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A Man’s Friend
"A Man's Friend" by Hanna Gustafson, 13 (South Burlington, VT)
Published in Stone Soup September 2020

A note from William

First of all, thanks to all of you who signed up for the Saturday Writing Workshop and Book Club. The shift from a free class on Fridays to a paid class on Saturdays went without a hitch. Last week, the first Saturday class, had 42 students! In terms of geography, they ranged from Saudi Arabia to the West Coast. It really is the miracle of Zoom. This Saturday, 9am Pacific, the class was taught by guest teachers, Denise Donnio and Jennifer Rinterknecht. Their workshop, “Dragonfly Narratives," was fabulous. They were Zooming from Strasbourg, France, where they teach. You can still sign up for the workshops at EventBrite. Registration is week-by-week from now through December 16, which will be a performance reading via Zoom for all of you. The last week of each month is the Book Club for Writers session, so that is what you could join next week.

We need your help! Please consider joining our new Outreach and Marketing Committee. This is a call for adults, but if you are a student, and think that you have some  ideas and skills that could help us bring Stone Soup to more people, then you are free to attend the organizational meeting, as well. Addressing our adult Newsletter readers more directly, if you have the skills and the time, please join the organizing meeting. The first meeting is Saturday, October 2, at 11 am Pacific. It is a Zoom meeting. You will receive the link when you express interest in coming. We need a ton of help! Stone Soup has always been strong on good programs, and weak on marketing. Please fill out this questionnaire. Thank you!

We need help with marketing and promotion to a wide range of audiences, and through a wide range of media. Obviously, we will need to focus. What we focus on will, in part, depend on the skills you bring.  In addition to help with marketing ideas, and with the nitty-gritty of carrying some of them out, we also need help managing this committee. So, if you don't have marketing skills and are a brilliant organizer and people person, and have the time, then please come to the meeting on October 2.

Please visit our website to look at the new blog posts that are linked, below, and to explore. Blog authors always appreciate comments, so if you like what you read, please take the time to let the author know. We give everyone a few free views per month, and unlimited viewing if you take out a digital or print subscription, starting at $4.99. It does take money to run Stone Soup, so all subscriptions are appreciated. Thank you.

For this Saturday’s project I’d like to refer you to the 117 writing prompts that are posted on our website. There are so many fabulous prompts written by Stone Soup staff and by Stone Soup writers that I am sure that you will find something to inspire you this weekend. As always, if you are super happy with what you do, please submit it to Stone Soup so editor Emma Wood can consider it for the magazine.

Until next week,

Monthly Flash Contest Deadline tomorrow, Sunday September 13

Congratulations to this month's Flash Contest winners!

Flash Contest #23: 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.

For our first monthly version of our regular Flash Contest we decided to request a piece of flash fiction from an unusual perspective: that of a random object. Given that we asked for the perspective of the first thing the writer saw when they woke up in the morning, we gained a lot of insight into the inner lives of lamps, pets, curtains, toys, clothing, bedding, books and magazines, desk items like pens and pencils, and many other stalwarts of the bedroom. It was so much fun to read the various lively and perceptive voices you gave to these inanimate (or non-human) objects. Many of them seem to take a very dim view of the humans they have their silent eyes on most of the day (or night), especially all the things they witness that they would rather not see . . .

Congratulations to our Winners and Honorable Mentions, listed below. You can read the winning entries for this week (and previous weeks) at the Stone Soup website.


"The Silent Stalker" by Chloe Chan, 12, Bellevue, WA
"Worst Fear" by Scarlet He, 9, Scarsdale, NY
"Travails and Humiliations of a Cotton Shirt" by Iago Macknik-Conde, 13, Brooklyn, NY
"Wanted" by Daniel Wei, 13, Weddington, NC
"Woes of a Blanket" by Lacole Yang, 13, Irvine CA

Honorable Mention

"Story of the Bed" by Vaishali Andukuri, 10, Oakland, NJ
"Day of a Pencil Box" by Judah Davidoff, 9, Brunswick, MD
"The Proud Life of a Blanket" by Lucy Kershen, 13, Norman, OK
"The Life of a Lamp" by Chloe Mancini, 9, Glenside, PA
"New and Improved" by Sanvi Patel, 11, Midland, MI
"Morning from the Eyes of a Doll" by Joycelyn Zhang, 10, Oakland, CA

Remember: the next monthly flash contest will be based on the first weekly prompt of October!

Highlights from the past week online

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

We published a pandemic-themed poem from Luca, 12, called "The Invasion."

Simran, 9, wrote a powerful poem about Black Lives Matter called "Why are we so silent?"

Does your room represent you? Julia Marcus, 11, writes a poem about her room and how it is "embedded with her personality."

"The Tyrant Virus" by Benjamin, 11, is a hopeful poem about the pandemic.

Read about last Saturday's writing workshop here and join us next time! Here's a link to our Eventbrite page.

Check out Pragnya's review of Gordon Korman's book The Unteachables, which she says is full of "twists and turns and thought-provoking ideas."


From Stone Soup
September 2020

Elaina Heinitz
Elaina Heinitz, 10
Falls Church, VA

The Schnitzelbird

By Elaina Heinitz, 10 (Falls Church, VA)

Once there was a town named Schnitzelberg, and every morning a bird would fly over the town singing a four-note song. The bird was soon named after the town; everyone called it the Schnitzelbird. Not one person through the whole town of Schnitzelberg had an alarm clock. The bird woke them up every day, and everyone loved it. That is, everyone except Jack.

Jack was a middle-aged man who loved his sleep. He thought the bird woke up much too early every morning and that the people of Schnitzelberg might feel better if they slept more. So he devised a plan.

The next morning, when the Schnitzelbird came around for its wake-up call, he caught it and put it into a cage.

“Oh, don’t complain,” said Jack to the bird. “It’s your fault you wake up so early. My people will be happy to have their sleep, you’ll see.”

But everyone woke up late that morning.

“Mommy, where is the Schnitzelbird?” A little girl asked, clutching her mother’s arm. “I’m late to school!”


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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