Tabloid has advice for parents

May 01, 1994|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Sun Staff Writer

A family-oriented tabloid has appeared in Carroll County to deal with everything from how to occupy the kids to tips on training a new puppy.

And, if the initial reaction to Families of Carroll County is any indication, the free monthly newspaper is here to stay, said its editor, Lynn Myers of Westminster.

"It's been very well received," Ms. Myers said, noting that her initial issue in March garnered several phone calls during the first weekend it appeared in grocery stores, day care centers and newspaper boxes throughout the county.

"People were calling, saying, 'This is great! Where did you come from?,' " Ms. Myers said.

"A lot of people have seen it, are starting to recognize it and like it," she said.

The 20-page paper, which currently has a circulation of 10,000, is the brainchild of the (Hanover, Pa.) Evening Sun and should break even within the next few months, she said.

Ms. Myers, a writing and literature instructor at Carroll and Frederick community colleges, said she got her editing position through a network of friends.

"I really like teaching, but I felt like I needed a change," she said. "I was thinking of working in editing and publishing and this offer came along. It was just what I was looking for."

A 1983 graduate of James Madison University with a degree in journalism, Ms. Myers, 32, admits that sometimes the job entails more than she initially bargained for.

"It's a monthly, and it takes the whole month to get it together with the editing and everything else," said Ms. Myers, who earned her master's degree in liberal arts from Western Maryland College in 1987.

"I sell the advertising. I got the columnists together and do some of the writing. It's basically me."

But editing a tabloid at home allows Ms. Myers time to spend with her 3-year-old son and to prepare for the new baby she and her husband, Scott, are expecting in September, she said.

"The hours are very flexible," she said. "That appeals to me, too."

Having a family of her own makes her editing job easier in some ways, she said.

"It helps me get the content together. I have a feel of the paper, the audience is people like me. I look for things that would be interesting to me and people I know.

"Someone who didn't have children would have a hard time with this."

The tabloid covers such topics as medical and child development advice, educational tips, arts and crafts suggestions and children's book reviews.

"It's really wide open," Ms. Myers said. But the editor is always open to new ideas.

"I've got more people interested in writing than I can possibly use, but I always want to keep the door open for good ideas," she said. "I've had an excellent response from writers."

Graphics and photos are the only thing lacking right now, she said. Photos are taken by the free-lance writer or a staff photographer from the parent newspaper.

"The paper needs more visual content," she said. "I haven't had much response from that."

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