Target Publication Profile

ENGL 293: Creative Non-Fiction Writing
College of Southern Idaho

Part 1: Analysis
A. Bella Grace is a unique magazine, published quarterly in line with the seasons; Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall, “devoted to discovering magic in the ordinary.” The magazine’s description shared within the submission guidelines says, “Our aim is to touch the souls of our readers through beautifully penned stories and striking photographs that capture life’s beautiful adventure” (152). The mission of Bella Grace: Life’s a Beautiful Journey is, “We believe that every cloud has a silver lining, an ordinary life can be an extraordinary life, there is beauty and magic to be found everywhere, it’s okay to embrace imperfection, and life should be lived with a full heart and open eyes” (152). A description from the Stampington & Company online store,
For anyone who is tired of trying to fit ill-considered standards of what beauty is supposed to look like or reaching for unattainable ideals – Bella Grace gives you permission to just go ahead and toss them. Embrace imperfection. Celebrate your messy life. Shine a spotlight on small, everyday moments – they are special, and they are yours. If you are looking for the most creative, inspirational women’s magazine available today – you’ve come to the right place (Bella Grace Magazine).
The first page is entitled Dear Friends, a letter from Editor-in Chief Christen Hammons. It is the beginning to a conversation that the magazine you hold in your hands is having with its readers, it is an invitation to participate in this conversation. The publication is filled with quotes, lists, photography, narratives, thought provoking journal prompts along with reader’s workbook space, authentic living stories, and no outside advertising. In the Winter 2017 issue, a list called, “89 Beautiful Days of Winter” reveals the plethora of ways one can fill the long winter months with, “activities that warm our hearts as well as hands” (Gerald Mason 22). A narrative, “Two February Coffees” inspiration to live each day with purpose. A journal prompt, “My Winter Traditions” a place for readers to write some of the things they love to do each winter and what she would like to start doing this winter. Bella Grace offers itself as a step away from the life of a busy woman; single or married, with or without children. Permission for the reader to be her true self. An inspiration to look beyond the mundane every day comings and goings and see what it holds inside; a dream, a lesson, a call to action, a change of heart, an opportunity, and more.
B. The tenth issue is Winter 2017, from front to back the matte finish publication invites the reader to have a seat with your favorite warm beverage and find comfort within these 160-pages. My first moments with this magazine, I wanted to do just that. I was immediately swoon by the beautiful images, the sense of real-life, and the motivation to act on what I was reading. A tear fell from my face as I read the inspirational narrative about a woman purchasing two gas station coffees for an elderly couple and how this simple moment made a significant difference for all of those involved. A journal prompt which asks you to unplug from technology for a day and reflect how the hours were spent had me pulling out my planner to figure out how soon I can do just that. Reading, page after page I began to realize that this magazine had a woman just like me in mind when they pieced it together. Am I the declared audience that the magazine speaks of in its selling points? I re-read the description Stampington & Company shared on its website about Bella Grace and felt as though I am. So, I dug deeper in the magazine to see what it was that made it a perfect fit. Demographically, it is a magazine for all women, from all walks of life. The young woman just beginning gains empowerment through the list, “25 Habits to Break Before You Turn 25”. The mom connects with the narrative, “A Hot Chocolate Party in the Cold” where the writer quickly invents an outdoor hot chocolate party when her four-year-old is too antsy for the small in-law’s apartment they were visiting. The woman young and old, finding themselves in short words and photographs, “Remember, Collector, Creator, Connector.” The stories reveal themselves to the reader, they are short for the one who has just a moment to read one or two while drinking her morning coffee. The reading is easy and light, a nice breath of fresh air for those who struggle through their days whether it be in textbooks or executive memos and those who find themselves sneaking a moment behind closed doors. The images of the women capture the true beauty of an individual; ones that you can see yourself in. They are not top models, they are the real girl next door. The reader is a woman who may not have it all, but is passionate about experiencing all that she can with what she has.
C. Bella Grace’s house style is simple. The layout is simple, each photograph is simple, the articles writing is simple, the lists are simple, and the journal prompts are simple. With each turn of the page a reader is engaged in that single, simple moment. It is not that the readers are simple, it is because they are complex in need of simplification and clarity. The entire publication is catered toward true beauty; the matte paper, the earthy color tones, the perfect balance of white and words upon the page, the easy to read fonts within the articles and special fonts saved for the titles and quotes, and the real-life pictures.
 Specifically, in the words entitled “When Cabin Fever Sets In” the writer Ella Wilson uses first person to tell her story, there is no technical terminology outside of commonalities of decorate, create, and beauty which are repeated throughout the entire magazine, and again the word simple describes the diction level. Short sentences like the opening one written, “Outside it’s sleeting; I hear it ping-ponging on my deck.” Simply written with descriptive and creative words to spark readers interest. Paragraphs are also small in size; however, large in meaning. “I go to my kitchen and notice the butterfly magnet on my fridge. Glancing at it reminds me that I need to transform my thoughts and allow my imagination a chance to soar. My soul needs a life preserver, something to cling to – an idea, a new recipe – something to keep my spirit afloat.” Most articles begin with the end in mind and reach full circle in the conclusion with a message to the reader to inspire and motivate. “All these colorful ideas have lifted my spirits and opened my wings to embrace what I have on hand. I don’t feel so blah anymore. The next time you’re feeling the wintertime blues, plan a day of summertime fun.”  Articles on average of 400 to 800 words, filling each page throughout the entire publication
Part 2: Application
D. A list that I have for this publication is entitled, “10 Reasons Why I Drink Coffee.” This is a perfect blend of humor and realism in the reasons why a mother can and should drink this delicious caffeinated beverage. It is after all the proud sponsor of motherhood.
A narrative for this publication is entitled, “The Ultrasound”. A light and easy personal story of motherhood and my last ultrasound in which I received the girl that my husband promised me before getting married.
E. The Ultra Sound
     It was standing room only in the Ultrasound room in my OB/GYN’s office. My husband Chad, my boys Malachi and Mason, my Mom, and my brother were all patiently waiting for the Ultrasound Technician to enter the tiny room. I impatiently sat on the edge of the medical examination table with a full bladder that my unborn child was using as a trampoline to practice his or her acrobatics. Today was the day we were going to find out if I am having a girl, after all it was what I was promised.
     A few years before, while Chad and I were dating we began a conversation about children. Neither one of us thought we would have another child after both of our first marriages ended, yet neither one of us was willing to eliminate the possibility of having another. During the conversation, Chad enlightened me with the fact that he only manufactured girls, so if we were to have a child it would be a girl. Laughing out loud I responded to his absurd comment,” well if you guarantee that I am going to have a girl then I am in.”
Works Cited
Bella Grace: Life's a Beautiful Journey, no. 10, Winter 2017.
"Bella Grace Magazine." Stampington & Company, stampington.com/bella-grace. Accessed  
     2 Feb. 2017.
Gerald Mason, Erica. "89 Beautiful Days of Winter." Bella Grace: Life's a Beautiful Journey,
     no. 10, Winter 2017, pp. 22-27.
Wilson, Ella. “When Cabin Fever Sets In.” Bella Grace: Life’s a Beautiful Journey, no. 10,    
     Winter 2017, p. 124.

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