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Eyes on You
"Eyes on You" by Rebecca Wu, 9 (Medina, WA) Cover art for the April 2020 issue

A note from William

First things first. As our fabulous editor, Emma Wood, puts it herself in her now-switched-on out-of-office message: "I am busy welcoming our first child (and future Stone Soup contributor!) to the world." We all wish her the very best of luck as she embarks on the greatest adventure of all: becoming a mother.

This week, our fabulous new April issue was released, and we have lots of news on our new projects to help our young readers and writers through the current COVID-19 situation.

Yesterday (Friday), we held our first Stone Soup Writing Workshop. Thanks to each of you who participated. Where the participants wish to, we will be posting work produced from the session along with our summary of what we did. I can tell you that what these young writers produced in half an hour was incredible, so I hope all of them decide to share their work with you via our website! Look out for that next week. Also, do consider joining the Friday workshop. It is held from 1pm to 2pm Pacific Time. The group is open to Stone Soup subscribers and those of you who have signed up for the Creativity Prompts mailing list. All you have to do to get on the list is click the link.

Every weekday the newest COVID-19 Daily Creativity prompts are posted to our website. Even if you are on the list for daily emails this is an easy reference and archive to refer back to for teachers and all of us now-homeschooling parents. Ten prompts have been published already, and there is a new one every weekday, so there will be 15 by this time next week!

Starting last Monday, the first prompt of the week is a Flash Contest. Pick up the prompt, and submit your response by the end of Friday. We will choose our top 5 early the following week, and publish them our blog and announce the winners here in the Saturday Newsletter. All the details are on our contest page.

We supply some free content, but the entire website is accessible to all subscribers. Subscriptions start at just $4.99 per month for a digital subscription. This includes access to all current issues, 25 years worth of back issues, dozens of writing and art activities, and the right to submit work to Stone Soup for free. Subscribers also receive the daily Creativity Prompts and the right to join our online Zoom workshops. Month-to-month subscriptions, both print (which includes digital) and digital only, can be cancelled at any time.

If you are not a subscriber, and have not already signed up, then sign up for the Daily Creativity prompts by clicking on the link. We have developed a good looking page that you can print out each school day morning. We are being told by kids who are using them that they are helping to keep them focused and keep their morale up. Kids on this list are eligible to join our writing groups.

William's Weekend Project: Keeping a Journal
Jane recommended keeping a journal as the project in last week's Newsletter. I want to reinforce this project by repeating it today. These are historic times. What you write about your experiences as they occur is something you will want to revisit when you are an adult.

If you have already started a journal then skip this paragraph. If you haven't started, then here is my advice. Start. Like, now. And no later than this evening. A journal is different from a memoir. A journal is a contemporaneous record of your life. It is what you write today about today. A memoir is what you write about today next year, or in twenty years. Journal writing is crisp, sharp, full of the confidences and uncertainties of the moment. The only day you can write about today when it is today is today!

So. How are you feeling? Whats going on in your life? What did you do today? How are you feeling about the coronavirus pandemic? Are you sheltering in place? Are you safe? Are you afraid? Are you bored (see this week's poem, below!)? Do you see friends? If so, online, only, or if in person with some rules? A journal is an open ended project - and what we have right now is lots of time and the need to keep focused. I started my journal yesterday.

Until next week,

April is National Poetry Month

Did you know it was National Poetry Month? The Academy of American Poets is celebrating in a few different ways:
  • Dear Poet, an annual education project featuring videos of our award-winning Chancellors and Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellows reading their work, and to which students can respond through letter writing. They will consider all letters for publication on Poets.org beginning in May 2020, and our Chancellors and Fellows will reply to select letters of their choosing. 
  • Poem in Your Pocket Day: Their interactive PDF can be downloaded for Poem in Your Pocket Day, which is happening April 30 this year. We're encouraging the sharing of poems throughout the day at schools, bookstores, libraries, offices, and on social media with the hashtag #pocketpoem.
  • Downloadable Poster: This year's poster features artwork by tenth grader Samantha Aikman as part of our national student contest. Anyone can request a free copy of the official National Poetry Month poster on Poets.org for their library, classroom, or home.

Highlights from the past week online

Don't miss the latest content from our Book Reviewers and Young Bloggers at Stonesoup.com!

Marco, our science fiction and fantasy, reviews one of his favorite books on the blog: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. Read the review to find out about the book's unconventional setting, and why Marco thinks it's such a fascinating story.

Sabrina Guo, a Stone Soup author, has started the initiative LILAC (Long Island Laboring Against COVID-19) to raise money for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in hospitals. We've linked the fundraiser in the post and encourage you to support if you are able to.

Are you involved in any local initiatives during this crisis? Let us know so we can stand together, offer our support, and spread the word to the rest of the Stone Soup community!

Bored text imageFrom Stone Soup April 2020

Bored (One of Three Poems)

By Isabel Goodey, 9 (Livingston, NJ)

I am bored,
I am bored.
Like a boat
That is moored
In a dreary bay
On the sea,
Rocking gently.
Under the stars, who twinkle merrily.
And the gulls, who squawk terribly.

Read all the poems in the April issue.

Stone Soup is published by Children’s Art Foundation-Stone Soup Inc., a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization registered
in the United States of America, EIN: 23-7317498.

Stone Soup's Advisors: Abby Austin, Mike Axelrod, Annabelle Baird, Jem Burch, Evelyn Chen, Juliet Fraser, Zoe Hall, Montanna Harling, Alicia & Joe Havilland, Lara Katz, Rebecca Kilroy, Christine Leishman, Julie Minnis, Jessica Opolko, Tara Prakash, Denise Prata, Logan Roberts, Emily Tarco, Rebecca Ramos Velasquez, Susan Wilky.


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