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Sunset in the Shadowy Woods
Sunset in the Shadowy Woods (acrylic) by Emma Yang, 8; published in the July/August issue of Stone Soup

A note from Emma Wood

Hello, all—

I hope you are enjoying the summer—I just wrapped up my Intro to Poetry summer camp, and it was an invigorating week reading, discussing, and writing really incredible poems. One thing I love about the Stone Soup teaching philosophy is that we don’t teach “down” to kids—I adapt lessons that I use with undergraduate students, and the poems are never too hard for them. Everyone responds to the brilliant writing, regardless of their age and experience with literature! We are running writing summer camps in conjunction with Society of Young Inklings through August 10th—sign up for a spot now if you haven’t yet! You can also peruse our offerings below.

We are currently running a campaign to support our writing workshops and summer camps, as well as our annual book contest and publishing program. While both of these programs align with our core mission, they cannot be entirely supported through the revenue we earn from the magazine.

Here are some of the things we’ve heard from children impacted by these programs:

Two of the most exciting and proud moments of my life were when I got my first poem published—and two years later when my book won the book contest.

Emma Hoff, 11

Stone Soup means so many things to me–but with my novel, it was a goal and a place to aim for. That novel is currently being serialized in Stone Soup, and writing it was a huge experience for me. It taught me a lot!

Emily Chang, 14

I’ve become the writer I am today thanks to Stone Soup’s writing workshops.…If not for them, I would very rarely have the motivation to sit down and write… I’ve discovered so much about my writing style through these classes, and I think anyone who has a passion for writing will find their voice through these classes, too.

Anonymous, 13

We are also very proud to share that Liam Hancock, a contributor to Stone Soup and longtime writing workshop participant, has recently launched his very own literary magazine, StudentKind Literary Journal, for individuals aged 13-18—proof that the inspiration, confidence and skills that students develop in our classes takes them far beyond their own desk!

We hope you will consider making a thoughtful gift in support of our successful book program, writing workshops, and summer camps today; your gifts will fund our classes, and enable us to continue offering scholarships to a handful of deserving students each year, as well as help our books reach a wider audience—and ensure this valuable initiative will continue.

You can donate online via Paypal or Donorbox.


P.S. The Stone Soup board of directors has given $6500 in a dollar-for-dollar match, so the impact of your donation is doubled.

Donate Now

From Stone Soup
July/August 2023

Ivy's Return

by Clara Gluzdov, 13

The melody came on the beams of moonlight. Moonlight poured through a tall window, covering the room in an eerie glow. Ivy lay on the fluffy carpet, fur glowing slightly. Her ears finally stopped twitching at every noise, wishing it was music. More specifically, piano music. She sighed in her sleep, the comforting sound filling her dreams. Ivy dreamt of kitchens full of mice—so many! an endless source of entertainment—and swarms of birds in the air, fresh and warm, to bring inside for her beloved Dahlia. She rolled over in her sleep, and her dreams changed to the piano.

If only I was human . . . Ivy purred to herself in her sleep. Then I could play the piano, the wonderful piano Dahlia sits at for hours and hours . . . I could be tall, tall enough to reach the piano, to sit down on the stool with my human legs touching the ground. But now it towers over me, grand and elegant, leaving me feeling small and vulnerable. If only I was human . . .

As she wished and wished to be human, the moonlight wrapped itself around her. It grew thicker and thicker, almost solid now. Swirls of it were bright and sounded slightly higher pitched. To most it would sound like nothing, but to the moonlight it was speaking. Should we do it? Should we do it now?

She had tried. She had tried to play the piano but was only able to make horrid, wild noise. And when she failed, it made her desire stronger.

Does she truly want this? the moonlight sang. Yes! said a shiny swirl. Are you sure? said another. A third said: We will find out soon.

*          *          *

Click here to find out what happens next.

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Explore our summer camp offerings

Advanced Novel Writing
July 17–20; 9–11 am PT

In Writing Instructor Conner Bassett's course, learn the basic techniques of good storytelling, such as setting, plot, character, dialogue, and more! Brainstorm concepts and share ideas for your novel that will keep readers hooked from start to finish.

Freedom through Constraint: Experiments in Poetry & Prose
July 24–27; 9–11 am PT

In this workshop taught by Stone Soup Blog Editor Caleb Berg, campers will study and use self-imposed constraints such as omitting specific letters and patterns of repetition in order to maximize the untapped potential of their work. The goal is not necessarily to make sense but to excite the senses!

Anthropology of the Everyday: The Art of Creative Nonfiction
July 24–27; 1–3 pm PT

Taught by Laura Moran, cultural anthropologist and Stone Soup's Refugee Project director, this course instructs students in a method of personal writing called autoethnography that combines storytelling with details about your daily life.

August 7–10; 1–3 pm PT

Conner will also teach a class about the history and craft of writing drama. Campers will ponder the practicalities and philosophies of the art form as well as work on developing their own 10-minute play!

Click here to see more course offerings from Society of Young Inklings.

We are currently searching for a new blog editor! If you are interested, please send a brief cover letter and resume to emma@stonesoup.com. We welcome applications from anyone age 14 and older.

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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