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Saturday Newsletter: December 17, 2022

Snow Stream (iPhone 8) by Kaeden Kobayashi, 10; published in Stone Soup December 2022

A note from Emma Wood

Every year, I like to spend the second half of December reflecting on the previous year. I ask questions like, Whom do I wish I’d spent more time with? What do I wish I’d spent more time working on? Am I doing anything that no longer “sparks joy”?

This year, I am also reflecting on Stone Soup: What projects did we complete this year? Where is there still room for improvement? What are our goals for 2023?

In 2022, we read through 1600 submissions, published eleven issues of the magazine, and produced three books. We continue to offer our writing classes as well as our summer workshop series. We created a shiny new Amazon storefront and redesigned our homepage as well as our magazine landing pages. We built a new educator portal with free curricular materials from the ground up. We hired three (incredible!) new employees to replace outgoing, long-term Stone Soup team members, and in doing so, we were able to refine and clarify their positions going forward.

It was a big year for us. I felt proud as I compiled that list. However, we are ending this year in a place of greater instability than ever before: our financial forecasts for 2023 show us running a deficit of several thousand dollars.

It costs us about $8000 to produce each issue of Stone Soup. Creating a book costs anywhere from $6,000 to $10,000. This is the core business of Stone Soup: elevating young voices, creating authors—in every sense of the word. And yet it may soon be unsustainable for us. 

As we enter our fiftieth year of production, we have plans in place to hit the ground running: applying for grants and building our donor base to include companies and larger funds. But in order to survive long enough to implement these plans, we need your help right now. 

Will you donate today to help ensure Stone Soup’s survival for the next generation of young creators? 

Remember: when you give to Stone Soup, you are giving to a young writer or artist. You are giving them the gift of publishing their work. Of feeling heard. Of being seen. The gift of being told, Yes, you matter.

So—why not? Why not send us the equivalent of what you’d spend on a cup of coffee or a small gift for a friend’s child? Or if you’re able to this season, why not give us the equivalent of what you’d spend on a big Christmas gift for your own child? After all, Stone Soup is a gift to so many.

And for us every dollar truly counts.

Gratefully yours,

New year, new term!

We are happy to announce the continuation of our virtual classes for the Winter 2023 term beginning January 21st, 2023! They will run weekly through March 25th.

We are additionally thrilled to once again present Isidore Bethel's filmmaking workshop and are incredibly grateful for his continued partnership with Stone Soup. Also on offer is Conner's popular writing workshop!

For the year of 2023, we plan to alternate Conner's and William's workshops to consolidate and boost enrollment. If you were looking forward to William's class, check back in the spring and try out a course with Conner or Isidore in the meantime!

Introduction to Short-Form Filmmaking with Isidore Bethel, meets at 9 a.m. Pacific Time every Saturday. Isidore is an award-winning filmmaker who will guide students through the process of making their own film. Discussing and writing about other filmmakers and their work will complement the students' own filmmaking journeys. Sign up here for Short-Form Filmmaking.

Conner's Group: At 11 a.m. Pacific Time every week, Conner Basset will teach his writing workshop focusing on the nuts-and-bolts of writing. Conner teaches English at Albright College and has experience instructing younger writers. He is a poet and translator in addition to being a brilliant teacher. Sign up here for Conner's workshop.

From Stone Soup December 2022...

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.


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