My 10-year-old self would have loved SCOOP, a new children’s magazine for 8-12 year olds.
My 34-year-old self was pretty gripped by it too. Such is the mark of any good children’s publication – it appeals to both adults and children’s alike.
Founded by Clementine Macmillan-Scott, co-ordinator of the Galle Literary Festival and Galle Children’s Festival and edited by Sarah Odedina, editor-at-large for Pushkin Press, SCOOP provides a much-needed platform for the fantastic crop of contemporary children’s writers and illustrators, while offering an intelligent engaging read for bright and creative young things.
The magazine sets a high bar with contributions from authors including Neil Gaiman, Eoin Colfer, Philip Womack, John Agard and Abi Elphinstone plus an array of illustrations, comics, puzzles and cartoons.
Overall, the tone is friendly, educational and, most of all, inspiring.
Issue 1 has some brilliant short stories and I love the fact that SCOOP also prints and encourages contributions from its young readers, who can enter competitions or volunteer themselves for book reviews. It is in this way that budding literary enthusiasm can bloom.
This is a magazine that really nurtures the curious young (or older) mind.
In half and hour, I learnt about the International Space Station from Tom Whipple (Science editor of The Times), what a poem is from Imogen Lycett Green (grand-daughter of Sir John Betjeman) and how to write a play from Sir Tom Stoppard (none other).
I also now know how to paint a flower like Georgia O’Keefe.
The beauty of SCOOP is that (like all the best lessons) one learns without ever feeling that one is being taught.
Meanwhile, a notable absence of the garish colours and patronising exclamation marks that dominate most print publications aimed at this age group is also a big plus.
A subscription to SCOOP would be a brilliant present – and one that the whole family could enjoy.
SCOOP will publish 10 times per year and is available in print and digital editions via subscription. The magazine costs £40 for an annual family subscription or £160 for schools, which will be sent five copies of each edition. For more information, visit www.scoopthemag.co.uk