The Stone Soup Team


William Rubel, Executive Director.

William is founder of Stone Soup and the Children’s Art Foundation. In 1972, he gathered together a group of fellow students at the University of California Santa Cruz who shared his vision of creating a magazine written by and for children to highlight their creative talents and inspire them.

William is also an author specializing in traditional foodways, the history of bread, and Early Modern British kitchen gardens. His book on hearth cooking, The Magic of Fire (2002), was a World Gourmand Cookbook award winner and a James Beard nominee. His second book is Bread, a global history (2011). He is currently writing a history of bread for the University of California Press.

William lives in Santa Cruz with his daughter, Stella, and their cat, chickens, rabbits, and aviary birds. You can read more about his other interests at his personal website.

Emma Winsor Wood, Editor in Chief.

Originally from New York City, Emma holds a BA from Harvard in Russian History & Literature and an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop; she is currently a PhD candidate in literature at UC-Santa Cruz. She published her first book of poems, The Real World, in 2022. Her poetry has received fellowships from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, and the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, in addition to appearing in a number of literary journals. She has worked previously as an editor for the online magazines, The Morning News and The Rumpus.

She currently lives with her husband, writer and professor Conner Bassett, and their two young children and two aging dogs in Pennsylvania. You can read more about her on her personal website.

Laura Moran, Refugee Project Director.

Laura joined the Stone Soup team in early 2020 as director of the Refugee Project. She also teaches the Society of Young Inklings and Stone Soup summer writing workshop, Anthropology of the Everyday: The Art of Creative Nonfiction.

Laura is a cultural anthropologist with a PhD from The University of Queensland, in Australia, and a master’s degree from Oxford University, in the UK. Her research is on refugee youth and racial identity and she teaches anthropology at universities in the Boston area. Her first book, Belonging and Becoming in a Multicultural World: Refugee Youth and the Pursuit of Identity, was published in 2020, by Rutgers University Press.

Laura currently lives on the Northshore of Boston, MA with her husband, young son, and 11-year-old daughter, an avid reader and published Stone Soup author!

Caleb Berg, Blog Editor & Production Manager.

Caleb joined the Stone Soup team in August, 2020 as a video editor. He now also works as the blog editor and as a writing workshop assistant. In addition to his work for Stone Soup, he also provides video editing and works on special projects with Stone Soup Founder and Executive Director, William Rubel.

Caleb lives in Santa Cruz with fellow member of the Stone Soup team, Tayleigh Greene. He is currently an MFA student in fiction at the University of Houston. In June 2021, he graduated with honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a BA in Literature, with a focus in creative writing.

You can find some of his published writing Chinquapin Literary Magazine, Emerge Literary Journal, and Versification Zine.

Tayleigh Greene, Customer Service.

Tayleigh joined the Stone Soup team in August 2020 as a customer service representative.

Tayleigh graduated with highest honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz in December 2020 with a BA in History, with a focus in Mediterranean (especially Italian) history. She lives in Santa Cruz with fellow Stone Soup team member, Caleb Berg.


Conner Bassett, Creative Writing Instructor.

C Dylan Bassett is an assistant professor of English at Albright college. He received an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a PhD from the University of California, Santa Cruz. His fiction and poetry are published in Chicago Review, Iowa Review, The Literary Review, and elsewhere. He started teaching a regular series of Stone Soup Writing Workshops and a Summer Camp class in 2021.

Maya Mahony, Book Club Facilitator 

Maya joined the Stone Soup team in 2022 as the Book Club Facilitator. Maya is an MFA student in fiction at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Her stories have appeared in literary journals such as The Antigonish Review, Scrivener Creative Review, and Terrain.org, among others. Maya has tutored creative writing to elementary, middle, and high schoolers, and has designed and taught her own creative writing camp. Maya loves to write and read young adult and middle grade novels, and can’t wait to discuss some great books with Stone Soupers!

Jennifer MacBain-Stephens, Social Media Coordinator

Jennifer MacBain-Stephens (she/her) went to NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and now lives in Iowa where she is landlocked. She works as a managing editor for several science journals. She is also a poet. Her fifth, full length poetry collection, “Pool Parties” is forthcoming from Unsolicited Press in 2023. She is also the author of fifteen poetry chapbooks and enjoys making collages, biking, rock climbing, and spending time with her children and Aussie. She is also the director of the monthly reading series Today You are Perfect, sponsored by the non-profit Iowa City Poetry. You can find more of her work at her website, here.

Sabrina Guo, Refugee Project Consultant

Sabrina is a young poet, journalist, musician, researcher, social activist, and humanitarian. She is the youngest global winner of the 2021 Poems to Solve the Climate Crisis Challenge, spoke out against climate injustice and performed in the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). She is the recipient of the Civic Expression Award and an eight-time national medalist from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. She is the winner of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award and the Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Award. Sabrina is also an internationally performing violinist, having performed in Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Hall, and appeared in UNICEF World Children’s Day music video. She is also the founder of Girl Pride International, a global empowerment nonprofit that uplifts marginalized, refugee, and migrant girls through advocacy, education, leadership, and material support. She is also the founder of Long Island Laboring Against COVID-19, or LILAC, a student-run organization profiled by Disney that donates PPE, meals, and funds, specifically helping disproportionately affected, predominantly-POC areas. Sabrina has been invited to speak as a panelist in various roundtables hosted by elected officials, focusing on combating all forms of hate and discrimination, and advocating for girls’ empowerment to bridge the gender gap. Her activism and humanitarian work has been commended by the White House, Mrs. Michelle Obama, the Senate Commendation Award, and recognized by LI Herald as 2021 Person of the Year.


Gerry Mandel, Editor Emerita.

Gerry served as editor and co-director of Stone Soup for more than 44 years, from its inception in 1973 through the publication of the July/August 2017 issue. In addition to her editorial work, Gerry oversaw the design and production of each print issue of Stone Soup and managed the day-to-day operations of the business. She stepped down from these roles in 2017 and currently serves as Operations Manager for the Santa Cruz County Youth Symphony.




Dr Jane Levi, Former Managing Editor.

Jane was Managing Editor and served on the Board of Stone Soup from 2016-2021. She is a cultural historian, writer, educator and researcher with a particular interest in food, utopianism and space travel. A visiting research fellow at King’s College London she contributes to its Georgian Papers Program, focusing on dining and cookery in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. With teaching colleagues at Birkbeck, University of London, she is co-author of the book Food, Politics and Society: Social Theory and the Modern Food System (University of California Press, 2018) and her writing has been published in books, journals, consumer magazines and on websites–from Gastronomica to GQ. She was co-founder of the artist’s co-operative, Edible Utopia, and co-produced its creative urban growing initiative at Somerset House, London (2016-21). Chair and trustee of the Sophie Coe Prize in food history writing, she lives in London with her cat, Kimchi. You can read more about her on her personal website.

You can read about the current and former Stone Soup interns here.