Join the Stone Soup Writers’ Community

Read, Write, Create

Stone Soup, the leading literary magazine by kids, offers classes and workshops for children ages 8–14. Classes meet on Saturdays via Zoom at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Explore our current class offerings through Eventbrite.

Registration is now open for our spring writing workshops!

Join us for Adaptation: Crafting Stories from the Familiar and the Unknown, a multi-week, virtual course led by writer, translator, and professor Conner Dylan Bassett.

This course is designed to explore the art of adaptation in storytelling, where we will delve into transforming existing narratives, concepts, and ideas into original and compelling pieces of writing. Over the course of nine workshops, you will learn various techniques and strategies to adapt stories, themes, and characters from diverse sources into your own unique creations.

Our workshop will meet Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. Pacific time to 12:30 p.m. Pacific time via Zoom, April 27 through June 29, 2024.

Meet your instructor

About Conner Bassett, Creative Writing Instructor

Conner Dylan Bassett is an assistant professor of English at Xavier University. He received an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a PhD from the University of California, Santa Cruz. His fiction and poetry are published in Chicago Review, Iowa Review, The Literary Review, and elsewhere. He has been a Stone Soup Writing Workshop instructor since 2021.

A note from Conner: “I value emotional and formal risk-taking. I value hard work. I value openness to criticism and a sense of humor, especially about yourself. Respect for others. Community building. Empathy for all your characters. Complex details and themes. Specificity in language. A sense of place. Surprise. Above all, passion for reading and writing and paying attention to being alive.”

Summer Camps for Young Writers

June 17–20; 9–11 am PT

The goal of this course led by Conner Bassett is to produce one 10-minute play. To help you do this, we will approach playwriting as a form of craft—grounded in dialogue, character, voice, setting, tone, conflict, action, and plot structure. This workshop will also emphasize a play’s arc: its beginning, turning point, and ending.

Reality Hunger: An Introduction to Memoir
June 24–27; 9–11 am PT

In this class, led by Emma Wood, Executive Director of Stone Soup, we will read and write memoir and personal essays—in short form. We will consider how they work, ask questions about the ethical aspects of writing nonfiction (What if my mom reads it? What if I hurt someone’s feelings? What if my memory is “wrong”?), and—most importantly—experiment in the form with daily in-class writing prompts, sharing our work in a supportive, fun community.

Literature in Miniature: A Study of Micro Fiction & Prose Poetry
June 24–27; 1–3 pm PT

Sometimes, the biggest ideas are best expressed in the tiniest of forms. In this workshop taught by former Stone Soup Blog Editor Caleb Berg, you will learn to condense your horizons into a style of writing perfected by writers like Lydia Davis, Daniil Kharms, Gertrude Stein, and many others. You will write multiple discrete pieces per day and finish the class with enough writing to fill up a chapbook.

Intro to Poetry: The Image and the Line
July 22–25; 9–11 am PT

Emma Wood will also teach a class on poetry. Immerse yourself in what a poem is and what it can do. Students will write their own poetry, shaking themselves out of established modes of thinking.

Filmmaking as Dialogue
August 5–9; 9–11 am PT

In this class taught by filmmaker Isidore Bethel, we’ll use the camera to facilitate and enrich our interactions with others – friends, family, animals, plants, and the world around us. Writing texts with a partner, recording and sharing short videos, and interpreting their meanings aloud will be starting points for developing individual and collaborative approaches to filmmaking.

Editing and Revising Fiction
August 5–9; 1–3 pm PT

In this class taught by Stone Soup Editor in Chief Diane Landolf, you’ll learn how to think like an editor and make your stories the best they can be. We’ll discuss first paragraphs, character development, dialogue, story arc, and what makes a great sentence.

Click here to peruse the entire selection of camps available; our friends at Society of Young Inklings are teaching a variety of additional courses, and more courses will be announced soon!

“We are impressed with the marvelous writing our nine year old is doing through this workshop!”
— Ronny Asher, parent

“Thank you for continuing this workshop and for helping my daughter gain confidence in herself, not just as a writer but as a teenager who’s just trying to find her voice in this world.”
— Lauren Kline, parent

Past Courses & Faculty

Writing Workshop with William Rubel

This is a class for highly motivated writers, aged 9-14, who want to be challenged. Most of the students are subscribers and/or contributors to Stone Soup. Writing Workshop members join a community of like-minded students. They find inspiration in the weekly presentations and discussions, and relish the opportunity to hear the work of their peers and share their own work if they wish. Many of the students in this class are working at a very high level, while others are moving at a different pace. Whatever their current level, this class is appropriate for students who are truly passionate about writing and want to practice and improve their skills. Your child will be introduced to college-level writing concepts. Basic writing skills are assumed. 

About William Rubel, Founder and Creative Writing Instructor.

William is the founder of Stone Soup and the Children’s Art Foundation. In 1972, he gathered together a group of fellow students at the University of California Santa Cruz who shared his vision of creating a magazine written by and for children to highlight and inspire their creative talents.

William is also an author specializing in traditional foodways, the history of bread, and Early Modern British kitchen gardens. His book on hearth cooking, The Magic of Fire (2002), was a World Gourmand Cookbook and l’Ordre du Mérite agricole award winner and a James Beard nominee. His second book was Bread, a global history (2011). He is currently writing a history of bread for the University of California Press and has contributed articles to Mother Earth News.

William lives in Santa Cruz with his daughter, Stella, and their cat, chickens, rabbits, and aviary birds. You can read more about his other interests at his personal website.

To get a sense of the sort of topics his workshop cover, please click here.

Stone Soup Book Club for Writers with Maya Mahony

Students should source their own copy of the book of the month and make sure they have read it in advance. Our Book Club is run by its members under the guidance of Maya Mahony. You can see a list of all the books the club has read and discussed on our Book Club page.

About Maya Mahony, Book Club Facilitator

Maya Mahony is an MFA student in fiction at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Maya has tutored creative writing to elementary, middle, and high schoolers, and last summer designed and taught her own creative writing camp. Maya loves to write and read young adult and middle grade novels, and cannot wait to discuss some great books with Stone Soupers!

For an idea of what Book Club is like, click here to read a Book Club Report.

Portraits of Self and Others: An Introduction to Short-Form Filmmaking with Isidore Bethel

In this class, writing first-person texts, recording still images and short videos, and interpreting their meanings aloud were starting points for developing individual approaches to filmmaking. Over the course of our time together, students brainstormed, workshopped, edited, and presented a short film. Discussions and writing about other filmmakers and their work complemented our own filmmaking journeys. The class favored examples from nonfiction and first-person filmmaking, where a film’s stakes spill over into real life.

About Isidore Bethel, Filmmaker

Photo from Film independent.

Isidore Bethel is a director, editor, and producer, whose filmmaking focuses on moments where individuals reinvent themselves through storytelling. His directorial debut Liam received the Paris LGBTQ+ Film Festival’s Jury Prize in 2018, and his second feature Acts of Love premiered at Hot Docs in 2021. His work as editor and producer has screened at Cannes (Official Selection and ACID), on Netflix, on US public television, at the Museum of Modern Art, and at the Pompidou Center, receiving 16 festival awards, a Mexican Academy and European Film Academy nomination, and a New York Times Critic’s Pick. He has mentored filmmakers through programs such as the Aristoteles Workshop in Romania, UnionDocs in New York, Sundance’s Art of Editing fellowship, and Doc Amazonie Caraïbe in French Guiana. He is a US and French citizen and has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, Parsons Paris, and France’s national film school, La Fémis. Filmmaker Magazine included him among its “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2020.