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HatGirl
"Hat Girl" (Acrylic) by Keira Callahan, 12 (San Francisco, CA) and published in the May 2021 Issue of Stone Soup


A note from Sarah

Have you had time to read the May issue of Stone Soup?

I want to draw your attention to a story that caught my eye: “Awaiting a Letter” by Lila C. Kassouf, excerpted at the end of the newsletter.

Though Lila doesn’t identify the time period in which “Awaiting a Letter” is set, there is something about the word choices and style that makes it seem like it may be a historical fiction story. Perhaps it is the beginning of the story, where the main character, Celeste, reads the newspaper at breakfast, or the fact that the story revolves around the anticipation of a letter in the mail.

For this weekend’s activity, I want to challenge you to write a historical fiction story. You can make it clear in your narration or through the story’s events that the time period is not the present day, or you can make it more subtle, like Lila does, and never explicitly address it. What clues can you leave the reader to point at when the story is taking place? You may want to think about technology, like letter writing, or language, like speech styles and slang.

There have been so many great Stone Soup historical fiction stories published over the years that you can use as inspiration. In addition to “Awaiting a Letter,” you can also check out the “Historical” category on the website, or get a copy of our anthology The Stone Soup Book of Historical Fiction, available in print or as an e-book.

If you give the historical fiction genre a try, please submit what you’ve come up with! Can’t wait to see what you create.

Until next week,


Writing Classes and Book Club

Are you looking for classes to inspire, improve, and practice your writing with great teachers and a group of like-minded young writers and readers? Join us! We do charge fees for our clubs and workshops, but we try to keep them as low as possible, and we offer discounts to subscribers and scholarships to students who need them. Contact us at education@stonesoup.com with any questions.

Writing Workshop: we have two new writing groups for spring/summer, starting April 17, that will meet via Zoom every Saturday except for the last Saturday of the month. Come write with us and share your work with your peers. Find out more and register for a workshop at Eventbrite. To see some of the great work produced by current workshop members, read contributions published at Stonesoup.com, or join us at one of our free public readings!

Book Club: a book club for writers that meets via Zoom on the last Saturday of every month, with a new season starting on April 24! Find out more and register for book club at Eventbrite. Check out which books we are reading on our website.

Young Author’s Studio Summer Camps: we are offering a wide range of classes through the summer jointly with the Society of Young Inklings. Each camp runs for two hours per day, Monday through Thursday. All details and bookings via Society of Young Inklings.


Book Contest 2021

For information on submitting to the Stone Soup Book Contest 2021, please click here.

To submit your manuscript, please visit our submittable site.


Highlights from the past week online

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

Young Blogger Allison Sargent wrote an impassioned poem, “If I Could Write a Letter to the World.”

Pragnya, 12, wrote a review of historical fiction novel Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan. 


HatGirlFrom Stone Soup
May 2021

Awaiting a Letter

By Lila C. Kassouf, 12 (Towson, MD)
Illustrated by Keira Callahan, 12 (San Francisco, CA)

Eighteen-thousand dollars were stolen from the Bridgeham Regional Bank on Nov. 2. Eyewitnesses say the robber was a man wearing all black, carrying a gun.

“He had a slight figure and he ran very quickly,” said one woman who had witnessed the event.

This is the third armed robbery this week. Witness reports from each of the robberies confirm it was the same person.

—Page 1 of The Bridgeham Times

“Maman,” I said, looking up from the newspaper. “Did you hear about the robbery?”

“What is it, the third one you’ve told me about this week?” my mother asked, washing dishes at the sink.

. . . /MORE



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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