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"Sensation" photographed by Aiyla Syed, 13 (Ashberry, NJ) and published in the March 2021 Issue of Stone Soup

A note from Sarah


  • Twenty-eight of our thirty-five Writing Workshops are now available for public viewing online! In these videos you can experience William’s, Jane’s, Sarah’s, and a handful of our precocious students’ one-of-a-kind instruction. Coming next: the readings from the workshops, which we hope to have up sometime within the next couple months! To find the Writing Workshop videos, click on the hyperlinks attached to our weekly writeup of the Writing Workshops on the Stone Soup website, or go direct to our YouTube channel.
  • Our Young Authors’ Studio Summer Camps with the Society of Young Inklings are now open for booking! Find out more and secure your spot at the Young Inklings website.

Weekend Project

I was really struck by the cover image from this month's issue of Stone Soup. Aiyla Syed’s photograph Sensation (pictured above) perfectly captures a moment that feels familiar and playful in a visually compelling way.

The composition of the photograph is wonderful. While the main attention in the foreground is Aiyla’s brother jumping in a puddle, the line of the road in the background and the horizon line provide a pleasing frame for the action. And the shadow provides a doubling of the subject that gives the image a really nice sense of symmetry. For me, this photo reminds me of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s famous 1932 photograph of a different puddle jumper.

There is also an interesting tension between the stillness of the surroundings and the sudden movement of the splash that Aiyla’s brother is making. What sounds do you think were happening as Aiyla was taking this photo? I think this photograph would be an excellent starting-off point for a story or a poem.

For a weekend project, try to capture a moment where a silence or sense of peace is suddenly broken. You can do this with words or through a visual medium. What does the scene look like while it’s quiet? And what is it that suddenly disrupts this peacefulness? Maybe it’s a happy disruption, like a sudden laugh, or maybe it’s more serious, like an alarm. In any case, explore the sensation that occurs when the disturbance takes place.

Please send in anything you’re happy with to be considered for the magazine or blog.

Until next week,

Congratulations to our most recent Flash Contest Winners

Our March Flash Contest was based on our weekly creativity prompt #142, asking contestants to stretch the limits of their imagination in order to write a story set somewhere they had never been. As always, selecting the winners was exceedingly difficult due to the abundance of quality work, but this month our editors were left especially in awe as three different pieces were also selected to be published separately on the blog. These writers’ comprehensive world-building ability and infinite capacity for imagination were on display as we received submissions ranging from metafictional meditations on writing to poetic renderings of an encounter with a yeti to Frankenstein’s spinning in perpetuity! We thank all who entered this month’s contest and encourage everyone to keep submitting!

Congratulations to our winners and honorable mentions, listed below. You can read the winning entries for this contest (and previous ones) at the Stone Soup website.

“Frank in the Galaxy” by Kimberly Hu, 8, Lake Oswego, OR
“Complete” by Shriya Roy, 13, Highland, CA
“The Legend of Mount Himalaya” by Audrey Li, 13, Scarsdale, NY
“Underworld Adventure” by Rex Huang, 11, Lake Oswego, OR
“Lost in Blocks” by Scarlet He, 10, Scarsdale, NY

Honorable Mentions
“Green Ivy” by Riya Agarwal, 11, Portland, OR
“Unknown Train Trip” by Charelle Jan Ramo, 10, Hilo, HI
“The Ice Jester” by Chelsea Liang, 11, San Jose, CA
“Somewhere” by Madeline Cleveland, 11, Belleville, WI
“Shipwreck in North Pole” by Roger Krishna, 6, Portland, OR

Chosen for the Stone Soup COVID-19 Blog
“Going Viral” by Ender Ippolito, 9, Portland, OR

Chosen for the Stone Soup Blog
“Spring” by Porter Younkin, 9, Medford, OR
“Life Inside a Staircase” by Arjun Nair, 9, Midlothian, VA

Highlights from the past week online

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

Pragnya, 12, wrote a review of 2021 Newberry Medal winner When You Trap a Tiger.

Young Blogger Vivaan Kartik wrote a helpful and informative article on the value of investment.

Check out Avery’s (8) poem, “Learning In-Person” on the COVID-19 Blog for a thoughtful piece on the lingering effects of the pandemic.

A painting and a poem from Juliette, 4, on “The View From Our Window During Shelter-in-Place.”

Andy LiFrom Stone Soup
March 2021


By Andy Li, 7 (Hong Kong, China)

Spring is green
People roam about
Roars fill the jungle air
Iguanas sleep in the trees
New flowers are blooming

Read more from the March 2021 issue.


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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