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"Flower" by Grace Williams, 13 Published in the December 2020 issue of Stone Soup

A note from William

Well! December is truly underway. And an odd December it certainly is! The previous two years I spent Christmas and New Year’s in Egypt. This year, my daughter and I are devoting ourselves to house, garden, and being creative. As it does seem that life will be back to at least near normal next year, this is an opportunity to use the enforced quiet to create something special that you would not normally feel you have the time to do. At the beginning of the pandemic last March, we noted that Isaac Newton (1643–1727) did some of his best work in a year that he was hiding from a pandemic. Lets all of us take this holiday in lockdown as an opportunity to be creative.

You are invited to a reading! A week from today, December 18, you are all invited to our first Stone Soup reading. This first event is by students in the Saturday writing workshop. Please register for the reading through EventBrite. It starts at 9 a.m. PST.

Good news from China! Longtime newsletter readers may remember what we had told you that the Stone Soup anthologies would be published in China in the spring of 2020. That did not happen. We have just heard from our publisher that everything is now back on track. The books will be published in the first half of 2021. This is super super good news. Our Chinese publisher is a trend setter. We anticipate many good things will come from the association.

Holiday orders: I encourage you to keep Stone Soup in mind for holiday gifts. Subscriptions, of course, both print and digital. The Stone Soup anthologies make good gifts to any young person you know who likes to read. And, the Stone Soup Annual—so large this year we recommend the digital edition as being most practical—is the gift of gifts for all avid Stone Soup readers. Order Stone Soup subscriptions here and order books at our Stone Soup Store.

This weekend’s project: I’d like you to look to the evocative pairing of a photograph of buds with water droplets (dew, heavy mist, rain), and a poem about dew from the current issue of Stone Soup, as inspiration for pairing a photograph and text. Grace Williams’s deeply colored photograph definitely reminds me of early morning walks when I used to take my daughter to day care. In the spring, foliage was often laden with dew drops glistening in the morning sun. For publication in Stone Soup, Editor Emma Wood paired this photograph with Esther Hay’s poetic portrait of a walk on a dewy morning.

What I’d like you to do is to take a photograph to pair with something you write. I’d like your photograph to capture something evanescent—something that is present but fleeting, like dew, or steam on a bathroom mirror, or steam rising from a pot on a stove, or a wisp of smoke from a fire. Write something short—it can be very short—a short poem or a paragraph-length piece of prose—that ties into the photograph. It could be a description. But no people, no action. It could be a reverie—a thought or dream triggered by the image. Grace’s photograph has strong colors. Let the photograph you take inspire you to choose visual language in your piece. As always, if you are happy with what you create, please submit it to Stone Soup so Emma can consider it for publication.

Until next week,

Highlights from the past week online

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

Read an update from our latest book club meeting, where author Kelly Barnhill joined us to talk about The Girl Who Drank the Moon!

We published an illustration by Paris, 7, that he created in response to our Creativity Prompt #119: Draw a Bicycle—From Memory.

Some more great art: Aaron, a new blogger, created some wonderful digital art pieces that we published on the blog. Check them out!

News from the Stone Soup Open House and Annual Drive

Have you booked your free place at our Writing Workshop's public reading next weekend?

On Saturday December 19, the last session of 2020 for this year's phenomenally talented Stone Soup Writing Workshop, we are going public: you are all invited to join us on Zoom and hear readings from our young writers of work they have produced during this year's classes.

Don't miss this chance to hear these creative voices of the future–live and (almost) in person!It's free, but you do need to book a place - just visit Eventbrite for full details and to sign up here.


FlowerFrom Stone Soup
December 2020

The Dew Drop


By Esther Hay, 8 (Ancaster, Canada)
Illustrated by Grace Williams, 13 (Katonah, NY)

I wake up,
I walk out the door.
The dew smells like flowers.
As I walk,
I feel the morning mist brush against my tired face.
I see the daisies
so bright and blue.
As I touch them the dew falls off and onto my foot,
chilling me to the bone.
As I walk through the forest the dew falls off the trees
and keeps me cold.
As I walk home the trees shake in the breeze, all the dew falls
onto my face.
Now I am as cold as winter,
as cold as a polar bear.


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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