A WOMAN who launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a magazine aimed at girls aged eight to 12 is onto her second issue.

Vivien Jones, from Overton, wanted Kookie to find a gap in the market by offering young girls an alternative to the advertising-obsessed pressures of traditional media and the online world.

She and her business partner, Nicky Shortridge, have hit a £50,000 fundraising target which will allow them to increase the frequency of their publication.

They have also linked up with Bristol-based distribution company Ink to make Kookie more widely available on the shelves after their first issue, which sold online, shifted around 1,000 copies, which included subscriptions from around the world.

But the publisher says the ethos of the magazine will not be diluted by commercial considerations and by refusing to take on board traditional revenue streams there are no adverts for fashion and make-up like most magazines which are aimed at the teen market.

“There are an awful lot of girls who aren’t interested in make-up and fashion and have got great ambitions. Our readers are interested in female role models and want to see women doing lots of different things. For example we had a great interview with Darcey Bussell in the first issue and in the second there is a piece with Australian sailor Jessica Watson, the youngest person to sail solo around the world,” revealed Vivien.

“We have debates and get everyone interested. In the next issue we are posing the question, “Should you have to work for your pocket money?”. It is all about the things that girls can do rather than what they can shop for.”

Much of Kookie’s content has been produced by its young readers and among its 52 full-colour pages are articles on history, art and craft, technology as well as fiction, comics and quizzes.

Vivien likens her magazine to publications like Kazoo in the US and Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls which inspire girls to do great things.

She says reader participation is vital and girls from St. Mary’s School in Overton helped out with the content for both issues.

But Kookie enlisted some expert photographic help for its front covers which have been crafted by Wrexham-based photographer Suzanne Ross-Hughes, one of which was a picture of her own daughter, Sophie.

“We encourage the girls to write in and get involved to voice their opinions. Around 70 per cent of the magazine is produced by the readers, they are directly involved as writers, artists and photographers,” added Vivien.

With the second issue out next week, Vivien, who has a background in the children’s book industry, hopes to increase the frequency of Kookie, which is currently being printed on a quarterly basis.

“We’ve decided not to use a traditional publishing model. Younger children still prefer to flick through a magazine – pulling out posters, colouring pictures and filling in quizzes – than read on a digital device.”

* Issue 2 of Kookie is available online at www.kookiemagazine.com/shop