand how others think and feel
  • Become more open to new ideas
  • Stay well informed and talk well
  • Keep the mind active well into old age

Reading opens a window to the world. It helps children score well in a competitive exam, it can reduce the last minute dependence on general knowledge books. A good reading practice does not mean reading only fiction, non-fiction, magazines, or newspapers. It also means reading an insurance policy, land agreements, instructions for a contest, putting together a new computer, playing a new game or even qualifications for a job they aspire for.

Possessing good reading skills helps one understand both sides of an issue, figure out the best offer in a package, write an ideal school assignment, choose a suitable career option and learn to think for yourself.


Stories for Children Magazine

Filed under: Articles — angganapuspita @ 12:11 am

A Note from an Editor

Someone once said we should learn something new every day. Whether it’s information about someone or something, a new song or a new game, or maybe a new word…learning new things exercises our brains.

Just as healthy eating and exercise keep our bodies strong, knowledge keeps our minds strong. The more we learn, the stronger it gets.

As the Nonfiction Editor here at Stories for Children Magazine, my mind gets a workout on a daily basis. Thanks to all the talented authors who submit their articles, puzzles, recipes, games and crafts to our magazine, I get to learn something new every day.

That’s because Nonfiction is writing that is true. It’s filled with facts about people, places, or things. Writing nonfiction is hard work. Writers must do a lot of research. Once they pick out a subject, they have to read books, magazines, search the internet…anywhere they can find information. But most important…writers must make sure all the information they write down is actual fact.

That is why I look forward to checking my Inbox every day. I can’t wait to see what new and interesting thing I will learn. Will it be an article about a weird bug? Strange plant? Special holiday? Interesting people?

What interests you? Do you have an unusual pet? Have you visited some wonderful place on a holiday? Are you an expert at a certain craft? Maybe there’s a game you play that our readers might not know.

Hmmm. I better check my Inbox. Maybe I’ll see your name in there!

Happy writing!
Wendy Dickson
Nonfiction Editor


Magazine Examples October 25, 2008

Filed under: Things I've Found — angganapuspita @ 1:45 am

Here i put some example of Children Magazines in Indonesia. Please have a look..


Magazine Display

Filed under: Things I've Found — angganapuspita @ 1:44 am

These are some documentation I made about Children’s Magazine display in one of the biggest bookstore in Indonesia.


Writing for Children’s Magazine October 14, 2008

Filed under: Articles — angganapuspita @ 10:33 pm

Writing for Children’s Magazines
by Donna Freedman

(Revised and expanded version of an article originally published in Children’s Writer, a publication of the Institute for Children’s Literature)

Not everyone can write for kids, but everyone should want to: Children’s magazines can be a lucrative market. Writing for kids isn’t easy, of course. You have a tiny space in which to pack as much information as you can. You have to write in language they can understand. And you need fabulous ideas that will grab the attention of youngsters who are increasingly distracted by CD-ROM, cable television, and other competing media.

Non-fiction: Where the Action Is

Although many writers want to create enduring children’s fiction, they’re a lot more likely to sell a non-fiction piece. Juvenile magazines do publish a fair amount of short stories, but they’re generally outnumbered by articles and activities. And an increasing number of magazines focus on non-fiction topics like science, nature and technology. “Where the sales are, where the interest is, is non-fiction,” says Susan Tierney, editor of the industry newsletter Children’s Writer.

Interestingly, most editors want non-fiction that reads like well-written short stories. The best juvenile magazines run articles that paint vivid pictures of historical events, or that use colorful, down-to-earth imagery to explain a scientific phenomenon. Profiles of famous people are no longer dry as dust: Readers can feel the wind on Amelia Earhart’s face, or hear the crash as Thomas Edison’s prototype light bulb shatters on the floor.

“The personalities, the settings, all of the emotional resonance behind it can come out in non-fiction,” Tierney says. “There’s a kind of story quality to it, although it’s non-fiction.” You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to write about the space program, or an entomologist to write about dung beetles. All you really need is a dedication to research, an ability to write clearly and concisely, and a respect for your young audience.

Writing for Children Today

You need to put aside any preconceived notions about childhood. The world has changed a lot since your own formative years. Children are a lot more sophisticated these days, and they want articles and stories that are relevant to their world. Writers’ guidelines now call for writing that reflects the realities of modern life: latchkey kids, for example, or single-parent families.

Pastimes and hobbies may be a lot different than you remember, too. Small-town kids may still visit the old swimming hole in the summer, but suburban and urban youngsters are more likely to play youth soccer or take to the streets with their skateboards. You need to familiarize yourself with what kids are doing if you want to write for them. Borrow a friend’s children, teach a Sunday-school class, coach a sports team or eavesdrop at Chuck E. Cheese – anything to get an idea of what kids are like.

One thing you’ll notice is how computer-literate and visually savvy today’s children are. Keep that in mind before you sit down to write. Having been raised on video games and MTV, modern kids aren’t going to sit still for a story that doesn’t grab them right away. “You should try and entice the reader in two sentences to get them into the story. You can’t take six sentences to get to the point,” advises Therese Smith, an editor with American Girl.

