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Phoebe cat in the flowers
She was not quite full grown, but not a kitten either

Illustrator Erin Cadora, 10, for her story Phoebe.
Published March/April 2008.

A note from William Rubel

The Flash Fiction contest deadline is Friday, June 15, at midnight. Contest submissions are coming in, thank you! In a previous Newsletter I suggested that one approach to writing flash fiction is to look through stories you have already written to find a passage that has the strength to stand on its own as is, or after only a small amount of editing. Newsletter reader Joanna Smith is a fiction author and blogger who recently blogged about how to approach writing flash fiction. I like what she wrote about how to approach flash fiction and encourage all of our readers to read Joanna's post, regardless of age.

For adult Newsletter readers, flash fiction is a good genre to use to break the ice and get back into creative writing. If you are are an adult and write something please feel free to send it to me by replying to this Newsletter. I'd like to see what you've done. Kids, ages 13 and under, please submit your flash fiction to our contest the usual way: click on the Submit button you will find lower down on the page and follow the instructions.

Use JUNE18 code for FREE access to stonesoup.com

It is official!  School is out! To celebrate, and to offer those of you who are not subscribers a good dose of Stone Soup to inspire your own creative Summer, we are offering you free access to Stone Soup at stonesoup.com for the rest of the month of June. All you have to do is go to the Stone Soup subscribe page and enter JUNE18 in the coupon field. That will give you unlimited access to  all Stone Soup PDFs and thousands of pages of writing by kids through the end of the month.

Summer 2018 Journal

The way I think of it, when the school year ends, that is the end of a year. The last day of school is a second December 31. The following day begins something new. On Wednesday, my daughter left sixth grade. On Thursday she effectively became a seventh grader.

The end of school, the beginning of Summer, is the time, much more than January 1, to make resolutions. What I'd like to encourage all of us to do (and I am folding myself into this) is to start a Summer journal. Use the Summer journal to write about what you are doing, what you're thinking, feeling, and as a sketchbook for stories, poems, and other creative work. This can include recipes. Flash fiction is also a very good format for journals. It can be applied to both fiction and nonfiction writing.

Get started this weekend with your Summer 2018 Journal. Send me a photograph of your first two complete pages in a reply email to this Newsletter. I will include the first journal pages sent to me in next week's Newsletter. To make this a project that all Newsletter readers can participate in, I will include images of journals that adults are writing, too.

Now, to start! Look around your house for a blank journal or writing notebook that still has lots of blank pages in it so you can repurpose the book for your Summer 2018 Journal. If you don't have anything on hand, then go out and buy a fresh journal to write in. Blank journals are cheaper at a stationery store or the stationery section of a big pharmacy. Bookstores and gifts shops also often have journals. We at Stone Soup sell a couple of journals at our online store.  But, best is to repurpose something you have on hand right now so you can start without needing to go out and shop for something.

I'll look forward to seeing pictures of your journals.

Until next week,

Keep up to date with the newest articles on our blog

Our website is being revised this week so the developers have asked us not to add anything new to the site. There will be fresh posts very soon, along with a better organized blog section.

From Stone Soup
March/April 2008


Written and Illustrated by Erin Cadora,10

It was a quaint little backyard, not much, but cozy, a haven for many strays. With pretty, plump azalea bushes to dash into, and a soft, ivy-covered ground to sleep on, a homeless kitty could spend a few comfortable nights there. Of course, it was never a permanent home of any stray, but there was one who was different.

She was not quite full-grown, but not a kitten either. Her stomach was as white and fluffy as a cloud, but her tail, back, and the top of her head were a thunderstorm gray. She had petite paws and innocent features. Her face consisted of glittering, clever, but frightened eyes and an adorable little pink nose that almost sparkled in the sunlight. She had obviously had a previous home, because there was a silver bell attached to her neck by a red velvet strap. Unfortunately, her previous owner had most likely abused her; she was petrified of humans and always had that anxious look in her eyes.

She had certainly taken quite a shine to that garden, and had seemed to settle there, but she took care not to venture near the crusted old brownstone that towered above her. Little did she know, the woman who lived in that house was interested in her, she was curious about the cat that lived in her yard. .../more

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