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Blooming (gouache) by Victoria Gong, 11; published in the May/June 2024 issue of Stone Soup

A note from Emma Wood

Hello, all!

My family and I have been moving around a lot – too much! – the past four years, and so it feels really good to know we will soon be starting our second year here in Cincinnati. Putting down roots is nice! …and I have started putting down roots not only figuratively but also literally – in our garden. I grew up in New York City, and my husband in Las Vegas, so let’s just say that gardening is new to both of us — but I’ve had fun troubleshooting our patchy, brown lawn, planting some wildflowers (that may or may not sprout…), mulching the beds, and also watching our plants bloom and green in the spring rains. As I do so, I have been thinking about Voltaire’s advice to “tend your garden.” He meant it mostly metaphorically, of course, but not only metaphorically. Spring is a planting season. I hope you will consider planting a seed and seeing what happens – literally but also metaphorically, inside you, as you tend it. Perhaps some art will grow from it, as well as an actual fruit or flower!

In terms of Stone Soup updates, I have some disappointing news to share in this newsletter: this year the book contest will be delayed and there is a possibility that it will not run in 2024 at all. I am very, very sorry to share this news but please know that we do not make this decision lightly and that we do so with an eye toward the continued health of Stone Soup. Stay tuned for more by early June.

Yours truly from a very muggy Queen City—

From Stone Soup
May/June 2024

Flower Punctuations

by Ava Luangkesorn, 9

Flowers are punctuations

A dandelion is an ellipsis . . .
for its seeds are blowing away.

A comma is a lily,
for it’s buried in the ground.

A colon is two buds or flowerlets:
for they are small and have dots.

A quotation is two hollyhocks
“For their heads reach all to the sky,” they say.

An apostrophe is a hydrangea
for it’s used and loved endlessly.

To read the full poem, 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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