Dreaming Big: Young Entrepreneur Sets Out to Conquer the Publishing World
School’s out for the summer, which normally means vacations, swimming, and hanging out with friends… well, not for these super kids. Ava Middleton, Rider Middleton, and Katherine Cheung have dipped their young toes into the publishing world by writing, designing and publishing their first magazine, proving that kids can certainly conquer what they put their minds to.
Mills Farm Magazine Kids’ Edition was launched due in part to an anonymous donation to fund the magazine’s print production. After choosing Allen Press as its printing partner, local Sales Executive Kathy Lafferty organized a pressroom tour for Ava, Rider and her parents, Theresa and Wes Middleton, to see how the magazine was printed and to learn more about magazine publishing and production.
After signing a copy of the magazine for Allen Press CEO Randy Radosevich, the Middletons took a tour of the pressroom with Manager of Prepress and Digital Production Mike Ragan, and learned all about the HP Indigo 7900 digital printers, which printed the first edition of the Mills Farm Magazine Kids’ Edition.
After touring with Mike, we sat down with Editor-in-Chief, Ava, and asked her questions about how she got started in the publishing industry at such a young age.
Q&A with Allen Press’s youngest publisher
Allen Press: How did you come up with the name of the magazine?
Ava: There’s already something in our neighborhood called the Mills Farm Magazine and I wanted to make one for kids.
Allen Press: What made you want to start your own magazine?
Ava: I wanted kids to be able to write stories and draw pictures.
Allen Press: How often do you publish your magazine?
Ava: We are going to do it monthly.
Allen Press: Who are your readers?
Ava: Kids in Mills Farms, my friends and moms and dads. Everyone can read it.
Allen Press: Who do you give the give the magazine to?
Ava: We are going to give it to everybody who is in the magazine and everyone who lives in Mills Farm.
Allen Press: How do you find the stories to put in your magazine?
Ava: We made flyers and we went door-to-door. We also had a pizza party and the kids would come to our house, and would write stories and have pizza.
Allen Press: Who writes the articles?
Ava: The kids in Mills Farm.
Allen Press: Did you write any articles?
Ava: I’m doing a top 10 list every issue, and Rider is doing Pet of Month. I also write the Spotlight Kid.
Allen Press: Can you tell us more about the Spotlight Kid?
Ava: Every month we pick out a kid, and we interview them. I ask them what their favorite color is, and what their favorite song is and we write it down.
Allen Press: Do you have the next month’s Spotlight Kid picked out?
Ava: No, not yet.
Allen Press: What future plans do you have for your magazine?
Ava: I want to make more copies and have it sold out every time.
Allen Press: What’s the most interesting story you’ve featured so far?
Ava: There are these girls who are writing stories that are from the Warriors books. They are adding on to the whole series and we are going to do a chapter in each magazine.
Allen Press: Who helps you put together your magazine?
Ava: My parents, and brother, Rider, and Editor-in-Chief Katherine Cheung. *Note: the co- Editor-in-Chief Katherine wasn’t able to tour the pressroom or be interviewed because she was on vacation.
Allen Press: Do you want to be a publisher when you get older?
Ava: I want to be an author.
Allen Press: What was the most interesting thing you learned at Allen Press?
Ava: How you can make 50,000 copies of a magazine.
Allen Press: How many copies did you print?
Ava: 50 but will be making more next month!
It certainly was a pleasure learning more about this young publisher, and we are looking forward to printing more issues of the Mills Farm Magazine Kids’ Edition! It just goes to show that our Digital Production Center can handle any project – no matter how large… or small.