A note from William Rubel
These are the first four volumes of the revised Stone Soup anthologies! The next four are being printed this upcoming week. What can I say? Jane Levi, who has been responsible for this project has done a spectacular job. Revised content, completely new look, every volume expanded (the poetry volume alone has 50 additional poems), and every book is now over 200 pages. They are all available right now as forthcoming titles at our online store. The official publication date is November 15, though, as you can see from the picture, half of them have already arrived, so we can start shipping those ones earlier in the week.
We love libraries!
This weekend Jane, my daughter Stella, and I are presenting Stone Soup at the California Library Association conference in Santa Clara, CA. We have a booth. We’re very excited! Getting back in print lets us get back to selling print subscriptions to libraries once again, and a library is one of the absolutely best places for Stone Soup. And, of course, we will be selling anthologies and copies of the Stone Soup Annual. We hope to see them in every library soon!
William’s Weekend Project
I want to call attention today to the poem posted on our blog this week. It is called “Searching for Han Solo” and was written by Isabella Posel. This poem speaks to me as a parent, and it speaks to who I was as a child. This poem asks questions about today’s world—where it’s headed and how can it be saved from the direction it’s going in. So, yes, this poem is about global warming, and it’s about leaders who lie. It is always disconcerting for me to go into my daughter’s middle school to see all the banners hanging in the hallways about integrity, honesty, and acting toward others as you would want others to act towards you. Every time I go to my daughter’s school and read these banners or listen to the principal speaking at the assembly about the school’s values, I wonder what is it like to be a child today when so many of our leaders offer such a profoundly bad example. I’m so happy that Isabella has contributed this poem to Stone Soup. It is really an important one, and I hope you all will read it. To make it easier, it’s included below in the former ‘Story from the Archives’ section.
Isabella’s poem achieves something that is very, very difficult. And that is to turn contemporary history and politics into a work of art that transcends the moment. Note how Isabella draws on classical myths, American comics, and today’s real world as sources for her work. It’s a poem to make you think. So what I’d like you all to do today is to start poem or story that explores the big world and national issues of today in a literary way. In other words, you are not writing an essay. You are not writing an opinion piece. You are using the techniques of poetry and storytelling to draw out what you feel about the big global and national issues of your childhood, right now.
I can say that when I was a child my fears were about nuclear war. That was a huge concern. But when I see all of the issues that are on the scale of nuclear war that you are having to deal with today, I just can’t imagine what is going through your heads.This is a project where you can use your literary skills to talk to your peers and to talk to us adults about how you are feeling. Isabella proposes the idea that you children are all getting ready to fix all this mess. I can say to you that I sincerely hope you will. And thank you, Isabella, for contributing your poem.
So, thinking about this poem, you know the drill. If you write something that you want Emma to consider printing in Stone Soup, then go to our online submissions form and submit it under the category of poem or story. If you would like your entry to be considered as a blog post, then please submit it to the blog category, where Sarah will contact you. Blog posts are published fairly quickly upon acceptance, whereas it takes longer to publish something in the magazine because we work many months in advance. In every case, I look forward to reading what you produce.
Until next week,
Secret Kids contest
This is our regular reminder to young, long-form authors that we are running a contest in partnership with Mackenzie Press: the Secret Kids Contest. All of the details are on our website–suffice to say, that if you are under the age of 18 and working on a book-length piece of writing, you should be thinking about getting it ready to submit by the end of the year to be in with a chance of winning one of the amazing prizes–a publishing contract.
We have an exciting partnership in place with Miacademy, the interactive learning site for K-8th grade. Writing from Stone Soup is being featured on their site, and Miacademy subscribers have the opportunity to submit their work to us. As part of this partnership, our friends at Miacademy are offering generous discounts to Stone Soup subscribers: 20 to 40 percent off, depending on which type of subscription you purchase. To find out more about Miacademy and explore the various services on offer, visit their website and read the information for parents. If you choose to join, simply enter the code STONESOUP2018at the checkout to receive your discount.
From the Stone Soup blog, November 6, 2018
Searching for Han Solo: A Poem
By Isabella Posel
Riddle me this
And Make My Day
Who has taken all the heroes away?
They are not in the papers
Or on TV
Not anywhere, sadly, that I can see
Maybe King Arthur got lost
And James Bond’s in rehab
Batman’s car is in the shop and he can’t find a cab
Lassie’s having a nap
The Ghostbusters are late
Sisyphus is wearing a back brace, bemoaning his fate
You grown-ups created them,
Then chased them away
Will they return to fight for us some other day?
The waters are rising
The weather’s off course
Even Mary Poppins’ umbrella can’t withstand the force
The planet’s a mess
It’s hot and not fair
The people in charge really don’t seem to care
Atlas is just holding on
by the sweat of his brow
If there ever was time for a hero, it’s now
I sometimes can sense them—
They watch and they wait
Until a time when the land is not so full of hate
The young will bring them back
Just wait and you’ll see
We’ll make change for the better and then they’ll be free
We will make them our own
All those Jedis and knights
When we can once again give all people rights
When the world’s rid of the leaders
Who have hurt and have lied
The heroes will be here again to fight by our side.
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.