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Betta Fish
Betta Fish (colored pencil) by Claire Cui, 11; published in the March/April 2024 issue of Stone Soup

A note from Diane Landolf

Hello everyone,

Hip hip hooray! It’s (the day after) publication day!

If you’re still feeling a little groggy from last weekend’s time change, here’s some news to perk you up... The Pipe Tree by Lily Jessen is here! Yes, the winning novel in the 2022 Stone Soup Book Contest is on sale now!

We are so excited for you to meet Éclair, the free-spirited sparrow who, distracted by the crumbs of a delicious blueberry muffin, suddenly finds himself captive in a Human Nest. The story of his reluctant bond with the lonely woman who captured him is bittersweet, but the experience of reading Lily’s inventive text is a pure delight. Newbery Award-winning author Kelly Barnhill says “I read [The Pipe Tree] in one sitting, with feathers in my heart.” Please support your fellow kid author and Stone Soup’s mission of publishing literature by children—buy a copy here!

Now for a writing prompt! I just love the short poem “Lighthouse and I” by Aiden Zhang, which we published in the March/April 2024 issue of Stone Soup. It isn’t until the last line of the poem, “I purred,” that the reader gets a hint that the first-person narrator might not be who—or what—they think he is. Yet the narrator never comes out and says he’s a cat. In your writing, can you think of a way of telling something without actually telling it?


Happy Almost Spring!

Buy The Pipe Tree

From Stone Soup
March/April 2024

Lighthouse and I

by Aiden Zhang, 8

I gleamed across the ocean,
As I stood up on the lighthouse.
Before I realized anything,
A light shined on me.
The sound of waves
Scared me
I had to rush inside.
As usual,
I purred.

To read the March/April issue of Stone Soup, click here.

Explore our summer camps

June 17–20; 9–11 am PT

The goal of this course led by Conner Bassett is to produce one 10-minute play. To help you do this, we will approach playwriting as a form of craft—grounded in dialogue, character, voice, setting, tone, conflict, action, and plot structure. This workshop will also emphasize a play’s arc: its beginning, turning point, and ending.

Reality Hunger: An Introduction to Memoir
June 24–27; 9–11 am PT

In this class, led by Emma Wood, Executive Director of Stone Soup, we will read and write memoir and personal essays—in short form. We will consider how they work, ask questions about the ethical aspects of writing nonfiction (What if my mom reads it? What if I hurt someone’s feelings? What if my memory is “wrong”?), and—most importantly—experiment in the form with daily in-class writing prompts, sharing our work in a supportive, fun community.

Literature in Miniature: A Study of Micro Fiction & Prose Poetry
June 24–27; 1–3 pm PT

Sometimes, the biggest ideas are best expressed in the tiniest of forms. In this workshop taught by former Stone Soup Blog Editor Caleb Berg, you will learn to condense your horizons into a style of writing perfected by writers like Lydia Davis, Daniil Kharms, Gertrude Stein, and many others. You will write multiple discrete pieces per day and finish the class with enough writing to fill up a chapbook.

Intro to Poetry: The Image and the Line
July 22–25; 9–11 am PT

Emma Wood will also teach a class on poetry. Immerse yourself in what a poem is and what it can do. Students will write their own poetry, shaking themselves out of established modes of thinking.

Filmmaking as Dialogue
August 5–9; 9–11 am PT

In this class taught by filmmaker Isidore Bethel, we’ll use the camera to facilitate and enrich our interactions with others – friends, family, animals, plants, and the world around us. Writing texts with a partner, recording and sharing short videos, and interpreting their meanings aloud will be starting points for developing individual and collaborative approaches to filmmaking.

Editing and Revising Fiction
August 5–9; 1–3 pm PT

In this class taught by Stone Soup Editor in Chief Diane Landolf, you'll learn how to think like an editor and make your stories the best they can be. We’ll discuss first paragraphs, character development, dialogue, story arc, and what makes a great sentence.

Click here to peruse the entire selection of camps available; our friends at Society of Young Inklings are teaching a variety of additional courses, and more courses will be announced soon!

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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