Illustrator Susannah Benjamin, 13 for The Faerie Circle by Alana Yang, 12
Published March/April 2007
A note from William Rubel
The first Stone Soup Science Issue is in the works. The deadline for submissions for this issue, which will include fiction, art and nonfiction writing, is July 1, so this a good beginning-of-Summer project. The nonfiction element is a more unusual one for Stone Soup, and Editor Emma has asked me to explain in this Newsletter what the two kinds of science nonfiction writing we are looking for are, so you can start to think about your submissions.
A few weeks ago, I was given a tour of a United States Department of Agriculture laboratory by a scientist who worked there. He was so excited about his work! He was so excited about what he was studying! He was so engaged in his stories about the science he was doing, and his work was so creative, that I became jealous! I thought, wow!, what a great thing it is to be a scientist! We are looking for writing from young scientists that communicates that kind of enthusiasm to us, your readers.
One kind of science writing we are looking for is writing that describes science projects or experiments. A science project might include an insect or rock collection, or the careful observation of the behaviors of a pair of pet parakeets. A science experiment is something you have done as a working experimental scientist in which you test a hypothesis through experimentation. For those of you who have participated in a school science fair you may already have science projects that you could write up for Stone Soup. Whether you are an observational scientist or an experimental scientist, in the end you have to tell people what you’ve done. What have you observed? What do the observations mean? Or, what was your experiment? And what did it explain? All science ends in story. What Stone Soup is looking for are stories written when you are working with your “science” hat on, that will engage other Stone Soup readers.
The second kind of nonfiction science writing we are looking for is writing on scientific issues, like global warming, or plate tectonics, or snow leopards. Can you write about these subjects in a way that makes the subject accessible and interesting and engaging for non-scientists? There are lots of examples of writers who can. Reporters for the science sections of newspapers, like the New York Times, are science writers who can engage non-experts. A marine biologist and conservationist called Rachel Carson wrote a book called Silent Spring in 1962 that had a lasting impact on the environmental movement all over the world. She told her science story in a way that captured imaginations. That is what we are looking for for Stone Soup.
The Stone Soup Science Issue also includes fiction, poetry, photography, and art inspired by science. You might research an animal and become very knowledgeable about how that animal lives, about its behaviors, and about the way it moves. And with that knowledge you might make a model or a painting, or write a story with that animal as a character. You might write a piece of prose or a poem that is inspired by close observation of nature. This could include a natural place that you love. One of the most extraordinary works of art I have ever seen, a painting I think about a lot, is a small watercolor by Albrecht Dürer called The Great Piece of Turf, of a patch of grass with wild flowers. It is painted with the eye of a scientist, and with the feelings and heart of an artist. We are looking forward to seeing what happens when you try to combine those things, too!
Getting ready for our June issue
Don’t do it! Do not read your Stone Soup issues on your tablet in the bath! This is asking for trouble.
My excuse is that I had started the bath water running just as I started reading the printer’s proof of the June 2018 issue, and I just didn’t want to stop reading. I’d like to remind all of you who want to read offline, wherever you like, that the PDFs of each month’s issue are available to subscribers for download on the first of the month. A few of you have asked about the Kindle format. We are working on it, and ought to be able to offer Kindle editions soon. We are also back in print. All of the 2018 issues up to May are in our online store now for sale as single issues; the June issue has been printed, is on its way to our mailing house as I write, and will be ready to be sent out on June 1st.
Emails, Privacy and GDPR
As you may know, on May 25th 2018 the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) privacy laws came into effect.<
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There’s always more at stonesoup.com
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Contests and Special Issues deadlines
Flash Fiction: June 15
Special issue submissions
Science writing: July 1
Go to our submissions portal for full details.
From Stone Soup
By Alana Yang, 12
Illustrated by Susannah Benjamin, 13
Ariel woke up at 11:55 PM. She tossed off her blanket, stood up and tied her favorite silver sweater around her waist. Silently, like a ghost, she slipped out the door and walked down the hallway She could hear her sister Sophie breathing as she walked past her room. Down the stairs, skip the creaky third step, past the dining table, jump over Fluffy the greyhound (Sophie picked the name when she was six), and out the den door. Ariel didn’t know where she was going, or why she was going there, but it felt… right. It felt like there was something she needed to do.
Moonlight poured down on the figure moving silently across the dew-covered lawn. Ariel knew this path by heart. She and Sophie went there years ago to play faeries, but they stopped when Ariel entered middle school. Now, as a seventh grader, she didn’t feel the least bit embarrassed to be visiting one of her childhood haunts.
As Ariel’s bare foot stepped into the moonlit clearing, she felt a thrum of… joy? Power? Memories? It felt like someone was watching her. She glanced up at the moon and, as she always felt when she looked up at the sky, was awed by the great white disk sending down rays of milk-white light like so many chords of music. …/more
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.