Tie-in with Bloomsbury offers potential pathway for budding child writers

By Kelsey McCabe

A children’s magazine aimed at black youths that was launched by a journalist from South London has announced an exciting new partnership with Bloomsbury Children’s Books.

The aim is to get kids passionate about the publishing industry and give one child the chance to have their own story idea published as a book.

Cocoa Magazine is a children’s publication that educates its audience about black culture and features articles written by young black writers, aged seven to 11.

In 2020, while she lived in Beckenham, Serlina Boyd launched Cocoa Magazine as Cocoa Girl, a publication intended to be the UK’s first magazine celebrating black girls. Its initial success led to the launch of Cocoa Boy several months later.

In April of this year, Miss Boyd launched the Cocoa School of Journalism and Creative Arts in Beckenham Road, Beckenham, an after-school program where students can learn about video editing and news reporting. Prior to the school’s opening, more than 300 parents tried to register their children for classes.

Miss Boyd still isn’t finished with community outreach. As part of the magazine’s partnership with Bloomsbury, each quarterly issue of Cocoa Magazine will explore part of the publishing process, from editorial and design to sales and publicity.

These quarterly pieces will include short interviews with Bloomsbury staff about their roles and the process of breaking into the publishing industry.

Content from Bloomsbury’s own authors, books, and illustrators will also highlight the presence of people of colour in the publishing industry to build confidence in Cocoa Magazine’s diverse readers.

The collaboration will also include a competition for young writers. One child who submits a story and cover idea will have that concept turned into a Bloomsbury book.

Additionally, the winner will enjoy tea with a Bloomsbury children’s author or illustrator and a stack of Bloomsbury books measuring their height.

Pictured top: Serlina Boyd proudly shows off Cocoa Magazines (Picture: SB)

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