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“The rosy color of dawn spreads all over the sky”
Photograph by Julia Li, 12, Mason, OH
Published September 2017

A note from William Rubel

Friends! Jane Levi and I are both in Lengusaka, Kenya, at our friend’s camp. His name is Haile and the camp is called Haile’s Camp. We are here setting up a research station for studying pastoralism and the ecology of the Samburu lowlands. Our camp is under a canopy of acacia trees by a dry river bed. Monkeys live in the trees—very cute but also very mischievous! Thousands of birds live in the trees also, and as I write this a huge flock of small birds has arrived back at our trees from a day out foraging in the nearby mountains. Goats, sheep, chickens, and the household dog and cat roam the grounds. We are very far from home, but at the same time we are at a home away from home; I have been coming to this part of the world for 26 years.

In the coming weeks we will have news for you regarding an exchange program we are setting up with a small, remote school (appropriately named Remote Primary School; it’s motto is “To be strong and focussed like a lion”) in the Samburu District’s Westgate Conservancy. Jane and I went to the ceremony for opening their new classroom building on Wednesday. I can say now that they don’t have any books, so we will be collecting books to bring to them when we return here in July. Details will follow.

Good news!
I have some really fabulous news to share with you. Our book agent for Asia has just sold the Chinese-language rights to our anthologies to Beijing Yutian Hangfen Books Company, the most prestigious Chinese publisher of foreign-language children’s books. Here is an article in the American professional magazine Publishers Weekly that tells you something about this company. We are going to use money from this rights sale to improve our website. Can’t wait to see the anthologies in Chinese!

William’s Weekend Project
For this Saturday project, I’d like you to write a poem that is 8–12 twelve lines. Don’t write anything today. Just live your day. When you are in bed, before going to sleep, think back on your day. What most stands out? Poetry is often exploring essence—the inner core of a thing. As you fall asleep, let what stood out from your day play in your mind. Feelings, thoughts, colors, sounds, images, music, words—let them all be tumble. Tomorrow, during the day, think back on those thoughts and let your words flow.

As always, this writing project is for newsletter readers of all ages, but if you are 13 or younger, if you write something you are super pleased with, then please send it to our editor, Emma Wood, by going to the Submit link on our website. Follow the instructions for how to submit your poem.

Until next week,


To celebrate National Poetry month we are offering a discount on the wonderful Stone Soup Book of Poetry, a collection of 120 poems published in Stone Soup between 1988 and 2011.

Pick up print copies at 25% off, and eBook editions at half price in the Stone Soup Online Store, throughout April 2019.

And, for more poetry ideas, don't forget to visit the Academy of American Poets' website–especially, check our their "Dear Poet" initiative.


Our spring contest and partnership news

Write for a podcast: Closing date April 15
Our current contest, in partnership with the By Kids, for Kids Story Time podcast, to write a short story about climate change or other environmental theme. Your work could become a dramatized reading, broadcast on the podcast, and be published in an issue of Stone Soup! All the details about entries and prizes are on our website contest pages.

Summer writing mentorship program for 9th-graders and up: Application deadline April 15
We’ve partnered with The Adroit Journal, a literary magazine for teens. The applications for their Summer Mentorship program, which takes place from June to August, are open now. This program pairs young writers in grades 9 through 12 with an experienced writer who helps them learn more about the creative process. We know this is for an audience older than ours, but if you are a former reader or contributor, or know any teenagers who are aspiring writers, encourage them to apply!

Highlights from the past week online

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

Check out blogger Mirembe’s interview with Kid Beowulf: The Rise of El Cid author Alexis E. Fajardo! Here’s an excerpt:

Mirembe: What was your process for writing the storyline and making the art?

Alexis E. Fajardo: There are lots of different ways to make comics, and each cartoonist has their own method. For me, I like to write out full scripts that I then draw out. There are several stages to creating the art: pencils, inks, color, and letters. I pencil and ink on paper, after which I scan the artwork into the computer and color and letter digitally. I also have a colorist who helps me color the book. Comics are deceptively complex to make. It’s sort of like putting together a giant puzzle.

From Stone Soup, September 2017

My Tenth Summer Part One: What I Learned About Hard Work

By Zoe Lynch, 10

I’ve learned this week,
I knew already
But not well

My mother,
She sits at her desk.
Scribbling furiously.
I felt sorry for her.
I thought she hated it.

My father,
He used to sit at his computer,
He’s good at numbers,
But he’s tired
My mom hates to build trails.
He helped her.
He learned.
He’s still learning
Everyone is.

I found two things,
They are sort of one,
Violin and poetry.
They go hand in hand
It takes a long time to do either
I love projects

Found something
Something we loved to do
As long as each of us are happy,
We all are
We work at our joys,
Have fun,
Now I understand

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