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McArthur Lights
"McArthur Lights" by Oskar Cross, 10 (Oakland, CA). Published in the September 2020 issue.

A note from Jane

The first copies of Abhimanyu Sukhdial’s novella Three Days till EOC have been delivered to readers, and we are already getting some amazing feedback. The chief of United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) included a review of the book in his latest message on the UNAI website, and other readers are already posting positive reviews on Amazon. Congratulations, Abhi! Abhi has been interviewed by his local paper, the Stillwater News Press, for publication tomorrow (Sunday, September 13). Also this week, we were delighted to publish a review of his book by Anya Geist, 14, on our own website. Besides writing a thoughtful review, Anya also recorded an interview with Abhi over Zoom. They had a great conversation about Stone Soup, as well as about Abhi’s book. It’s a great chance to (virtually) meet the author and gives real insight into his ideas, his writing process, and the work that went into crafting Three Days till EOC. I urge all of you, students and adults, to watch the video. I learned a lot about writing from their conversation, and I think you will too. And get your copy of the book in our store or any other bookstore: it’s a really great read!

There was a problem with our website last week, and a large number of people experienced problems, especially when try to subscribe. We are very sorry! Everything is fixed now, so do please try again if you suffered with this problem. We have decided to extend our Labor Day 15% off offer through the end of the weekend to thank you for bearing with us (discount code: LABORDAY20).

Over the summer Anya Geist, the author of the review and Stone Soup contributor, has been interning with us. It has been such a pleasure for us to work with Anya, and we wanted to acknowledge her incredible contribution and say a public thank you to her in this newsletter. Anya has achieved so much over the last two-and-a-half months. She managed a project to conduct and record Zoom interviews with a dozen of our contributors and Workshop and Book Club participants. You are seeing the first of these—the interview with Abhi Sukhdial—this weekend, and there are more to come. We would not have these great videos, which are an important record of a moment in time as well as a really interesting insight into young writers’ processes and motivations, without her. In addition, she has worked hard behind the scenes on all sorts of production tasks (on the blog, on contests, on writing workshops, on new project ideas, and more). Everything we do at Stone Soup is about encouraging and celebrating the brilliant work and mature contributions that young students can make in terms of creative work. Having the opportunity to work with Anya added a new dimension to realizing our mission, and we hope that with the help of our supporters we will be able to set up a more formal internship program in future. Thank you, Anya, so much! We are excited to continue working with you for the rest of the year at the Writing Workshop and the Book Club, and we wish you every success at high school!

Finally, now that our flash contest is happening once a month instead of every week, the closing date for entries has moved to Sundays at noon (Pacific time). This means you still have time to write and send in your entries, so please accept this week’s writing prompt as your weekend writing challenge. Full details are below, and at our website. We can’t wait to read what you write.Until next time,

Monthly Flash Contest Deadline tomorrow, Sunday September 13

Every month we hold a flash contest based on one of our weekly creativity prompts. The deadline for entries is Sunday at noon Pacific time, so you still have time to create or polish your work and send it in to the September contest!

This month’s challenge:
Create a piece of flash fiction written from the perspective of the first object you saw when you woke up this morning. Your narrative should be no longer than 250 words.

Five winners will have their winning writing published at Stonesoup.com, and all the winners and honorable mentions will be posted there and in this newsletter.

Highlights from the past week online

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

Chloe, 9, created a lovely piece of digital art called Fall of Silence.

We posted another art piece, this time by Aya, 13. Aya titled her work COVID Isolation. Does this piece reflect how you feel about isolation? Leave a comment to let us know.

April, 13, wrote a poem about a place that many of us have gotten familiar with these past few months: our bedrooms. Read “Perfect for Me” for eloquent descriptions of April’s room and how it makes her feel.

As Jane mentioned above, Anya wrote a wonderful review of Abhi’s Three Days till EOC. Here’s the first paragraph of Anya’s well-written review:

“When you are an avid reader, or anyone who reads books at all, there comes a point when all of the stories start to blend together. You pick up, say, a new dystopian book at the store, and sigh, because you know it’ll just be a new version of The Hunger Games or Divergent or a million other books, with the same plot, same characters, same villains. It’s inevitable. Abhimanyu Sukhdial’s novella, Three Days till EOC, is different.”  

Yesterday we published another travelogue from Vivaan, our prolific travel blogger. This time Vivaan visited Warsaw, Poland, and detailed his experience visiting two museums.

Allen, 5, wrote a short and sweet piece about his classmate's birthday and how it was celebrated over Zoom.

From Stone Soup September 2020

Liv Baker
Liv Baker, 11
Seattle, WA

Everything I Love

By Liv Baker, 11 (Seattle, WA)

The ride up the mountain

The thousands of trees

The pine and bark


Makes me feel

Like I am

Relaxed and calm

The rain pattering

Against the window

The shower steam against my

Warm hot skin

Its smells like

A clean start

Leaves falling

With the snow

Is a wonderful sight

Sliding down the soft

And slick slopes

Going up the bright

Red gondola


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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