Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ignited: An Interview With The K.O.F. Team

I'm very priviledged to be able to interview Kylie and Catey, editors of Kids Of Faith Online Magazine- a website desiring to "Inspire young Christians to live for Christ, and love him in a deeper way."

In her own words, Kylie explains how she started K.O.F. with her friends.
"I began K.O.F. in November 2007. I was looking for a way to express my creativity in the computer realm while still making an impact for Christ," she writes, "I had the idea to start an online newsletter, the purpose being to encourage kids in their walk with God while relating with them in a fun way. I soon sent out an e-mail to my friends, asking them to send in their submissions..."
The rest is history- albeit recent history. Editors Kylie and Catey proceeded to publish movie and book reviews, devotionals, short fiction stories, poems, and educational articles, along with other faithful contributors.
Good ideas, however, generally lead to other good ideas. Four months after purchasing a
domain, the K.O.F. team was thrilled to discover that their new site had received 1000 hits. This month, they've decided to do even more- Kylie and her friends recently launched their first ever affiliate outreach program; a project that promises to keep the K.O.F. team busy for the summer. Dubbed "Ignition" the project is a four week challenge taking place June 1-27. What is it about? I've decided to have the K.O.F. team explain it in their own words.


NATALIE: In a nutshell, what is Ignition all about?

KYLIE: Ignition is about falling more in love with Jesus. Often we know we love God but it isn't a burning, ardent love. With Ignition, we hope to ignite and rekindle this love in our generation.

CATEY: Ignition is a training period. It's a time where young people (and less than young people too) get to experience God in a way that is unique and fun and, above all, for God's glory and the advancement of His kingdom.

NATALIE: What exactly will be happening during June on the Ignition website?

KYLIE: Lots! We will be putting up articles every day pertaining to the week. Our line-up is very exciting. We have my column, called Stoked by Love, and Catey’s column, Sparks of Mercy. The introduction to each week, called The Dawn, will be posted every Sunday. Jocelberry will have a piece of art up every Tuesday. Not to mention a few other surprises, such as short stories, humorous and research pieces, and poetry.

CATEY: We'll also post our weekly challenge and answer emails, comments, and questions from our readers.

NATALIE: When did you get the idea to launch Ignition?

KYLIE: Honestly... I get most of my ideas when I'm trying to fall asleep at night. And that's when I got the idea. I was thinking about the word illumination (which is incorporated in Ignition's assistant editor, Catey's blog title). It's very unique and one of my favorite words. Then the word ignition popped into my head, and I thought something to the effect of, "What if we could start a challenge that would ignite people for God?" It went from there. I scribbled down my ideas in a notebook and shared them with the KOF staff. They loved it! Ignition is much bigger than my original idea now, and I love it that way! Even with how much it has grown, the intention is still the same: to ignite a burning desire for God in the hearts of Christians (particularly young people). I believe that with God's help, we can accomplish this. It's all about Him.

NATALIE: What are your hopes for the future concerning Ignition, and ultimately, K.O.F?

CATEY:I'm hoping that Ignition will blossom into more than just an annual challenge. We're looking at making it our outreach to teens, learning how to take this deeper relationship with God beyond June. I'd always love to see more visitors to our sites influenced, but that's all in God's hands. As it comes to Kids of Faith, the magazine has experienced so much growth in the past year alone, it's hard to guess. With four new staff writers, a new artist, and a new editor, I've loved watching this magazine grow! KOF is so beyond all the things I could have ever hoped for when I first started writing for it, it's hard for me even to say.

NATALIE: We'll return to K.O.F. now- what has been your favorite thing about running an online magazine?

KYLIE: Well, I’ve always loved formatting content, as strange as it sounds. I watched my mom work on our homeschool group’s newsletter, and I thought I could do it too. It’s great to have a place to fuel my creative energy. I enjoy using my talent in writing and my knowledge of graphic design to lift up other kids and teens, and for the glory of God!

CATEY: Well, I was recently promoted to editor of KOF, but I don't technically run it. But I have loved helping brainstorm ideas for different themes, writing the articles and helping organize things. Probably my favorite thing about editing for KOF is seeing how everything fits together. I have a personal website, and I've written for sites that have a lot of individual articles, but it is not nearly as neat to see my articles, Kylie's articles, and everyone else's pieces come together to form one cohesive being that will make a difference online.


NATALIE: You already publish a good range of content. Are you looking for new kinds of material?

KYLIE: Yes, we are always looking for new content. As far as our existing contributors go, we just took on Alyssa, who is our new poet. She now has a column called “Rhymes at Times and Prose to Know”, which, from my understanding, will be a hodge-podge of her thoughts expressed through various forms of writing. Ashley, author of the music reviews at KOF, is also taking on another column, called “The Shining Stars”, which will be focusing on Christians in Hollywood. Other than that, I am hoping to have more features (our term for articles that aren’t part of a column) in the upcoming issues.


NATALIE: As an ending question, do you have any advice for younger kids who are interesting in writing for a webzine or community blog?

CATEY: Don't settle for mediocrity. It was huge for me to be mentored by a published author and to learn to be better than I am now. Try to push yourself, stretch yourself, and write anything anyone will let you write. Find something you're passionate about (I've written some really terrible pieces - and the reason they were so terrible was because I never tried to get excited about them) and express that. Nothing is impossible with God's power. Pray that he will give you the right words to say and just get out there and do it!

KYLIE: This is difficult for me to answer since I never really started off writing for an online magazine… I started one myself! Still, from an editor’s point of view, I would recommend reading a lot of webzines. That way you can get familiar with the type of content they typically publish. Then, I would try submitting articles to various webzines. Submitting content is a great way to “test the waters”, so to speak, in the webzine realm. (KOF ran solely off of submissions for the first year.) Don’t give up if you get rejected! And lastly, just trust God to bring you where He wants you to be.

                                                   ****



3 comments:

Kylie said...

Brilliant interview! It's a joy to see it put together. Thank you so much for featuring us - it was a great opportunity. You did a superb job with the intro, and it's overall excellent!

One thing - there isn't a link to either the KOF or Ignition site. So... for anyone wondering, the links are here: www.kidsoffaithonline.net, and www.ignitionchallenge.wordpress.com

Thanks again!

Elizabeth J. said...

Natalie, thanks for posting this interview-it was excellent.

Echoes in Ink said...

Hello Natalie!

You did a great job on that interview! Thanks so much for your interest and your support of KOF and Ignition. It means so much to us.

Oh! And thanks for the comment on my site, too!

In love and on fire,
Catey
sparksofillumination.blogspot.com