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"Letting out a sigh of relief he began to fill his basket"
Anna Welch, 13
Published In Stone Soup March/April 2008.

A note from William Rubel

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.

Deadlines approaching!

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,


News for Adult Newsletter Readers

I think I will start separating out what I want to say to Newsletter readers who are still students, and the many adults who also read the newsletter.

We sent out letters to all of you whose print subscriptions needed renewing and converting to digital, but many did not open the letter, or haven't responded yet. We haven't repeated that letter because (as some of you know from experience) the subscription system we are currently using has been creaking a little bit under the strain. To get back to a smoother process, we have happily just re-hired the company that used to manage our Stone Soupprint subscriptions, and they will be handling our online sales. It will take about three weeks from now to be set up with them. Once we are, we will get back to the conversion process and proper levels of efficiency!

They have a "pick and pack' business. That means that we will also be able to sell digital subscriptions that include our new, print edition Stone Soup Annual (as well as standalone copies of that book). It also means that we will be able to get our store--with our various anthologies, blank books, and sketch books--operating again.

As you've heard me say before, we were forced to stop printing throughout the year because we had effectively become bankrupt, and we wanted to keep this important project alive through the digital options and the Annual. We are going to be asking you to subscribe or re-subscribe for the kids in your life, subscribe for schools, buy our publications, and make donations. But! Not until we have our back-end processing in better order.

All my best,


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From Stone Soup
July/August 2008

The New Soccer Season

By Andrew Lee, 13
Illustrated by Dennis Guo, 12

Noel seemed to hang in the air for a second before crashing into the ground. The grass rushed up to meet him as his lungs were crushed by the impact. Dazed, Noel looked around. The soccer ball was snatched away quickly as the opposition took control. The stifled laughs that followed made Noel wish he were dead. Slowly, like so many times before, he stood and walked away No one intervened.

History seems to like repeating itself, thought Noel bitterly. The same thing had happened yesterday And the day before that. Just as Noel was finding his stride in the soccer game, one of the kids would do something to humiliate him. Noel never said a word. He just picked himself up and walked away.

They aren’t mean, thought Noel dejectedly I’m just not one of them.

But I’m strong, thought Noel. I can wait it out. Once I make the soccer team I can meet some new people. But as the bell rang, Noel couldn’t help but wish that he had at least one friend who could really understand him. Noel walked to the doors, hiding his disappointment at the day’s game.

Just as he stepped into the school, Noel saw that lunch was over. He bent down to collect his books for his next class. As he stood, he was suddenly standing face-to-face with a girl from one of his classes. She stood, holding her books, flicking her brown ponytail back over her head, and blocking his path.

“Do you want to get better at soccer?” she asked. ..../ more

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