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A note from William

Website redesign: It has been a long time coming! For some reason, web design work seems to take forever plus a day. Our new homepage design just went up! Please visit. The site is now much better at showcasing the writing and art in the magazine and on the blogs.

The second and third phases of the redesign are in process. An improved system of navigation and more beautiful interior pages comes next, followed by a portal for the Refugee Project.

Our Saturday Writing Workshop and Book Club for Writers is open for registration. This session, Saturdays at 9 a.m. Pacific, runs through December 16. You can sign up for one or more classes through EventBrite.  

Weekend creativity project: Next week, at the Saturday Writing Workshop, I will be talking about personification. Personification is when you attribute human qualities to inanimate objects.

A good example of personification is the recent blog post “Life of a Pencil” by Amruta Krishnan Srinivasan, 9. Imagining you are a pencil, or an eraser, is a common school writing prompt. Amruta’s story goes far beyond anything I have seen anyone do with this idea. Amruta actually makes me care about this pencil!

I am going to be following my class on personification with a class on nature writing using personification techniques. So, for this weekend, I would like you sit down with—or at least near—something that means a lot to you. Something to which you have a strong emotional attachment. This could be a stuffed animal, or a tree whose branches you may see projected in shadow against your window. Or something else entirely. Let the spirit of whatever it is that you choose to write about enter your imagination.

As always, if you like what you write, then submit it to Stone Soup so editor Emma Wood can read it.

Lastly, I know that Jane wrote to you about Three Days till EOC a couple weeks ago, the novel by Abhi Sukhdial, winner of our 2019 Stone Soup Long Form Book Contest. And, I know she gave you the link to Anya Geist’s interview with Abhi. Anya and Abhi are both Stone Soup stars. As an author, all I can say is: support authors, support Abhi! So, if you haven’t already, buy his book! And, if you haven’t seen the interview, please click on the video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-susnKavHLY&feature=youtu.be&utm_source=Stone+Soup+Master+List&utm_campaign=66c62ffb19-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_09_24_07_00&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b184558ef7-66c62ffb19-&mc_cid=66c62ffb19&mc_eid=[UNIQID]

Until next week,


Stay Tuned for Next Month's Flash Contest

Every month we hold a flash contest based on one of our weekly creativity prompts. Take a look at this month’s prompt and the winner here. And keep an eye out for next month’s contest!


Highlights from the past week online

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

Read an update about our Book Club meeting, which was our twentieth (!) meeting. We discussed The War I Finally Won, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.

Shravya, 11, wrote a poem about her life in quarantine, with lots of sensory details about baking, writing a book, and more.

Julia, 13, reviewed Enna Burning by Shannon Hale. Julia explains why she was so captivated by the main character and enjoyed the writing style.

Amruta, 9, writes about “The Life of a Pencil” now that she has lately been neglecting it in favor of her laptop.

Pragnya, 12, reviewed The Lost Girl by Anne Ursu, which is about twin sisters. Pragnya starts the review with this compelling line: “The Lost Girl is the kind of book you’d want to write but thought you wouldn’t do well enough.”


Blue Jay in Spring
Colored pencil

From Stone Soup
October 2020

My Life as a Tree

By Aiden Chen, 11 (Edmonton, Canada)
Illustration by Cecilia Yang, 12 (San Jose, CA)

I flew through the brisk, cool air of the morning as a tiny seed, wondering where I would land. With a dull thud that echoed in my ears, I crashed onto the soft, crumbly dirt. The dirt was cool and soothing, and I fell asleep with nothing to do. After a year, I could finally get a clear view of where I had been lodged. Beside me, there was a peaceful lake with muddy brown water. All around me, there was a crowd of towering trees. Even the shrubs were taller than me. I looked around and saw the roots and stems of shrubs. Looking up, I saw their leaves. I looked higher and saw tree trunks. Looking even higher, layers of tree branches and leaves were present, with sunlight occasionally filtering through. Sometimes, small animals from the lake would scamper over the leaf litter on the forest floor. Everything was peaceful, and no bad events happened to me until five years later.
. . . /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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