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Golden Sunset (Acrylic) By Delilah Prager, 10 (Santa Monica, CA), published in the February 2022 issue of Stone Soup

A note from Sarah

Hello all! After working at Stone Soup since 2017, I am leaving for a full-time position as an archivist. In this last newsletter, I’d like to express my appreciation for all of the wonderful young writers, artists, and readers I’ve been fortunate enough to work with over the years. I have consistently been amazed by how thoughtful, considerate, and talented you all are, and it makes me so hopeful for the future. 

For my last weekend project, I want to invite you to be inspired by Ava Espinoza's lovely poem "The Word," published in this month's issue and also available if you scroll down to the end of the email. In her poem, Ava dances around an unspecified word that seems to follow her around, never giving her any peace.

Do you have something in your life that strikes fear into you like the "word" in this poem? Maybe it's not a word, maybe it's a phrase or an event. For this exercise, I want you to try to a similar technique to Ava's—hinting at but never directly addressing a word or subject. It can be serious, but also feel free to make it lighthearted. How can you describe something without ever truly introducing it? What do you want to convey to your readers about this unnamed concept and how do your characters feel about it?

If you've felt inspired by this prompt and like the work you've created, please consider submitting it.

Again, thank you all for being so wonderful during my time at Stone Soup. I can't wait to see the things that Stone Soup contributors will go on to do, and I hope to read your work for years to come.

All my best,

From Stone Soup
February 2022

The Word

By Ava Espinoza, 12 (Palo Alto, CA)

I look through boxes for things
I want to keep, taking out those
I need, leaving in those I don’t
Need or want. Then suddenly I see,
At the bottom of the box,
A word.

It’s a scary word, a horrible word,
A terrifying word. I don’t want that word.
I don’t see why I’d ever want that word.
I close the box, but on the floor in front
Of me, there I see
The word.

It creeps closer. I start to run. Imagine!
This disgusting word chasing me
Away from the box, out of the room,
Into the hallway. I look behind, and there,
Still chasing me is
The word.


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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