Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Interview with V.S. Grenier

I want to welcome VS Grenier, founder of Stories for Children Magazine to my blog today.

Virginia, how did you become involved with production of a children's
magazine?

It started as a hobby really. I thought it would be a fun idea to have a website where new authors could post their stories, articles, and poetry. The idea was we could learn from each other while offering children a fun safe place for free and find the love of reading. What I didn't expect, was established writers submitting to me or the support Stories for Children Magazine received not only from my fellow authors, but from illustrators, teachers, and librarians.

What do you look for in a story you select for publication?
The first thing we look for is a story that the intended readership age group can relate to it. After that, we want the stories to be fun. I do believe stories have to have a beginning, middle, and end, but it doesn't mean children need to learn a lesson with every story we publish. Sometimes children just like a good fun story with no lesson, but the story still needs to have a point like an adventure or some sort of conflict.

What do you feel makes the stories chosen for the Best of Stories for
Children Magazine Volume 1 popular with your readers?

I think our readers could identify with the characters of the stories. Or our readers saw themselves with the characters experiencing each and everything happening. The stories that were picked for the Best of Stories for Children 1 opened our readers’ imagination and allowed them to journey into the World of Ink between their pages.

I understand you are a non-paying market, yet you demand a lot from your
authors. How do you continue to attract such high quality work?

I think a lot of authors and illustrators are supportive of Stories for Children Magazine because we do ask for quality work even though right now we're non-pay, but even though we don't pay our contributors with money we do a lot to help promote them such as: offering contests, awards like the Granny's, and payment if their titles make it into the anthology at the end of the year. We also post their good news with other publishers and events they have going so our readers can learn more about our contributors. We also have a bio pages for our contributors with links and contact information if they provide it. Another thing we do is offer our contributors’ books in the SFC bookstore. Not all are contributors have books published, but a very good amount do.

How many people do you have on the SFC team, and how did you recruit them?
Currently there are eleven SFC Team members counting myself. As to recruiting them, I think most of them recruited me. LOL. I say this because I never dreamed of Stories for Children becoming the Ezine it has. It was my hobby and nothing more. How the SFC Team started to grow was two of my contributors contacted me asking if I needed help with keeping the SFC site running. Selena Spain contacted me about helping with editing the published titles and Gayle Jacobson-Huset wanted to know what she could do to spread the word about SFC. I chatted with both ladies via email for a bit and decided it would be nice to have some help so I took them up on their offers. Selena Spain became the first SFC Copyeditor and Gayle Jacobson-Huset my assistant. Selena ended up needing to leave for personal reasons and Gayle moved up from my assistant to my right arm and Fiction/Poetry Editor. For awhile it was just the three of us and then Chrissy Fanslau contacted me about helping with the artwork. She had been a contributing illustrator for sometime and I liked her work. I also don't know anything about illustrations so I took her up on the offer. Chrissy really helped define the look of Stories for Children Magazine. It was a sad day when she resigned, but her freelance illustration was picking up and I totally understood. After that Gayle and I sent out a post to our contributors letting them know we were looking to have some people join us behind the scenes. We were met with a big response and it was hard to choose who would join us as part of the SFC Team. I treasure each and every one of our contributors . . . old and new alike. With out them there wouldn't be Stories for Children Magazine. I’m glad to say I have some of the best and most supportive team working with me: Gayle Jacobson-Huset our Fiction/Poetry Editor (who’s been with me from the beginning), Wendy Dickson our Nonfiction/Youth Editor, Angelika Lochner our Assistant Nonfiction & Crafts Editor, Sandie Lee our Blog & Fiction Submissions Editor, Marie Letourneau our Art Director, Cynthia Sherwood our Copyeditor, Neysa Jensen our Proofreader, Donna McDine our Marketing Manager, Wayne S. Walker our Book Reviewer, and William Lane our Web Specialist.

The magazine has come a long way from its inception. To what do you owe
your success?

All the SFC contributors are why Stories for Children Magazine is the success it is. They all believe in what we are doing, what we stand for, and how we run our business. They know we're taking things slow and not pushing or rushing into anything. The SFC Team and our contributors know I have the best in mind for them and our readers. Foremost I want everyone to have a fair shake and that I'm not doing this to make money. I'm doing this because I love to read and write. I'm doing this because I want children rich or poor to feel they have a place to come and forget the world around them for a few moments while reading one of our issues.

Yes, now that SFC is growing I do have plans to keep the growth going and to branch into new areas, but not because I'm some Founder or CEO looking for my next buck. No. I'm doing this for all those who love the World of Ink as much as I do. It's because of this we have the loyalty we have, the quality authors and illustrators, the support from our readership and team, and why so many established or new authors and illustrators contact us each and everyday to be a part of Stories for Children Magazine.

Here are some links to Ms. Grenier's web sites: Stories for Children Magazine
http://storiesforchildrenmagazine.org
SFC Newsletter for Writers
http://vsgrenier.com/newsletter.aspx
Children's and Teen Author
www.vsgrenier.com
Stories for Children You Tube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/user/StoriesForChildren


Thanks, Virginia. It's been a pleasure visiting with you.

8 comments:

  1. Penny and Virginia...great interview. It's amazing how much one learns about someone they already now. Great job!

    Warm regards,
    Donna
    www.donna-mcdine.blogspot.com

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  2. Virginia, I admire your dedication and hard work because I know what's it like to try to keep an ezine for children going. A few of us had one for about a year before the "staff" started backing away from all the work to keep it high quality.

    Thanks, Penny, for bringing Virginia's story to us.

    Vivian
    http://vivianzabel.blogspot.com

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  3. Donna and Vivian, thanks for stopping by. Virginia's dedication is amazing.

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  4. Penny,

    Thanks for such a wonderful interview. I always enjoy finding out more about the people that are behind such wonderful magazines.

    Virginia,
    You have a great crew and SFC deserves all the success it gets!

    Lori
    www.loricalabrese.com

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  5. Thanks Penny for interviewing me. It was really great to share more about SFC.

    Donna, Lori, and Vivian . . . Thank you for your comments. I've enjoyed getting to know each of you and I hope you stop Stories for Children Magazine especially in June. Penny has not only a story/article but a craft as well. It's one children will love.

    VS Grenier

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  6. What a wonderful way to contribute. Bravo. And best of luck.

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  7. Thank you all for stopping by. Virginia, it was great learning more about SFC and the SFC team. Your labor of love has definitely paid off in a worthwhile product.

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