I am very excited to introduce Anna Caplan, the Editor in Chief of the new children’s Magazine, Honeycake. Anna’s dream to create a magazine for Jewish children led her on a journey that culminated in the first issue of Honeycake. The magazine offers a variety of literary treats for young readers and is sure to be a favorite Hanukkah gift in many homes. More good news for writers and illustrators – Honeycake is open to submissions. Please check out the Honeycake website and order your copy!
Honeycake is a literary magazine for ages 2-6. Can you tell me a bit about how you came to the idea to create the magazine and what the process looked like?
Honeycake was an idea I dreamed up for my own children. The idea popped into my head in early 2018, as I was renewing my preschooler’s subscription to Ladybug (our favorite children’s literary magazine). It occurred to me that I had never seen a similar type of publication for Jewish kids. I started to think about some of the gaps I saw in contemporary Jewish children’s literature, and how a magazine could fill those gaps for our family.
I spent the next year-and-a-half talking to experts and trying to figure out what a Jewish children’s magazine could look like. Early on, I brought in a creative director, Marilyn Rose, who has been instrumental in developing the magazine. As the vision for Honeycake began to take shape, more and more people started asking to see what it would look like. I decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign, which would allow us to promote the magazine to our future subscribers while raising the money we would need to create the first issue. I was blown away by the support we received on Kickstarter! We raised nearly double funding goal, which enabled us to create a first issue I’m really proud of.
What were some of the creative challenges you faced in the first issue?
When you’re putting together the first iteration of something, so many of your creative decisions are existential ones. We had to constantly ask ourselves who we are, who are readers are, and how to make sure every page of the magazine reflects our values. The next one should be easier, since we won’t be starting from scratch. I’m already thinking about how we can take what we’ve created and improve upon it in our next issue!
In a recent interview with The Book of Life podcast, you mentioned your goal to reflect diversity within the Jewish community in Honeycake. What kind of outreach did you do to gather diverse content for the magazine?
It’s important to me to try to represent the racial, cultural, and religious diversity of the Jewish community. Because Honeycake is for pre-readers and early readers, this can play out in the illustrations as well as in the text. Creating a diverse and inclusive publication was a huge focus for us when selecting writers and artists for the first issue. When we put out our call for submissions, we articulated our interest in works by and about underrepresented groups in the Jewish community, including Jews of color, LGBTQ+ Jews, Jewish immigrants, Jewish people with disabilities, and other marginalized groups. We intend to continue prioritizing diversity and inclusion when we create future issues of Honeycake.
How can we order Honeycake? Can individual issues be purchased as they come out?
The first issue of Honeycake is now available on our website! It’s the perfect Hanukkah gift for pre-readers and early readers.
Subscriptions aren’t available yet, but they will be soon. Plans are in the works to publish Honeycake four times a year, with a discount for subscribers. To stay updated, readers can join our email newsletter.
What is the best way for a writer or illustrator to submit their work to Honeycake?
Writers and illustrators are encouraged to submit their work. Information can be found at www.honeycakemagazine.com/submissions.
Mazel tov, Anna! Wishing you and Honeycake much success!