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Oct 13th
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ae_teenLocal Girls Develop Tangerine Moon magazine
A collection of Tangerine Moon magazines is perfectly displayed on a coffee table. Its publishers sit, poised to explain their latest venture. But these aren’t suits, this is Santa Cruz mom Elise McCandless and her 12-year-old daughter, Kelly.

Tangerine Moon, a seasonal publication with its spring issue now available for $4.95 at Bookshop Santa Cruz, is the creative product assembled by local middle school students Gina Condotti, Morgan Eidam, Athena Greenleaf, Sophie McCallum-Spalaris, Kelly McCandless and Megan O’Hara. The magazine’s first edition was released this past January.

The current edition, which was released this past May, labels itself as “a magazine by girls who love to write,” includes book recommendations, a centerfold highlighting original dress designs and fashion advice, a recipe for stir fry, an advice column and so much more for all the growing girls looking to prepare for a pleasant spring season.”

As far as general content goes, the girls of Tangerine Moon place into the magazine “what they want to read” and also what they feel will “interest the reader,” Elise explains.

Though only in the sixth and seventh grades, the roles of each girl’s parents in the construction of the magazine have been exceptionally minimal.

Tangerine Moon grew from an imaginative weekly writing workshop that began in September of last year. These meetings were pioneered by Kelly who, age 11 at the time, was searching for an artistic outlet for herself and her respective friends who share a similar passion for writing.

“It transformed into a fun, spunky way to sort of keep in contact in a more intellectual way,” Kelly says.

Previous workshops have included such activities as writing exercises, discussions regarding lead-ins and presentations on particular topics of writing. They have all been organized and conducted by the girls themselves.

Kelly, who has enjoyed writing since the third-grade, describes her favorite hobby as “a piece of art made of words.”

Eager and searching for more ambitious goals during their weekly meetings, Kelly and her friends wanted to do a big project.

“We were brainstorming more collaborative long-term writing projects and one of us thought of a magazine,” Kelly recalls.

While deciding on a name, the girls seemed

to be especially keen on the motifs of citrus fruits

and the moon, debating such names as Moon Girl and Clementine before eventually deciding on Tangerine Moon.

The publication seeks to provide a wide array of topics and themes for its prospective audience.

As Kelly puts it: “There’s something for everyone.”

It is this sense of collectivity that is greatly mirrored within the visual material of the magazine itself. There are various and distinct aspects to Tangerine Moon, yet they seem to blend together in an effortlessly cohesive tone.

And though each contributing girl has an inherent inclination toward what she would like to write for the magazine, whether it is poetry or the discussion of clothes, each girl may also feel free to write a feature article or fiction story.

Relations among the girls who created Tangerine Moon remain heartfelt and responsive, as every girl proofreads and edits the articles of the others. They provide constructive comments, not just for the styling but also for the content.

Moreover, each girl is encouraged to step beyond what she has previously done and try to tackle different aspects of the magazine. They certainly seem excited to do this, as it is apparent that their work toward this magazine is not only a hobby but is also done with great enthusiasm.

“It’s nice to see how all our creativity and imagination comes together in a perfect package,” Kelly says.

The girls have received an energizing response from locals, securing a very favorable price for printing their magazine from Peter Glum of Maverick Mailing in Santa Cruz, who prints his materials on recycled paper.

In fact, it is the goal of those who created Tangerine Moon to connect much greater to the Santa Cruz community in a more interactive manner.

Kelly hopes Tangerine Moon will ultimately, “encourage young people to write.”

The third edition of Tangerine Moon will be available late July and will contain such information as recreational endeavors for young girls to do over the summer.

Tangerine Moon is available for sale at Bookshop Santa Cruz. For more information, visit

Comments (2)Add Comment
written by Angela Meun, January 07, 2012
These six girls are so very inspiring! I was very delighted to hear about them. I also saw them on TV! What an amazing accomplishment for the middle school girls! I just bought several copies for my family and friends. While most teenage kids eat chips and watch TV, these girls are starting a business! I'm so glad that they have accomplished much much more than my 14 year old son! It seems he is almost GLUED to his video games!!!! Why can't he be as intelligent and creative as these girls. Bravo to you Tangerine Moon!
written by Sue Meadows, June 30, 2011
What an inspiring story of these young ladies' accomplishments. The magazine is a real delight. Correction: "Megan" O'Hara is actually Maggie O'Hara.

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