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Water Droplets
Water Droplets by Anya Geist, 13 (Worcester, MA)
Cover art from the Stone Soup November 2019

A note from Jane Levi

Those of you with a print subscription to Stone Soup will by now have received your copy of the November issue with its wraparound cover art, Water Droplets, by Anya Geist, and many more of you will have seen the cover and the complete work of art online. If you read editor Emma’s letter at the beginning of the magazine, you will know that a lot of the work in this month’s issue is about ideas of home. As you probably know, I am from the UK, so this gray, wet-looking image sums up a big part of my expectations of November “at home.” I know that lots of our readers live in similar climates, so you will know what I mean . . .

Actually, I am in the United States just now—and Santa Cruz, California, is anything but wet at the moment—but I am pretty confident that when I get back to London next weekend it won’t be long before I will be looking out my window and seeing a live version of Anya’s photograph!

One of the things I love about this piece of work is the way it is a mixture of the very specific—a clear and precise record of drops of water on (I assume) glass or tile—and the abstract. We can’t see the edges of the surface the water droplets are on, so even with the clarity of the image a lot is left to our imaginations to work out. Without knowing the title, the photograph could be many things: a close-up of bubbles in a tank, or even a piece of concrete. Although it is plain-looking and ostensibly simple, it is very beautiful, and it is thought-provoking. I find it calming and meditative to look at, in the way just sitting and staring out of the window in your favorite spot at home can be when you need to pause and think through what you are going to write next, or when you need to digest a problem. Thank you, Anya, for a terrific cover!

Thinking about returning to the UK, I also appreciate Analise Braddock’s poem “Days” in the November issue, where “The gray is space or a planet,” and in the end “It is time to return.” Maybe this weekend you can take some time to sit and stare and think about home, think about places you would like to return to, and write, draw, or photograph something that encapsulates those thoughts and ideas. As always, send it to us if you are happy with it.

Until next time,

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!

Two book reviews posted on the blog this week!

Daniel, 10, reviews the children's classic A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle, with a special focus on the fictional world of Camazotz. Would you want to live in a place with peace and order, but without any freedom? Leave a comment on his post!

Did you watch the movie Hidden Figures? Vivaan, 10, reviews the book by Margot Lee Shetterly, which the movie was based on. Read Vivaan's thoughts about the "very inspiring" book, in his words.

Our Fall Fundraiser, 2019: The Refugee Project

We are raising funds to support the production and publication of creative work by children in refugee camps around the world. We have already almost reached our target of $5,000 to support workshops run by and for kids in camps, a special issue of Stone Soup, and associated projects—and we want to keep going! You have already helped us fund workshops in the Za’atari camp and put us in touch with other great organizations we can work with to expand our efforts.

Please help us raise the money to continue this work. You can read more about this initiative on our website and help us by sharing the link with others. Thank you.

Water Droplets

From Stone Soup, November 2019


By Analise Braddock, 8 (Katonah, NY)
Illustrated by Anya Geist, 12 (Worcester, MA)

The nights are long
The days are short
A breeze is blown
A day is a day.
It can’t be reliven
Make today today
Tomorrow is tomorrow
The gray is space or a planet.
A cold breeze sweeps by
It is time to return


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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