Lucy Singer- Inspirational Young People Series

We have been on a quest to interview inspirational young people over the past few months. Fourth in our series we feature Lucy Singer who is the founder of HistoriCool, a magazine dedicated to engaging 8-14 year olds with stories from history. 

When Lucy was a child she looked everywhere for a history magazine for kids. All she found were books with boring covers. But she wanted something fun a nice glossy colourful magazine, that can be delivered to her house with her own name on it- just like mum and dad! A few years later, Lucy decided to make her dream magazine herself.

lucy+blog_notext+copyNow this magazine has reached thousands of readers who are loving HistoriCool’s engaging articles and fun activities.

We chatted to Lucy about what gets her excited about HistoriCool.

 Tell me what gets you excited?

Lots of things! Receiving the latest issue of HistoriCool, fresh off the presses, would probably top the list though!

 What inspired you to start HistoriCool?

I have always had an interest in history, perhaps encouraged the most by my grandpa, whose collection of history-related books were only outnumbered by his endless personal stories and memories of the past. What I really craved when I was a child was to be able to read about history in a fun and colourful way. I scoured high and low for a magazine that could fill this hole, but it didn’t exist. Much later, while in a particularly boring history lecture at university, I noted (with the help of Google…on my phone…under the desk) that the product I had so wanted still wasn’t available. So I made the decision in 2011 at the age of 19 that I would make it myself. The magazine launched two years later and now, at 24, we’ve published 18 issues and counting, each one growing HistoriCool’s dedicated readership and reaching more schools, families and mini-historians than the last.

What challenges have you faced when starting or growing HistoriCool?

Starting a magazine with the sort of budget that you’d expect from a 21-year-old (negligible!) was certainly a challenge, but at the moment my main challenge is time management and trying to keep several plates spinning all at the same time. And occasionally one falls – just as I write this I’ve noticed an email that I should have replied to last week is still sitting unanswered! I’ve only been working on HistoriCool full-time for a few months after leaving my part-time employment elsewhere. But now that I have lots more time to dedicate to the magazine, I’ve been finding that there’s even more to take up that time than I could ever have imagined!

What are you working on right now and what are you most excited about in the next three months? 

I’m working on Issue 19: Extraordinary Expeditions with issues 20 and 21 both in the works. I’m excited to be doing some talks at schools – something I’ve never done before – about history, HistoriCool, and making dreams happen.

Tell me who is an older person over the age of 60 that you admire and why?

Mum, if you read this, I’m sorry for revealing your age… Mum has lived an incredible life. She did a world tour in a light aircraft (which she flew) when she was my age, seeing more of the world than I can probably ever hope to! After raising three kids she’s now busier than ever being HistoriCool’s chief (unpaid!) editor, hiking some of the world’s most breath-taking mountains with dad, and being the most amazing grandma to my nephew!

If you could turn back time, what era would you love to discover and why?

This is a question we ask our interviewees in the ‘My History’ feature of HistoriCool in which we chat to a figure who is notable to our target audience about their past and interest in history – but I’ve never had the question asked of myself! It’s a tough one! But I think I would like to bear witness to the roaring twenties, when women were afforded new freedoms, cars were changing our cities and people were dancing to jazz!

Name three websites you would recommend to our readers. – A fantastic teaching resource for engaging children in Australian history through fictional accounts. – The result of when you throw Google Maps into a time machine… Anyone can upload an old photo of any geographic location and pin it to the exact location it was taken on a world map.

Name three accounts we should follow on Twitter.

@HistoricalPics, @ThatRlyHappened, @TroveAustralia – All for incredible historical stories and photography.