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The Big Interview: Meet Editor of Storytime Magazine Maxine Stinton

To celebrate the two year anniversary of Storytime, we talk to the magazine’s Editor Maxine Stinton. Sharing with us the many joys of creating something which is cherished not just by children, but parents as well, it’s possible that Maxine may just have a ‘fairytale’ job.

Congratulations on your two year anniversary! How does the experience compare to what you imagined at the beginning?

Thank you! If anything, it’s even more fun. We’re getting to the point now where we’re doing more exciting things – thinking about new types of content, and developing new Storytime-related products. It’s all about exploring opportunities now rather than stress of launching. Plus, we’ve just opened up for submissions from writers and we’ve launched our new poetry competition for kids. We have a lot more of this kind of stuff happening in future. It’s important that we keep our readers entertained and coming back for more.

What is the best part of being the editor of Storytime?

Most definitely getting feedback from our readers – both parents and children. There’s nothing like getting an email letting us know that a reluctant reader is now passionate about reading thanks to Storytime. Or just thanking us for giving them a reason to snuggle up and read stories together. I think the whole team would agree with that.

This month you’ve launched your Children’s Poetry Competition; is inspiring young people one of the magazine’s primary goals?

Absolutely. It’s been our mission from the start to help kids and families fall in love with reading – it’s at the heart of everything we do.

Storytime is always packed with gorgeous illustrations, magical tales, quizzes and games. How do you make sure every issue is as engaging as possible?

By now, we’ve developed an instinct for the kind of stories and illustrations that will work, but we’re very active on social media and we talk to our readers regularly and listen to their feedback, so we're constantly trying to improve and give them more of what they love. I also run regular storytelling sessions with children in our target age group to test out some of the stories to see how well they’re received. If they’re completely silent and on the edge of their seats, I know it’s a winner.

Do you have any advice for parents who have children that struggle with reading?

Well, subscribing to Storytime is a great start and I write a weekly blog, often giving tips on reading with kids. But I think the best advice I can give is that there is a story or a book out there for everyone – a story that will switch on the light and a love for reading in your child, so don’t give up and don’t force it. If your child really isn’t enjoying a particular story or book, just move on to something else. That’s one of the reasons we have seven stories in Storytime – we hope our readers will love them all, but there’s always one or two stories they’ll engage with more.

What is your favourite way to relax once an issue is completed?

To be honest, it never really feels like an issue is completed. I’m always researching stories and thinking about content for future issues. It’s an ongoing thing. But my favourite way to relax is definitely reading… which is probably a bit mad.

What can subscribers expect from future issues? Why subscribe?

We have some really exciting new content coming up, including a brand new serialised poem, featuring lots of fun characters with art by one of our favourite and most imaginative illustrators – and it’s educational too. Plus, we’re launching a new section with a contemporary story in every issue, as well as all the classic fairy tales, fables, myths and legends that our readers know and love.

Why subscribe? As well as instilling our readers with a joy of reading, improving literacy and inspiring young imaginations, we’re plastic toy free (no tat!), printed on high quality paper, so you can treasure every magazine (it won’t get binned after half an hour) and there’s simply no other magazine like Storytime for bringing families together in a positive way that makes happy memories.

For a monthly dose of imagination subscribe to Storytime

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