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What's all the buzz about KOOKIE Magazine?

KOOKIE magazine for smart girls aged 7-12 burst onto the scene in 2017. We talk to editor and co-founder Nicky Shortridge to find out why this mag is adored by young girls.

What are five words that sum up KOOKIE magazine?

Surprising, informative, inspiring, inclusive and most of all ... FUN!

KOOKIE magazine is for girls between ages 7–12, why?

KOOKIE (as in smart KOOKIE) is about giving pre-teen girls a bigger, brighter view of the world and their place in it.

Those pre-teen years are a critical time. For girls they’re important in particular ways: research confirms that a girl’s self-esteem is often eroded as she moves into her teens and on into adulthood, and her vision for her future is often limited by other people’s expectations and gender stereotypes. We want a world full of self-assured girls, fulfilling their individual potential – which benefits us all!

What makes KOOKIE magazine different?

KOOKIE is a response to existing magazines for girls, which mostly follow a familiar format. Think pop, think pretty, think plastic cover gifts. We aim to offer a genuine alternative that reflects and respects girls with all kinds of interests, abilities and backgrounds.

Our magazine is created for pre-teen girls everywhere, but siblings, friends, parents and grandparents can enjoy KOOKIE too. Listening to girls and reading about girls in challenging, creative and leading roles is good for everyone.

KOOKIE regularly features inspiring young girls and older female role models, how do you find them?

With lots of research and lots of requests! Online news and social channels are brilliant for sussing out leads and contacting all kinds of people. Real-life friends and connections are invaluable too. We’ve been happily surprised by how many women and girls want to be a part of KOOKIE.

What is the mix of reading, fun and activities girls will find in KOOKIE magazine?

Every issue of KOOKIE includes a short story and comic strip, as well as a main interview with a remarkable woman (interviewed by our pre-teen readers) and a mix of themed profiles (girl record-setters in our latest issue).

There are always a few features, on anything from activism and adventure to science and sport. Regulars include embarrassing moments, craft, a debate topic, a hero from history, book reviews, puzzles, problems, pet pals, a poster and loads more!

KOOKIE is relatively new, launching in Australia and the UK in December 2017, why a print magazine?

Traditional print media is still popular among pre-teens, who love interacting with magazines in a physical way – receiving them in the post, pulling out the poster, colouring in pictures, filling out quizzes and reading stories on the page.

We want KOOKIE to spark conversations too, and a physical magazine is something a child can share with a friend, a parent, a sibling. Parents also love to see their kids engaged deeply in our content, without a charger in sight.

What do you think are some of the big current and coming trends for girls age 7-12? What concerns them, what's changing for them?

STEMM is the first thing that springs to mind. There’s growing recognition that girls and women are under-represented in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine, and an increasing commitment from all quarters to turn that situation around.

Another biggie is activism. Children are becoming vocal about the ways in which older generations are letting us down, and they’re asserting their right to be heard and considered. Kids are speaking up, getting organised and getting active, and it’s incredibly exciting!

The current issue covers some important global and personal challenges such as climate change and friendship with boys. Can you give us a little insight about these features?

Our climate feature appears in our regular “Change it!” section, where we present big, complicated world issues in a way that makes them easier to understand. We ask advocates to provide top tips and invite readers to suggest solutions too, and include quotes from both on the page.

Over in “Debate” we pose more personal conundrums. For the latest issue we asked readers if girls and boys can be BFFs, and we were swamped with responses. Every single one said YES!

Other exciting content includes a manga-style comic by Queenie Chan, a kitchen science experiment (extracting DNA from a strawberry) and adventures in creative writing.


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