A note from Caleb
I'd like to begin by congratulating Abhi Sukhdial—Stone Soup contributor and winner of our 2019 Book Contest—whose novella Three Days Till EOC was recognized by the 2021-2022 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards in the novel writing category. As per the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, "This year the Scholastic Awards received nearly 260,000 entries nationally; 20,000 entries were from the Remote Programs alone! In the Remote Programs, only 9 percent of all works received a Silver Key. And only 12 percent of all works submitted to our Remote Programs received an Honorable Mention. Receiving a Silver Key or Honorable Mention is an incredible achievement."
Weekly Writing Workshops
There are two of (William Rubel's) and three of (Conner Bassett's) classes left in the Winter session. The Spring program begins after Easter. If you would like a free trial in one of the remaining classes this session, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Below, you can find a video of one our students—Zar, 11—delivering an incredible reading during the February 12th Workshop on Parables & Paradoxes.
Summer School Registration
On top of the inimitable Naomi Kinsman's Design a Novel weekend workshop, which takes place Saturday March 26 and Sunday March 27 from 1-4 pm eastern time, you can now begin registering for the Young Author's Studio Summer Camps offered by the Society of Young Inklings! A few members of the Stone Soup team—Book Club Facilitator Maya Mahony, Refugee Project Coordinator Laura Moran, and myself—are all offering classes. Maya's class on Identity and Imagination takes place July 25-28 at 1-3 pm pacific time, Laura's class on the Anthropology of the Everyday on June 13-16 at 9 am pacific, and my class on Literature in Miniature on June 27-30 at 9 am pacific. More classes will go live as we get closer to summer, so make sure to look out for updates!
This week, I'd once again like to direct your attention to the Stone Soup blog, though this time my focus is on our fabulous COVID blog that we began way back in 2020. The purpose of this blog is twofold; it's primary purpose is to allow children to filter their complex feelings about the pandemic through art, but it also acts as a sort of ongoing time capsule with which to capture the cultural zeitgeist of the COVID-19 pandemic. Jane Wheeler, 13, writes of her beautiful piece Girl with Daisies, "We have all used different styles of face masks throughout covid to keep ourselves and others safe. This art represents the way we can find beauty even when covering up part of ourselves." And Graham, 12, writes of his stunning poem "Life in the Time of COVID-19," "Because of my mom’s job, I was living in Peru when COVID-19 started. The country locked down because of COVID. I couldn’t leave my apartment for forty-eight days. It was really hard. Things deteriorated in Peru and we had to be evacuated back to the United States. I returned home to Montana where there was no lockdown and I could finally go for a walk and be outside. My poem tells this story in half acrostic form and half free verse to help show the isolation and then freedom."
Both Jane and Graham turned to art in order to represent their unique perspectives, and in completely different forms. This weekend, I'd like you to think deeply about the pandemic and how it is affecting you most in its current form. Then, think about how you might capture this unique moment in time through your art. Like Graham altered the form of his poem in order to express the nature of its content, try and come up with an art form that mirrors your feelings about COVID. For example, if your experience with the pandemic is too difficult to express in the second dimension, create a sculpture or some other form of three-dimensional art. Be creative, think outside the box, and if you like what you write, please submit it to the COVID blog for consideration.
Until next time,
Fourth Annual Book Contest
Every year we recognize the top novel or poetry collection submitted to this contest. The first prize is for your book to be published by Stone Soup. Books by previous winners like Abhi Sukhdial, Tristan Hui, and Anya Geist, have garnered important national recognition. The deadline is Sunday, August 21, 2022 at midnight in your time zone. There is a $15 filing fee. The winning book will be published in September, 2023.
By Graham Kosnar, 12 (Billings, MT)
I t started—the disease that just kept coming
S taying in Peruvian lockdown
O ften complaining about Zoom meetings
L osing our minds
A t home day and night
T rees and parks are bare
I t drove everyone into despair
O bjects became our closest friends
N obody outside walking,
Walking in Montana
Trekking through Yellowstone
The sky is blue
I smell wild sage and mint.
I can follow
Whatever trail I want
Passing birch trees
Entering a stream,
The water, cold on my feet
I am home.
I am finally free.
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.