Behind the Scenes of the Friend
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“Behind the Scenes of the Friend,” Friend, Mar. 2011, 24–25

Behind the Scenes of the Friend

Do you eagerly wait for the Friend to come in the mail each month? Many children around the world love getting the Friend each month—just like you! But have you ever wondered how the magazine is created before it is delivered? Matt and Mandy will give you the inside scoop on this behind-the-scenes tour!

Who writes the Friend?

Parents, grandparents, and Primary leaders write many of the stories in the Friend. They submit their story or poem, and the staff members of the Friend read and discuss it. If the staff feels it is something that you would like to read, the story is selected to be published in a future issue of the magazine. The Friend staff also writes articles, including some of the Funstuf activities and puzzles.

The letters, poems, and drawings children send are also a very important part of the magazine. The Friend loves hearing from you!

How does the Friend staff decide what will appear in each month’s issue?

Once a month, the staff members have a meeting to decide what will appear in the magazine. Every meeting begins with a prayer to invite the Spirit to help the staff know what should be in the magazine. Heavenly Father loves each of you, and He helps the staff know how to make the magazine the best for you.

Who makes sure the magazine doesn’t have misspelled words or other errors?

After the stories, games, and activities are selected, they are reviewed and edited several times by staff. One person—called the copyeditor—makes sure there are no commas in the wrong place or misspellings. When the text is complete, it is reviewed by General Authorities and other staff assigned to work with the Friend.

How is the Friend designed and the art illustrated?

When the Friend designers receive the edited articles, they read them and sketch possible designs for the articles. They do this in a special computer program. The designers then assign themselves or freelance artists to create the final art. The final art is put in place in the magazine and then sent to General Authorities for review.

How is the magazine printed?

When the magazine is ready to be printed, it is sent to the Church’s print center in Salt Lake City, Utah. A very large machine called a web press prints the Friend. First the cover is printed and folded, then a 32-page section, then a 16-page section. Another machine then takes the cover and inside pages and “saddle stitches” (staples) them together and trims them to size. The magazine is then ready to be delivered to your mailbox!

Austin J., 7, Oregon

The Friend is great to use for family home evening lessons!

You could share your Friend with a nonmember friend.

What’s your favorite time to read the Friend?

The Friend receives hundreds and hundreds of stories, poems, photos, and drawings each year!

Photos by Robert Casey; illustrations by Shauna Kawasaki