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Fire Eater (Nikon d3500) by Aaron D'Souza, 9; published in Stone Soup February 2022

A note from Caleb

Greetings from Houston!

The last time I wrote to you all I was still living in Santa Cruz, California, where Stone Soup got its start. I have since moved to Houston to pursue an MFA in fiction writing and, six months in, I couldn't be happier with the program.

This week I have the pleasure of talking about the blog which, since late summer and since I've begun grad school, has slowed down some, though with your help I hope to ramp things up. Simply, we need and want more bloggers. I want to publish all of your Covid related work—poetry, fiction, art, music, anything at all! I recently published a sprawling piece of Covid poetry in six installments, which you can read hereherehereherehere, and here. Or, if you're submitting to the blog, I want all of your creative non-fiction, whether in the form of book, movie, album, or game reviews—like Abhi Sukhdial's comprehensive review on the power of storytelling in video games—or an essay like Anirudh Parthasarathy's deep dive on the initial alliance between Stalin and Hitler, or a memoir or personal narrative piece like Jacob Chan's "Flamethrower," excerpted below. Ideally, I'd be so overrun with submissions from full- or part-time bloggers that I'd be publishing five pieces a week!

So, if you'd like to submit your work to the blog, or become a full-time blogger (around two submissions per month), please submit your work via this Submittable link for the Covid blog, and this Submittable link for the regular blog, keeping in mind that we no longer publish fiction or poetry to the regular blog unless as part of the monthly flash contest.

Until next time,

From the Stone Soup Blog


By Jacob Chan, 11

I was almost 11 in the warm windy fall of the year 2019, when my baseball team, the Bulldogs, were playing in the little league semi-finals. But still, I couldn’t help but want to crawl under my bed, where I would be safe. I couldn’t even bear to glance at the opposing pitcher’s deep blue eyes. His fastball was so fast that if you rode on it around a highway, you would get fined for speeding.

My team crammed in the dugout before the game started, each of us getting to know one another way more than we wanted to. I swear I smelled vomit on the jersey of one of my teammates.

“Listen up, Bulldogs!” My coach Adam began to yell. “It’s the semi-finals—if we don’t win this, each of you owe me five laps around the field!” Everyone groaned. Everyone, with the exception of me, and a few other boys. Not that we wanted to run laps, mind you, but because we were staring at the five-foot-seven kid on top of the mound warming up. He was literally throwing fireballs into the catcher’s rusty old, well-patted, brown mitt, with the glove  strings tightly knotted. For a second, I didn’t care about the 10 pound gold trophy sitting on the table behind the dugout that would be handed out to the winner. I just cared about not getting plunked in the face by a 70 mph fastball thrown by the 11-year-old Godzilla. Alright, alright, call me a scaredy cat, but let’s face it—you would be freaking out, too.

The tap of Bowen Orberlie, one of my teammates, brought me back to reality.


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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