This 8-year-old Ontarian’s love of writing and a rescue dog inspired her to start a journal

The Abby Post started when Frankie the dog pulled a muscle.

The rescue beagle was a regular sight around Port Dover, Ontario, sniffing with Abby Mitchell and her aunt, Carrie Sinkowski. But suddenly, in June 2021, the couple were walking solo, and friends and neighbors were wondering where they were.

Abby decided she needed a way to provide people with updates on Frankie, so she decided on a journal.

“I really, really, really love writing,” she said. “I love telling friends about the fun stories you’ve created.”

Eighteen editions later—the most recent celebrating Abby’s eighth birthday—the Abby Post has become a staple publication for the town along Lake Erie.

WATCH | Abby Mitchell explains why she started a journal:

Meet the Abby behind The Abby Post

Eight-year-old Abby Mitchell started her own journal. Eighteen editions later, it has become a go-to publication in Port Dover, Ontario. His mother, Katie, and aunt, Carrie Sinkowski, talk about what it’s like to watch the newspaper grow. 1:39

Abby also received a 2021 Ontario Young Citizen Award from the Ontario Community Newspaper Association (OCNA).

“It’s very, very exciting,” she said.

Katie Sinkowski, Abby’s mother, said her daughter has always been creative when it comes to drawing or writing, so seeing her passion for paper take off isn’t exactly a surprise.

“But that she is [eight] and being able to go up to someone she doesn’t know and ask them a lot of questions is pretty…bold,” Sinkowski said. “I’m proud to have a girl who can do that, especially At this age.”

The aptly named Abby Post almost ran under another title.

Initially, the 2nd grader offered to call it “Abby-Washington-Post-New-York-Times,” her mom said with a laugh.

They eventually settled on a simpler name, but Abby’s fingerprints are all over the finished product.

Interviews, book reviews and things to do

She chose the logo that crowns each edition because she loves Tiffany blue and The New Yorker font, Abby explained confidently.

His article is published monthly and each issue includes an interview with an interesting person, a book review and suggestions for fun things to do in Port Dover.

Abby said she wanted to provide information on activities during the COVID-19 pandemic as people may be alone and stuck at home.

Recent editions have included articles about a polar bear, a visit to McMaster University in Hamilton, updates on baby turtles in Abby’s backyard, and an article sharing her nervousness about returning to school. ‘school.

Situation reports on Frankie were also offered, of course. His muscles healed and he resumed his walking routine.

Abby said her post isn’t just about sharing stories. It’s also a way to help others.

Over the summer, she sold pens, bags and notebooks with her logo on them, raising over $3,400 for the local food bank.

Carrie Sinkowski said she types while Abby writes, working together to put the paper together, but Abby decides the content.

They quickly built up a list of regulars, many of whom suggested story ideas.

“I think for Abby, it made her feel really good that people were so supportive and so excited to see her work,” Carrie said.

Paper takes an hour to deliver

Her aunt did not track how many people subscribed to the free publication, but said it usually took about an hour to visit all the stores downtown to distribute copies. The Abby Post is also sent by e-mail.

Katie Sinkowski said it was encouraging to see the community embrace her daughter’s diary.

It’s also been a great way for her to spend time with her aunt and work on writing, reading and interpersonal skills while learning online, she added.

Abby comes up with her own questions for the sources, but doesn’t just read from a notebook, her mother said.

“She also asks questions that she finds on the fly, so she’s engaged with who she’s interviewing.

“She’s really interested in what they’re talking about.”

Abby Mitchell reviews the 18th edition of the Abby Post at her home in Port Dover. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

Both Carrie and Katie said they like the interview section, as well as the book reviews.

Abby and Carrie first delivered the paper together, but her aunt said about midsummer. she said she wanted to do it herself.

“It was a lot of fun watching her grow up that way.”

If you ask Abby to pick one story that stands out, she’ll tell you that they’re all her favorites.

She admitted that one of the funniest interviews she did was with JP Antonacci, a reporter for the Hamilton Spectator.

He encouraged her to stay curious, which she has no plans to stop anytime soon.

When asked if she plans to stick to journalism, Abby shyly nods.

“I want to keep helping people.”