How to entice them? With good writing, of course. “We’re looking for the same things you look for in adult writing: a solid plot, interesting characters, humor, sharp detail, good research,” says Christine Walske, an associate editor at Cricket Magazine group.

One of the most common mistakes, editors say, is writing “down” to children – being too sweet, too jaunty or too didactic. Children don’t want to be patronized or instructed. “They’re very sensitive, as most people are, to being talked down to. If they feel they’re being lectured or condescended to, they’re insulted by that, and rightfully so,” says Danny Lee, an editor with the Children’s Better Health Institute, which publishes seven juvenile magazines.

Editors would like to see more biography, history and hard science. “It could be a simple article about some aspect of chemistry, or astronomy, or technology,” says Walske. Nature is a perennial favorite, but most magazines already have backlogs of articles about Really Interesting Animals or Fascinating Natural Phenomenons. It’s not that these ideas can’t make good reading, it’s that they need a new approach.

For example, Highlights recently published an article about a tiger in an animal sanctuary. Normally the magazine doesn’t use pieces set in zoos or sanctuaries. This piece was different because the writer relied heavily on her senses to create a picture for young readers: the sleekness of the tiger’s fur, the roughness of its tongue, its ever-changing moods. Rich Wallace, an editor at Highlights, said the piece worked because it was evocative. If it had been encyclopedic – “Tigers live in Asia. They are endangered.” – it would have been boring.

Even an article that offers lots of information needs to be written in an exciting, attention-getting way. Since slang or jargon tends to sound phony when used by adults, concentrate on unusual details and the best, newest research you can get. Intrigue the reader, and show him how much you care about the subject, whether it’s tiger fur or in-line skating. “You wouldn’t want to write it in such a way that the kid realizes you’ve never even held a pair of in-line skates in your hand,” says Lee.

The worst crime of all is to try to shoehorn in some kind of moral. If there’s a lesson to be learned, fine, but you have to show it, not tell it. Your average 9-year-old isn’t going to have an epiphany along the lines of “Guess I should have listened to what Jesus/Grandma/my teacher/my best buddy said.” And if your average 9-year-old read this kind of thing, he’s going to groan out loud: Give me a break! Like most of us, kids don’t read magazines for the morals – they read to be entertained. “Adults seem to always want to put a message in a story, and kids can smell a message from a mile away,” Walske warns.

Follow the Guidelines–and Then Some

Articles and stories need to be packed into very small spaces. And even if a magazine specifies “800 to 1,200 words,” you shouldn’t feel compelled to use up all the allotted space. Editors love tight writing because children, particularly beginning readers, are more likely to finish a shorter piece than a daunting 1,000-worder. Marketing skills are as essential as writing skills. There’s no sense crafting a piece on the maternal instincts of wolverines only to find that there’s no market for such an article. And if you’re sending out ideas blindly, without the slightest bit of market research, you’re not just wasting postage – you’re wasting an editor’s time.

“There is nothing more frustrating than receiving queries from writers who are clearly not familiar with the magazine they’re querying. They’re obviously not even looking at the magazine they’re trying to pitch work to,” says Smith, of American Girl. She’s gotten ideas like “the history of garlic,” although AG is a magazine emphasizing fun activities for girls ages 7 to 12. A little market research would show, for instance, that Cricket doesn’t publish horror stories; that Highlights For Children steers clear of pop culture; that the Children’s Better Health Institute magazines don’t like stories that feature junk foods.

But it’s not enough to know what kind of articles a magazine wants. You also need to know what kind of writing they prefer. It’s well-nigh impossible to get a sense of a magazine’s “voice” from writer’s guidelines. “If you’re going to write for children’s magazines, for goodness’ sake, READ them!” says Sue Alexander, chairperson of the board at the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Seeing what’s been bought will give you an idea of what you might be able to sell. The stories and articles in children’s magazines may be colorful and exciting, or of a graceful, literary quality. In every story, you’ll notice that not a single word is wasted: each is carefully chosen for maximum impact. Try subscribing to some of the better magazines, such as Highlights, Cricket and Cobblestone. Or spend a couple of hours each month in the kids’ section of the library, reading every magazine on the shelves. Make the time to go through every back issue you can find there.

Magazines and books such as The Writer and Writer’s Market are good places to find other outlets for your work. Don’t overlook specialty publications, such as Children’s Writer or the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Bulletin. To receive the SCBWI bulletin, you have to join the group – but there are advantages to doing so. The bulletin offers industry updates, lists of new markets, articles about the craft of writing, and notices of upcoming conferences and workshops

Copyright 1999 by Donna Freedman. All rights reserved.

For a “case study” of a type of magazine writing, read Writing Mysteries for Children’s Magazines.


Research Plan

Filed under: My maHKU Project — angganapuspita @ 9:06 pm

The project I’m now working on is about designing a communication media for children. Communication media for has to be interesting and attractive for the target, in this case children. To make an interesting and attractive media, I have to make some more research about the children to help me finding the best way of designing a good communication media for the target.