Monday, September 7, 2009

BLOG TOUR - Alphabet Soup

I often talk to kids about the team behind the book - so much more than just the author - the editors, the graphic designers, the illustrator, sales and marketing and on it goes. So I am particularly pleased to be hosting Alphabet Soup editor Rebecca Newman as she talks about the people behind the magazine.

Alphabet Soup is an Australian magazine for children aged 6 to 12 who love reading and creative writing. I personally recommend this wonderful magazine but you don't have to take my word for it *grin* A free sample of the magazine (issue 1) can be downloaded here.

Who’s on the team behind Alphabet Soup?
or ‘I would be crazy to try this on my own – who else can I talk into it?’


The first issue of Alphabet Soup was published in spring 2008. Although I run the magazine as a small business, it needs more than just an editor and publisher, so – despite what many people think – I can’t take all the credit for what you see in the magazine! (For starters, I can’t draw to save my life, so at the very least I need an illustrator!)

If you don’t count me, (or the official Team Alphabet Soup – my husband and children), the very first person to join the team was our production manager, Katie Lennerts. Katie is a mentor, software magician, and eagle-eyed proofreader. She’s invaluable to have around, especially when I’ve been staring at the same pages for three days straight and I can’t tell the difference between a comma and a colon anymore!

Then there’s Greg Mitchell, who joined the team as our first illustrator. Some years earlier I had been in meetings that Greg was also attending – and watched him as he (not so secretly) drew quick cartoons about the topics being discussed. It sure made a meeting more entertaining! I always remembered those quirky sketches, and contacted him about whether he’d consider illustrating the magazine. He works as an education consultant and is kept very busy, but luckily he said yes!

Greg was very encouraging about the magazine’s concept from the beginning (back when it was going to be called Runcible Spoon). While we were tossing around magazine ideas, he sat in my dining room and sketched cartoons of my 1 year old as she zoomed in and out of the furniture! Since the very first issue I have been grabbed by children and grown-ups who wanted to say how much they love his illustrations.

After the first few issues, when we were feeling more settled, our second illustrator, Annette Flexman, joined us. Annette is an art teacher, she was already a fan of Alphabet Soup and slotted in very easily. The spring 2009 issue is our first with the two illustrators, and we love the combination of their styles!

Also joining the team (as of this issue) is the Book Chook. She fields children’s questions about writing, and answers them in her column of writing tips for kids. (If you have a child with a question about writing, they can send an email to bookchook@alphabetsoup.net.au.)

Next there’s our well-utilised IT guru, Ryan, who helped to set up the website, and continues to help with website-related issues and online payments. He always remains cheerful and helpful, no matter how silly my questions are. (Perhaps he rolls his eyes on the inside, he’s a very patient IT guru!)

When we’re judging the kids’ writing competitions, I have the assistance of an education consultant. She and I love reading through a big pile of entries for each issue. We are constantly amazed at the stories and poems kids send in.

And I thought I should conclude by acknowledging our printer, because PK Print in Hamilton Hill really do a fabulous job with the magazine. They are always friendly and patient and that makes the last step of each issue much less stressful.

So there you have it – the team behind Alphabet Soup. I couldn’t do it without them!

*****

Thank you Rebecca. And if anyone missed the previous tour stops - just go backwards from here!

1 September Dale Harcombe (Write and Read With Dale) What led Rebecca Newman to start Alphabet Soup magazine?

2 September Sally Murphy (Sally Murphy's Writing for Children Blog) What goes into ‘whipping up’ an issue of the magazine?

3 September Claire Saxby (Let's Have Words) Promotion and Alphabet Soup

4 September Mabel Kaplan (Tales I Tell) Submissions, and selecting material

5 September Dee White (Teachers Writing Helper) Alphabet Soup in the classroom: benefits for teachers

6 September Robyn Opie (Writing Children's Books) ‘First birthday’ giveaway. Win a set of the first four issues!

7 September Sandy Fussell You are here! Who’s on the team behind Alphabet Soup magazine?

3 comments:

The Book Chook said...

Like all really great soup, the mag has choice ingredients, but also there's that special something that only a wonderful editor can bring!

Anonymous said...

Nice to meet the team, Rebecca. Like Sandy I like to know (and share) the story behind the story.
Claire

vitamine e said...

The magazine is really a so much heplful as i m a teacher in primary section and i have to teach the kids the basic alphabets and i took help of this magazine and it works for me. i can easily deal with the kids with this book.My all students love it.Good post!Thanks for sharing.