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Giving voice to displaced children and young people.

"Shoes" (pencil)
From the “Everyday Objects” Workshop (2017), run by Hands On Art, at the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, and published in the May 2021 Issue of Stone Soup

A note from Tayleigh

An Update on Stone Soup’s Refugee Project
We are so excited to announce that the Stone Soup Refugee Project Website is now up and running! The Stone Soup Refugee Project provides a space for children and young people displaced by war, social collapse, and climate change to publish their creative work to share amongst themselves and with the world.

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all of the contributing programs and young people who have entrusted us with their writing and artwork and to the generous donors who have made this project possible. To explore our entire collection of creative work by young people living as refugees, please visit the Stone Soup Refugee Project website.

Quarterly Reading on June 6th

Are you registered for our second Quarterly Reading of the year? At this virtual event, we'll have contributors from the April, May, and June 2021 issues of Stone Soup read their work. And, if you're a contributor to one of these issues and you'd like to participate, you can submit your piece or an excerpt from your piece that you'd like to read to this Submittable category. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Sarah at sarah@stonesoup.com.

A Little Bit About Me
Since this is my first newsletter, allow me to introduce myself! My name is Tayleigh, and I handle the customer service side of Stone Soup. I also work as a personal assistant to Stone Soup Founder and Executive Director William Rubel. On my days off from the magazine, I work at a local garden store. I graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in December 2020 with a BA in history, with a special focus on Italian history. La mia passione è la storia italiana!

Weekend Project
Returning to the subject of our Refugee Project, I wanted to highlight the striking piece Shoes, which was composed during the “Everyday Objects” Workshop (2017), run by Hands On Art at the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. What a stark yet evocative work of art! Many ideas could be read into this image, but what I see is one crisp, white shoe, its form straight, juxtaposed against its own shadowsmaller, crooked, edges blurred. Two sides to the story. What appears on the surface as sharp and clear muddles itself through reproduction, as in a reflection or a shadow. The image asks whether we lose some of the sharpness of our forms, our luster, in our shadows and reflections.

Julia Marcus’s poem, “A Window in the Evening,” sheds some light on these questions. The melancholic speaker of the poem lingers on an image in the window blurred by their own breath, through which they “draw [their] name in the vapor” and “wipe it all away.” I’d like to focus on their breath, the vehicle that drives the blurry reproduction of “every sharp detail of [their] body” reproduced in shadow. Thus, the clarity lost in the speaker’s shadow is their own fault, their breath functioning as a metaphor for doubt brought on by self reflection. This poem, like Shoes, asks whether we lose some of ourselves in shadows and reflections, and answers back with another question, itself a reflectionis it our innermost self, our breath, that causes the loss?

This weekend, I want you to write about someone who functions as their own worst enemy by way of excessive self reflection. In essence, their own obsession with the question of “Who am I?” should be precisely what keeps them from finding out. As always, if you like what you’ve written, please send it to us at Stone Soup for consideration either in the magazine or on the blog.

Till next time,

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!

Aditi, 12, wrote a review of Jennifer A. Nielsen’s “inspiring and motivating” 2019 novel Words on Fire.

Young Blogger Janani Devendran posted the first installment in their mini comic, Web Wars.

Nora, 13, wrote a review of Newbery award-winning author Lois Lowry’s (author of The Giver) 2011 historical fiction novel Like the Willow Tree.

Idan, 11, wrote a personal narrative, "No Peconic in Pandemic," about his experiences dealing with the fallout from COVID-19.

Elias, 9, wrote a poem inspired by his experiences with the pandemic.

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 writing groups for spring/summer that meet via Zoom every Saturday (except for William’s class, which does not meet 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. 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.

Julia MarcusFrom Stone Soup
October 2020

A Window in the Evening

By Julia Marcus, 13 (Culver City, CA)

I press my face
against the glass,
blowing circles of air
onto its cool surface.
I step back,
looking at the filmy,
blurred image that faintly appears
on the other side
of the window.
I draw my name in the vapor.
My finger squeaks on the glass
as I drag it through
what used to be my breath.
I wipe it all away.
The window is slippery.

Through the night,
I cast a shadow on my front lawn,
illuminated by the room’s light.
I see every sharp detail
of my body,
blurred by my breath.

. . . To read more work from the October 2020 Issue, including more poetry by Julia, click here.

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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