In December 2019 Friends Journal is devoting an issue to “Quaker Kids.” I don’t think we quite realized what we were getting into when we came up with this idea last year. There’s so many ways this could go. There’s a lot of room for creativity here.
Did you know that Friends Journal once had a regular activity page for kids full of puzzles? We could try a return to some of that. Coloring pages! Cut outs! Origami! Or we could update the format, with a graphic novel on a six-page spread: famous Quakers or even the life of a young Quaker today. Maybe we could have a series of memes on being a younger Quaker in 2019 (we did cover the Quaker Problems meme a few years ago).
We’d also love to see some more traditional feature pieces (1200-2000 words) written by Friends under 18—stories of what it’s like to grow up in a Quaker household, or to go to meeting every week. We’ve had stories before about how the extended Quaker peer groups around camps and yearly meeting programs and FGC Gatherings have given Quakers a model of community they weren’t seeing in non-Quaker lives. Does that still happen?
We’ll also consider articles from older Friends about Quaker kids, especially the topic of religious education: how do we pass along our values? And given the experimental spiritual melting pot that is much of Quakerism, how does a meeting even decide which values it wants to encourage? How do we teach a coherent program in small meetings in which child attendance is sporadic and unpredictable?
And for the record, we purposefully haven’t tried to over-define what age range we mean when we say “kids.” We’d love to end up with an issue featuring material of interest for grade school-aged children, junior/senior high teens, and maybe a couple of years beyond. We’re keeping it flexible.
Is Fellow Kids sufficiently out of date that it can be funny again, especially coming from a 192 year old magazine? Hmm. Okay, share this post with 5 other potential writers/artists/memesters, and we’ll start work on a Cafeteria meme or Distracted Girlfriend meme for you all.