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The Treehouse girls climbing
“I, Grace Sadlon, sister of Chloë Sadlon, vow to never ever break the Sister Code” by Phoebe Wagoner, 11 (Carlisle, Kentucky), published in Stone Soup March/April 2015, illustrating "The Treehouse" by Ermeen Choudhury, 12 (Scarsdale, New York).


A note from William Rubel

I am very pleased to be able to announce that we have hired Laura Moran, a cultural anthropologist who has just published a book on her research with refugee children in Australia to lead the Stone Soup refugee project (see below). As most of you know, the first stage in this project is publishing a special issue of Stone Soup devoted to creative work by refugee children. If any of you know people working with refugee children, including with children caught up in US border enforcement actions on the Mexican border, please send Laura an email: laura@stonesoup.com.

Stone Soup author Sabrina Guo, whose personal initiative is really the inspiration for this project, has been honored with an invitation to attend the 2020 Harvard Global Women's Empowerment Expo with Laura Doggett, who is the American artist working with refugee children in the Za'atari camp in Jordan that Sabrina wrote about in a Stone Soup blog post. Congratulations Sabrina!

On the subject of blogs. I haven’t put out a call for new blog authors in a while. Writing for our blog is different from writing for Stone Soup. Stone Soup is a literary magazine—so its focus is fiction, poetry, and art. In the blogs you can write on any subject you like so you have the freedom to explore other genres besides fiction and poetry. If you haven’t visited our blogs recently, please do. As you’d expect from Stone Soup writers, the quality of the blog entries is high. At the end of every year we select an issue’s worth of blog posts to include in our Annual. If you are interested in writing for our blog please go to the Stone Soup submissions page and submit a writing sample.

On a personal note, I have been working in my garden over the past few weeks. There is an unused treehouse in a big plum tree which we are converting into a space for us adults to relax. It's so much fun to climb the ladder and sit in the tree, so I was happy to see this illustration from a past issue of Stone Soup in this week's Newsletter! Do you have a tree house? Why not spend some time in it and send us a picture of the view, or write something inspired by sitting up amongst the branches.

Until next week,


Current Contest: Personal Narrative

The way we approach fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, as both readers and writers, is drastically different. For this reason, we're happy to announce that Stone Soup is partnering with  Society of Young Inklings in our very first nonfiction contest and that, in 2020, we will begin to publish all nonfiction under its very own label in the magazine.

What makes this contest extra special is our partnership with Society of Young Inklings (SYI): we are very excited to share that their team of professional writers has designed a mentorship experience for both the youth and the educators who take part in this contest. Check out the details on our website here, including links to SYI's video series to help in writing a personal narrative.

Contest deadline is December 15th!


Highlights from the past week online

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

Maya writes a blog this week called "Playing in the Youth Orchestra." Read about her experience preparing for performing a challenging piece for a concert.

Remember Tristan Hui's story "Coconut Pudding" from the November issue? She takes us behind the scenes in a post that details the inspiration for the story. Read more in "Coconut Pudding: Behind the Story."

We're always accepting blog submissions through the Submittable category-- if you know a young person with an interesting perspective, encourage them to submit their work!


The Treehouse girls climbing
“I, Grace Sadlon, sister of Chloë Sadlon, vow to never ever break the Sister Code”

From Stone Soup, March/April 2015

The Treehouse

By Ermeen Choudhury, 12 (Scarsdale, New York)
Illustrated by Phoebe Wagoner, 11 (Carlisle, Kentucky)

Chloë. Chloë, wake up!” Grace poked her sister in the side, then gently shook her, barely able to contain her excitement.

Chloë slowly opened one eyelid, and in seconds the two seven-year-olds were scampering out of the bedroom and down the hallway, leaf-dappled pajamas billowing on their small forms. After making sure their parents were asleep, they went out the back door together, giggling. The girls ran barefoot through swaying grass, scrambled up craggy rocks, maneuvered through a network of gangly trees, and finally, breathless, arrived at their destination.

The treehouse stood tall and grand, silhouetted against the golden-orange sky, and the sisters ogled its brilliance for a while. A path of flat stones trailed up to the tree’s roots, and a flimsy rope ladder climbed up its length. Sitting amid a fountain of branches was the house, built of dark, ancient-looking planks of wood.

“Come on. Let’s go!” Grace shrieked with delight, and began to skip from stone to stone. She was crawling up the first few rungs before Chloë snapped out of her trance and followed her.

Before they entered the house, the girls stopped, their faces solemn. Grace went first. Placing a hand on her chest, she recited, “I, Grace Sadlon, sister of Chloë Sadlon, vow to never ever break the Sister Code. I will always be a loyal sister, and will never tell anyone the secrets of the treehouse.”

Chloë opened her mouth, but before she could utter a sound Grace’s foot slipped on the rung above her and her leg swung around wildly as she tried to regain her footing. The ladder began to rock back and forth. “Grace, watch out!” Chloë screamed, but it was too late, and they both came crashing to the ground..../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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