A note from Emma Wood
This week, I discovered this Twitter account, Kids Write Jokes. As the title implies, it only tweets jokes written by kids! A lot of the jokes on the site are like this: not traditionally funny but also very funny precisely for that reason. It’s a weird contradiction. I encourage you to peruse them and think about what you find funny—and why. I think you will find it’s really hard to either predict or explain what will make you laugh. And what makes you laugh might not make your mom or your brother laugh! We all have our own unique sense of humor. I am often reminded of this when I am the only one laughing in a silent room.
The story I have chosen to highlight this week is “The Missing Hair” by Oliver Giller, 10, and it is a funny story. Not only is the premise of the story perfectly absurd—the protagonist employs a detective to find his missing hair—it is told with a seriousness that makes it even funnier. I realized as I read it initially how rarely I read funny stories in the Stone Soup submissions. And it is even rarer to find funny stories that feel right for Stone Soup! I think this is partly because humor is so individual and partly because there is a gap between what adults consider funny and what kids find funny (as evinced by the jokes above!), and then also because it is hard to be funny in writing and in visual art.
So this weekend I have a challenge for you: try to be funny in your work. Maybe this simply means approaching your art with a new lightness and playfulness. Or maybe this means telling jokes. Or maybe it means setting up a funny premise that you then proceed to take very seriously like Oliver does in his story. As always, send us the result!
On another note, we are attempting to gather testimonials and comments from Stone Soup readers to use in our efforts to spread the word about Stone Soup and expand our readership. Whether you are a kid, a parent, a teacher, a librarian, or anyone else who reads or engages with Stone Soup, we want to hear from you! What is your favorite thing about Stone Soup? Has any single piece from the magazine—story, poem, or art—had a particular impact on you? Feel free to answer these questions or tell us anything else you would like about your experience with the magazine—you can submit a letter to the editor or reply to an email with some comments.
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!
It’s that time of year again!
This year, we’ve published so much incredible, thought-provoking creative work by children ages 13 and under. Just browse our website and you’ll see what we mean.
As is now traditional, Stone Soup is publishing the Stone Soup Annual 2019 composed of all 11 issues from the calendar year, plus some extra highlights from the blog—and a beautiful wraparound cover design by Avery Multer, age 12. It’s a fantastic, 400+ page book that will give you and the young people in your life hours of great reading and inspiring art to browse. It makes a terrific gift. It’s going to print within the next week or two, and copies will start mailing in the first week of December.
We are offering 20% off all preorders received before November 24. That means that when you preorder, you’ll get the Annual for just $28.00—a reduction of $6.99. Support the young writers and artists of Stone Soup. Preorder your copies of the Annual today.
P.S. for Stone Soup contributors: remember to use your special code to get a 50% discount on all copies you buy!
Highlights from the past week online
Don’t miss the latest content from our Book Reviewers and Young Bloggers at Stonesoup.com!
Have you read (or watched) the classic fantasy series The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien? On the blog this week, Daniel takes us through the different kinds of creatures and magic in The Lord of the Rings. Do you want to learn about dwarves, elves, and wizards? Read Daniel’s post to find out more.
Do you have a hard time with chemistry? Well, our blogger Lucinda Chu wants to challenge you. Read the first post in her new series, in which she identifies a fun fact about each element on the periodic table. Find it interesting? Leave a comment!
From Stone Soup, November 2019
By Oliver Giller, 10 (Providence, RI)
Once, when I was counting the hairs on my head, I noticed that one hair was missing. You see, usually, I had 2,476 hairs on my head, but when I counted them this time, there were only 2,475 hairs on my head. Someone had stolen my hair. I went to the police station for help, but they said that I was crazy. Then I went to the FBI, but they said that they had much more important cases on their hands. Personally, I don’t understand how vandalism in the White House could be more important than my missing hair, but it wasn’t my choice. Finally, I realized that the best way to handle any situation was to take care of it at home. …/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.