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Sisters sisters talking
MaCall, I don’t feel like I’m on a magical island”. Illustrator Zoe Hall, 12 for Sisters by Cameron Manor, 11. Published March/April 2010.

A note from William Rubel

There are four projects for today, one new one and three that we've been reminding you about for a little while: a new Instagram project, a recipe with headnotes for the December issue, a last call for the Concrete Poetry contest, and a look back to summer journals.

Instagram #whatsinmybackpack
I’d like to encourage all of you to follow our Instagram account and to contribute to it. We have images from our archive and images related to current content, and many of you recently sent us images for our #whereiwrite campaign. Thank you! You will see those entries when you go to go to our Instagram account.

We are now starting a new hashtag program. We know that nearly every one of you wears a backpack to and from school. We want to know what's inside! Please send us photographs of #whatsinmybackpack. There is an entry category for this Instagram project here, on the Stone Soup online submissions page. Whether you include the pack itself in the photograph is up to you, but I think it will make a more interesting photograph if it is included. I also think that however you compose it, you will find your own photograph more interesting as the years pass. It has been more than forty years since I unpacked my seventh-grade pack for the last time. It would be amazing to have a photograph of what had been in it!

Recipes: December food issue deadline extended to September 20!
Thank you to those of you who have sent in your recipes. We are working through them and will get back to the recipe writers very soon. We also have some really nice writing about food (or related to food), without recipes, thank you!

To the rest of you—OK. We get it. This is not a good time to think about holiday cooking. I know it is September, and December and holiday eating seems far away. But, we have deadlines to meet, so we have to think about it now. Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza, New Years—December is holiday time in lots of places. That means family visiting time. It is eating time. It is the time of year when nearly every family is in the kitchen, cooking. So. What foods mean something to your family? Favorite holiday dishes—favorite cookies—favorite main dishes—favorite homemade drinks and snacks. Or, maybe it isn’t even a food you like very much, but it is a fixture in your family and so has some good stories surrounding it. Remember: we are not a food magazine, and we are international. Just because the issue is being published in December, it doesn't have to only contain winter recipes for a cold climate—you can send us anything at all, and it will be online in all the other months of the year too.  As I’ve said in previous newsletters and as you can see by looking at last year’s food issue, all recipes must be preceded with a story that talks about the recipe or the food in some way. A great recipe without a great story won’t get published, but something the other way around just might!

Concrete Poetry
We extended the deadline to midnight, September 15. Poems are coming in—thank you!—so there will not be a further deadline extension. First prize is $50, second prize is $25, and the third prize is $10. I’ve written about this contest in previous Newsletters and you all know the drill. Go to the submissions page, find Concrete Poetry, and click on “more” to read the contest guidelines, or go straight to submit here.

I have not forgotten about the Summer Journals. We have a few in the wings waiting to go online. Are any more of you ready to share yours? Please send me images of a few pages from your journal, along with a passage that you’d like to share. Do this by replaying to this email, or submit to our blog category. I’ll be writing more about journals in another Newsletetter.

Until next week

What's behind the paywall?

Here is the business news. We at Stone Soup are all extremely pleased with the number and quality of book reviews being sent to us each week. There are new reviews being posted weekly. There are also new blog posts every week. We love the work these Stone Soup writers are doing and feel they are good enough to be folded into the larger Stone Soup literary project.  Up to now, access to the book reviews and blogs has been free. And, they are still free today! However, I have just asked our programmer to include them into the Stone Soup paywall so there will be a limit on how many you can read for free. So, non-subscribers—please check out the extraordinary work being done by our reviewers and bloggers. Today, I read the two book reviews—of To Kill a Mockingbird and Beasts Made of Night—posted this week by our young reviewers. They are both interesting reviews—very topical in these turbulent times.

Highlights from the past week online

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

This week, it's all about books.

You've read lots of great book reviews by Vandana R over the past few months. This week, she has written a lovely piece about her book collection, and why some of her books mean so much to her. Are you a Jane Austen fan too? And which books are in your backpack (or locker?)

Don't miss Mirembe Mubanda's topical review of the exciting and thought-provoking Beasts Made of Night  by Tochi Onyebuchi. Have you also read this book? Leave a comment and tell Miremebe and us what you thought.

And, as William mentioned above, we have Maya Viswanathan's review of the classic To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. If you haven't read it yet, be inspired by her review. If you have, leave her a comment on the blog!

Sisters holding some shorts
“MaCall!” I screeched, snatching up my favorite frog pajamas that were now curiously… shorts

From Stone Soup
March/April 2010


By Cameron Manor, 11
Illustrated by Zoe Hall, 12



“Hey, Cam,” MaCall whispered, nudging me in the side to wake up.

“What?” I asked groggily, peeling one eye open. “What time is it?”

“Midnight,” MaCall grinned.

I groaned.

“I got some M&Ms from the vending machine at gymnastics. Do you want to share them with me on a magical island?” MaCall asked excitedly.

“Huh?” I moaned.

“A magical island—the roof!” MaCall whispered, her green eyes lighting up. “Now go get these jeans and tennis shoes on—I don’t want you to get hurt in case you fall off!” MaCall urged, thrusting clothes at me.
Yawning, I pulled them on.

“Put this belt on too,” MaCall commanded, handing me a pink sparkly belt. “I’m also wearing one. We’ll attach another one between us so we can be like mountain climbers,” MaCall explained, hurriedly tying my belt while she double-knotted hers.

“Uh… shouldn’t we tie mine tighter?” I asked, looking doubtfully at my mountain-climbing getup.

“Don’t worry about it. You’re lighter than I am,” MaCall sniffed, tossing her blond hair over her shoulder. “Wait. Let me just make sure Mom and Dad are asleep. You stay here.”

MaCall tiptoed over to our parents’ room and placed her ear to the door as I sat there fuming. MaCall thinks she’s stealthier than I am, but the truth is, she’s downright noisy. Every time we sneak downstairs to “get a glass of water,” (i.e., eat ice cream and watch our favorite latenight TV show), she either creaks every stair or topples down the whole flight with a giant BANG that would wake the dead. Well I guess the last thing is kind of my fault. I kind of advised her that the faster you move, the quieter you go, but now I see it depends on who’s going. .../more

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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