18 Feb Budding media mogul aged 11 runs own magazine from her living room
She’s only 11 years old but Mirissa Efemey has already started her own media empire.
For the past 18 months, the schoolgirl has been writing, designing, editing, publishing and printing her own magazine from the living room of her home in Thurso, Caithness.
Mirissa started her arts and crafts publication – M’s Art Magazine – in October 2016 and is now bringing out a 32-page edition every month.
The Primary Seven pupil’s mag has 45 subscribers across the UK and the number is growing by the day, so much so that she is thinking about outsourcing the printing.
Mirissa with one of the earlier editions of her Arts and Crafts Magazine, while the most recent edition is on the right (Image: Northern Studios)
Mirissa, whose creative spirit has earned her a Sunday Mail Young Scot Award nomination in the Arts category, never dreamed her magazine would prove so popular.
She said: “I love doing craft and came up with the idea of making my own magazine full of craft ideas a little while ago.
“It started out as eight handwritten pages and I gave it to my mum, aunt, nana and my next-door neighbour. Other people started to hear about it and asked if they could have one too.
“Last summer, my dad taught me how to use InDesign on the laptop so now I do it all on the computer.
“There are now 32 pages. I’ve even created my own editorial font based on my handwriting.
“Demand is growing all the time and I’m thinking of getting someone to do the printing as our home printer is struggling to cope.
“My youngest subscriber is a six-year-old boy and my oldest is an 86-year-old. My friends only found out that I had my own magazine a couple of weeks ago as I was a bit embarrassed about showing it to them. Now they all want copies too.”
Mirissa Efemey, 11, Thurso, works on the next edition of her Arts and Crafts Magazine (Image: Northern Studios)
The Miller Academy Primary School pupil, who is a junior member of the Women’s Institute, added:
“As well as crafting ideas, I feature pictures of things subscribers have created themselves. I like to get as many people involved as possible.
“I’m just about to publish my 14th edition. This month’s release features a guide on how to make an owl
keyring, instructions on how to draw a fox, fashion tips, spot-the-difference illustrations, a series of puzzles, a recipe for making custard cream biscuits and a fact box on one of the world’s most endangered animals, the snow leopard.
“I get my inspiration from other crafting magazines such as Mollie Makes, topics I am doing in school and some of the fun things we do at the WI. Every edition is different.”
Copies of Mirissa’s magazine were free initially but her subscribers wanted to give her something towards it, so she now charges £2 to cover the cost of postage and printing.
A selection of recent editions of the Arts and Crafts Magzines designed and produced by Mirissa Efemey (Image: Northern Studios)
The keen crafter and baker, who won six trophies at the Caithness County Show last year, said: “I liked doing it for free but the costs started mounting.
“I reinvest all my magazine money and spend my pocket money on it too.
“I work on it every evening after school. I spend more time on it at weekends and in the holidays.
“I work from my dad’s computer in the living room and, when I have finished, my mum helps me print it.
Mirissa Efemey shows off some of the magazines she produces from her living room (Image: Northern Studios)
“I start Thurso High School next year and, although I will probably have lots more homework, I still hope to bring out my magazine. It’s my dream to go into publishing one day.”
Mirissa’s mum Julie Murray, 44, a quantity surveyor, says her daughter has been writing stories since the age of six and, aged eight, started up her own pet magazine called The Woofster News.
She said: “Mirissa has always showed a maturity beyond her years and has been writing and creating little magazines for years.
“She has a fantastic imagination and loves sharing her ideas with
the world. Her dad Steve and I are extremely proud of her.
“To have such dedication and focus at 11 years old is quite incredible and we have no doubt she will achieve whatever she sets her mind to.”
Do you know someone as creative and talented as Mirissa? If so, go to www.youngscotawards.com and nominate them for an award. Winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony at Glasgow’s SEC on November 30.
Young Hero – sponsored by Co-op Food
Community – sponsored by the Scottish Government
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Year of Young People 2018 Champion of the Year
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Enhancing Education – sponsored by Skills Development Scotland
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Health and Wellbeing – sponsored by Active Scotland Division
Equality and Diversity – sponsored by Standard Life Aberdeen
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