|My daughter starts middle school next week. I am sure that parents and grandparents reading this newsletter can relate to my, Wow! When my daughter was very young I recall being told all the time, "It goes quickly." And so, indeed, it does. Of course, she is excited about starting middle school. And I know that this Newsletter's school-age readers are excited about starting a new school year, as well.|
I can't say it too often. Stone Soup is now monthly! The September Poetry Issue is in production. The October issue deadline is already approaching. You have one week left to send in stories, poems and artworks that will be considered for October (which means 5 weeks for November's deadline, and so on). Remember, we are expanding out from art that illustrates stories, and we are increasingly receiving great photography as well as standalone drawings and paintings.
Bringing fairies (and other stories) to life
Anna Welch--who made the remarkable illustration heading this week's Newsletter--illustrated several stories for Stone Soup. Her work has enriched the magazine. Look at this drawing of a fairy. The feather and the ear, the folds in the shirt, the white contrasted with the darker forest are really incredible. Technically, this is an extraordinary work. It is obviously not Anna's first drawing! But what I'd like you to focus on is the strength of her imaginative vision. The fairy has presence within an environment that also itself has presence. The drawing seems real. It has what we call a "sense of place." When you are working on art or stories for Stone Soup or for school--or just for yourself--and whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction, the goal is always to fully imagine the world you are writing about so you can make it come alive in your creative work.
I know a woman who writes picture books; books for very young children. Before she writes her books she writes a 30,000- to 50,000-word story about her characters! In this way, she developes a rich world in her mind so that when she finally sits down to write the incredibly short book that is a picture book, her story and characters truly come alive. Of course, this takes a great deal of discipline. And I am not saying I have it myself! But, I am mentioning this idea in case one of you can use it.
Six Newsletter readers wrote to me last week to say that they have completed or are working on a novel--thank you to them! As I know that each of you may not read this Newsletter every week I will repeat my call for Stone Soup authors, illustrators, honor roll recipients, and, in fact, anyone reading the newsletter not yet in college who has written or is writing a novel to please get in touch with me by replying to this Newsletter.
For writers under the age of 14, we are looking for longer works we can potentially serialize in Stone Soup. No promises yet, but we are looking to expand our publishing program!
Until next week,