Saturday Newsletter: June 10, 2017

Newsletter  /   /  By Jane Levi
Stone Soup Magazine
September 2018

Do you want to illustrate a Stone Soup cover?

If you are age 13 and under, then please take part in our cover illustration contest. 

A Note from William Rubel

Hello everyoneI know that school is out for some of you, or it will be very soon. My daughter is enjoying her first day of summer vacation today, and just like her the last thing you might be thinking about is doing more work. Take the weekend off! But, if you are like my daughter, summer boredom also comes sooner than you’d think. So, we are planning to post a number of Stone Soup projects over the coming weeks to help fill some of those long, leisurely days. Together we can have some productive summer fun, while rising to the creative challenges of Stone Soup!

Stone Soup Cover Contest

As I’ve said in previous newsletters, from September we are increasing Stone Soup’s frequency from 6 to 11 issues per year. That means we’ll need 5 more covers than we did before. In the past, we chose cover images from the illustrations commissioned for stories inside the issue. Now, we want to open up the process and choose a cover from your submissions to our cover contest.

How to enter our cover contest

I have posted three passages from three different stories that have been accepted by Editor Emma Wood for a future Stone Soup issue (congratulations to authors Ella Glodeck, Stella Lin, and Kaya Simcoe!)

1. Please go to the website, read all three of the passages, and choose the one that you respond to the most.

2. Read the advice on the cover contest page. Think about all the visual elements in the passage, and how you might depict them for Stone Soup readers.

3. And you’re ready to go! Create your illustration, and when you’re done make it into a high res scan.

4. Send it to us via Submittable. Please include the words “Cover Contest June 2017” in the Cover Letter box on the second page of the submission form.

5. We will look at all your entries, and we’ll choose one to be the featured cover for the issue the story appears in.

We are offering a $25 Amazon gift certificate to the winner. Good luck, and happy illustrating!

Behind the Scenes…

Every week I tell you that we are working hard behind the scenes to implement all the changes that are happening at Stone Soup. Well, you have probably noticed that there is still a lot to do, and we won’t be stopping for the summer!

Print and Digital

We’ve had lots of good feedback on our switch to digital publishing, and also lots of great suggestions from our readers, their parents and teachers. I want to let everyone know that there are two ways in which Stone Soup will continue to appear in its more traditional, printed magazine form, which we think will give our readers and contributors the best of both worlds.

Online PDF

The software we use to create online issues of Stone Soup can produce a pretty good-looking PDF version of the whole issue, that all subscribers can print for themselves at home. It’s not yet absolutely perfect, but we really liked the draft version we produced this week, and we are going to have an improved version ready at Stone Soup online in the next few weeks. I’ll let you know here as soon as we do.

Stone Soup Annual

We have decided to produce a Stone Soup Annual, in print! There will be a more flashy announcement when we have the details better worked out, but I can say now that those of you who subscribe to the online magazine will have the opportunity to purchase a book that includes everything we have published in the previous year. At this stage we are pretty sure that we can do this at around the same price as the old Stone Soup subscription rate – as you know, the digital-only price is substantially lower – and still publish more material. Watch this space for more news on that.

Orders, Renewals, Website

Some of you trying to renew your orders this past week may have spotted that our ordering system is not perfect: we’ve noticed that not everyone is receiving the welcome email they should get from us straight away, and we are working hard now to write individually to each one of our new and renewing subscribers. We’re sorry if you are still waiting to hear from us, and we promise we will be in touch as soon as we possibly can! Rest assured that your orders are with us, and you won’t miss a single issue of Stone Soup.

Next, we are at last almost ready to get to work on the website. Working with our advisors, who have been patiently waiting for me to get in touch with them, we’ll get your input over the coming weeks to make our Stone Soup website a truly world class affair.

Parental Control

On a different subject, we’ve noticed we’re receiving quite a few automated responses to the Saturday newsletter from Kids Email. This is a business that offers parents control over their children’s email accounts, letting you vet incoming correspondence addressed to your child. For those patents not familiar with it this looks like a program that is really worth looking into.

This Week’s Story from the Archive

Every week I post a story from a past issue of Stone Soup. I have to say that I personally really enjoy the one that I’ve posted today. “Mung Bean Noodles and French Bread” reminds me of my own childhood. My mother loved to cook. My father traveled a lot for work. It feels familiar to me. I also really like the story for its evocative food-related language, which I hope you will notice as you read it. As someone who writes about food I know how hard it is to bring to life the real experience of cooking. I think that Madelyne Xiao has done a remarkable job with this story.

Do keep sending us your stories, poems, illustrations and competition entries: we can’t wait to see them all!

Until next week

William

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From Stone Soup
May/June 2010

Mung Bean Noodles and French Bread

By Madelyne Xiao, 12
Illustrated by Alicia Liu, 12

“Here,” my mom shouted in Mandarin over the bubbling of the cooking pot. She lifted her hand and motioned me over.

“Hold on to the handle,” she grunted, nodding to the handle of the slowly revolving pot as she stirred with a pair of chopsticks.

I chuckled. “I’m guessing that the bottom of the pot isn’t flat?”

Mom lifted the pot up ever so slightly and glanced at the convex surface. A stray drop of boiling water dripped from the spatula onto the glass cooktop and sizzled dry.

“Affirmative.”

I gingerly held the handle while Mom scurried over to the counter and brought back a bowl of fine white powder. I sniffed, and smiled. The evanescent fragrance of mung bean wafted out soothingly….

more

About the Author

Jane has been working with Stone Soup since 2016 on variety of different things--including running the Stone Soup Test Kitchen! She is a writer, researcher and consultant.

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