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Stone Soup Author Interview between Anya Geist and Lena Aloise.

A note from William

Wishing you all my best for this Valentine’s Day weekend! Hopefully, this is the last Valentine’s Day any of us will experience as part of a pandemic. When you are around strangers, please mask to stay extra safe. But, of course, take your mask off when eating chocolate!

Our wonderful new employee, Caleb Berg, has been working behind the scenes to complete the Stone Soup Author Interview Project led by Stone Soup intern Anya Geist.

We are now rolling out Anya’s Stone Soup Author Interview videos. This first release is a compilation of Anya, who is a Stone Soup intern, asking Stone Soup authors about the ongoing Saturday Writing Workshop. The thoughtfulness and eloquence of their responses should come as no surprise to those who’ve read their stunning work.

Thanks to each of you who participated in this and the other Stone Soup Author Interviews. Now that they are edited, Caleb will begin releasing the remaining interviews on our blog, so make sure to look out for those over the coming week! Comments on blog posts are always welcome.

Enrollment in the Saturday Writing Workshop is closed at this time. It currently has fifty-five students, which is actually more than we had planned! We are thinking of ways we may be able to increase our offering of writing classes—but for now I think the soonest we will have more classes is the summer.We will be posting the summer school schedule shortly. These shorter, more intensive workshops are conducted in association with the fabulous Society of Young Inklings. We have the teachers lined up and class descriptions written, so all that is left is for the final schedule to be worked out and published.

“Wild World”—this story, with its fantastic descriptions, precise language, and unexpected twists and turns by Ever Sun, a writing workshop student, has so much going for it, I don’t know where to start. I could write about this story for an hour! The combination of realism and fantasy is, well, fantastic. Such an evocative story. Challenging. Thought-provoking. It is a story that rewards re-reading.

Being practical, what I’d like focus on is the descriptive language. As you read the story, please note the vivid imagery. In the first paragraph, you have buildings that loom. In the second sentence, you have Luxi loving the “flash and lights” of the city. “Flash” and “lights” work together—we are all familiar with “flashing lights.” But, Ever speaks of the “flash and lights” of the city. Thus, she is using “flash” in the sense of “flashy,” “exciting,” “vibrant.” Throughout this story, Ever uses language that is both precise and carries us beneath the surface. In describing a tree she says, “Its trunk was old and rough, its branches weak but sturdy . . ..” “Weak” and “sturdy” are both words with precise meanings. “Weak but sturdy” takes us someplace special. It takes us into the inner nature of a tree. All those branches dancing in the wind—another term Ever used to talk about the trees—so weak, and ye so sturdy.

Luxi is researching nature in a place that is both natural and supernatural. Thank you, Ever, for this wonderful story!

Weekend project: after reading Ever’s story and paying attention to her descriptions, write about a piece of nature that you are familiar with. If the spirit moves you, allow a bit of the spirit world into your story. A little bit of the supernatural.

As always, if you like what you come up with, please go to our website and submit what you have written to Emma to read for possible publication.

Until next week,

Congratulations to our most recent Monthly Flash Contest Winners!

Our February Flash Contest was based on our weekly creativity prompt #138, asking writers to put themselves in the shoes of one of their favorite characters by pretending this character had social media, and entrants did not disappoint. From added wrinkles to the wizarding world of Harry Potter to illustrations of beloved cartoons—and even to the outer reaches of space—we received a wide array of submissions that challenged traditional modes of thinking and gave new perspective on what it means to grow up with social media. It is a marvel to be continually surprised by the amazing work we receive each month. So, well done to all who submitted!

In particular, we congratulate our honorable mentions and our winners, whose work you can appreciate below. You can read the winning entries for this contest (and previous ones) at the Stone Soup website.

“Insta Pusheen” by Maggie Kershen, 11, Norman, OK
“Godley Scribblings: How I Came To Be Uncle Totey” by Iago Macknik-Conde, 12, Brooklyn, NY
“The Social Evolution of Our Beloved Wizard” by Pranjoli Sadhukha, 11, Newark, OH
“@pluto9planet” by Ender Ippolito, 9, Portland, OR
“Halloween with the Rooney’s” by Elizabeth Sabaev, 10, Forest Hills, NY

Honorable Mentions
“Better than Daily Prophet” by Jack Rubin, 9, Solon, OH
“Tweets from Cricket” by Rex Huang, 11, Lake Oswego, OR
“Chihiro Posts from ‘Spirited Away’” by Scarlet He, 10, Scarsdale, NY
“Ariel—The Ocean Heroine” by Tang Li, 8, Palmetto Bay, FL
“The Leader Who Gained Citizens with Twitter” by Chelsea Liang, 11, San Jose, CA

Highlights from the past week online

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

Read Anya’s update from our most recent Book Club, where they discussed The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani. The next book to be discussed will be The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin.

Nora, 12, reviewed Lloyd Alexander’s The Book of Three, which is part of the Chronicles of Prydain. Check out her review to find out why she enjoyed the series and found the characters relatable.

In “The Courtroom Choir,” Charlie wrote a moving poem about former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Check out Aditi’s review of Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling. Aditi writes that the book will “teach kids that confidence, self-appreciation, and belief in oneself are essential in whatever they do.”

Don’t miss Adhi’s post on how you can combine Math and Art through drawing circles and times tables. If it inspires you to create art, please send it in to be considered for publication!


From Stone Soup
February 2021

Wild World

By Ever Sun, 10 (Bellevue, WA)
Illustrated by Aerial Chen, 11 (Katy, TX)

Luxi Carbonelli was a city girl. She liked pop culture, the tall ’scrapers that loomed above her, and all the noise to brighten up her day. Luxi loved the flash and lights of the city. She lived in an apartment on the twenty-third floor. Her room was plastered with posters of models, TV stars, fashion designers, and much more. All the walls were covered, and her drawers were filled with makeup, perfumes, and purses. Often she went out late with her friends to new exhibits, popular restaurants, and the mall. She got the newest styles of clothing and the hottest lipsticks, purses, and necklaces.

But Luxi also loved nature.

. . . /MORE


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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