How to Submit Creative Writing and Art to Stone Soup

The Basics

Stone Soup welcomes submissions from writers and artists who are age 13 and younger. There are 3 ways to submit work:

1. Send us your work by postal mail.

Stone Soup
Attn: Ms. Gerry Mandel, Editor
P.O. Box 83
Santa Cruz, CA 95063
USA

Include your name, age, birthdate, and home address, as well as your parent’s name, phone number, and email address. Be sure to read our guidelines below before you submit your work. We do not charge a fee for submissions by postal mail.

2. Upload your work at Submittable.

Use the Submit button at the bottom of this page. Be sure to read our guidelines below before you submit your work. To cover our costs for online submissions, we charge a fee of $3.00 each for stories and poems (no fee for online submissions of book reviews, art samples, or letters to the editor). To avoid the fee, use Option 1 above.

3. Foreign contributors only.

If you live outside the U.S. and Canada, you may email your work to editor@stonesoup.com. No email submissions from the U.S. or Canada, please.

More Information About Submitting Work to Stone Soup

General Information
What is Stone Soup’s age limit?
What is the length limit for stories?
What happens next?
I want to have a story published in Stone Soup. What advice can you give me?
I want to send you a poem. Do you have any advice for me?
Book Reviewers
Illustrators
Letters to the Editor
Does my story or poem have to be typed?
May I send more than one piece at a time?
May I illustrate my own story?
May I send the same story to Stone Soup and to another magazine, website, or contest?
Payment

ss_cover_sample_march-april2014V2General Information

You can improve your chances of being published in Stone Soup by reading this page with its editorial guidelines and, even more importantly, by reading Stone Soup itself. If you don’t already have a subscription to Stone Soup, take advantage of our special offer. Enter the discount code CREATE on the Stone Soup Order Page to receive a 30% discount on print, digital, and print/digital bundles. You may also want to order some of our Stone Soup Anthologies from the Stone Soup Store. Download a free digital iPad issue of Stone Soup from the Apple iTunes store.

To get an idea of the kind of work we like you can also look through our Archive of Children’s Writing.

We’re always looking for new writers and artists, and we want to encourage all our young readers to send us their work. However, please keep in mind that we receive an average of 200 submissions a week; we are only able to publish a small percentage of the work we receive. Send us your work with a spirit of adventure, and try not to be too disappointed if we can’t use it.

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What is Stone Soup’s age limit?

Stone Soup welcomes submissions by children ages 13 and younger. If you are 14 or older, we recommend the NewPages Young Authors Guide, which lists dozens of places that publish work by kids of all ages. The list includes both print and online publications.

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What is the length limit for stories?

The maximum length for a Stone Soup story is 2,500 words. There is no minimum length.

Each issue of Stone Soup is 48 pages long. We like to publish a variety of stories, poems, book reviews, and artwork in each issue. That’s why we limit stories to 2,500 words (about 10 pages). While we may publish one 10-page story in an issue of Stone Soup, most of the stories we publish are shorter, between 1,000 and 2,000 words (4 to 8 pages).

Occasionally, a young writer asks us if we ever serialize a longer story, that is, do we ever publish part of the story in one issue and continue the story in our next issue. It’s unlikely, but not out of the question. If you have written a long story or novel, we congratulate you! It’s OK to send us your longer work, but you’ll have the best chance of getting published in Stone Soup if you send us your shorter work.

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What happens next?

We only respond to those submissions we are considering for possible publication. If we are considering your work, you will hear from us in 4 to 6 weeks; if you do not hear from us, it means we were not able to use your work. Don’t be discouraged! Try again! Many of our published authors tried several times before they were published.

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I want to have a story published in Stone Soup. What advice can you give me?

ss_sample_story_layout_may-june2014Send us stories about the things you feel most strongly about. Whether your work is about imaginary situations or real ones, use your own experiences and observations to give your work depth and a sense of reality.

We publish stories on all subjects — horses, dance, sports, problems at school, problems at home, magical places, science fiction, historical fiction, family, vacations — there is no limit to the subject matter of a Stone Soup story. What matters to us is not the subject. It is how interesting your story is to another reader. Does it have a strong beginning, middle, and end? If there is dialogue, is it realistic — is it the way people speak? If your story has talking animals, is there something about the way the animals think or move that is true to that particular kind of animal?

We have published many stories that beautifully describe a private place — like a favorite tree the character likes to sit under, or a clearing in the woods. We love stories that describe special private places, places that are in some way magical. Lots of stories published in Stone Soup concern problems, like moving, or having to compete in a sporting event or perform in a recital. And we have published many works of historical fiction. Whatever you choose to write about, be sure it comes from your heart. Tell us a story that you really and truly want to tell us.

To get an idea of the kind of work we like, read stories and poems from past issues of Stone Soup in our  Archive of Children’s Writing. You may also download a free digital iPad  issue of Stone Soup  from the Apple iTunes store.

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I want to send you a poem. Do you have any advice for me?

poem_sample_ocean_beatWe receive a lot of poetry submissions. We prefer free-verse poems over rhyming poems. Thus, our first advice to you is, if you write rhyming verse, you should probably send it to a different publisher.

If you write free verse, the advice we can give you is that we are looking for poems that evoke a feeling or a place. By “evoke,” we mean the poem will make the reader feel the same experience that you, the writer, are writing about. That might be the experience of riding a skateboard, or walking on the beach, or watching the sun go down, or listening to the rain, or waiting to open presents on Christmas Day. The possible subjects for your poem are limitless.

We are looking for poems where the words come from your heart. We expect that you may struggle to find the right words to say what you are trying to say.

Our last piece of advice is this. Read lots of poems. Be clear in your own mind why what you send us is a poem, and not just a story with lots of very short lines. Read your poem or poems aloud before sending them to Stone Soup. Do they sound beautiful? Do the words take you back to the original experience that inspired the poem? If the answer to both questions is yes, then your poem has a better chance of being published in Stone Soup.

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Book Reviewers

book_review_layout_ma

There are 2 ways to review books for Stone Soup:

1. Apply to be a book reviewer by sending a letter to editor Gerry Mandel. Use the address at the top of this page. Include your name, age, birthdate, and address, as well as your parent’s name, phone number, and email address. Tell Ms. Mandel a little about yourself, including why you want to be a book reviewer and what kinds of books you like to read. If you seem like a good candidate to review books for Stone Soup, she will try to match you up with a book sometime within the next 6 months. She will send you the book with full instructions for your review.

2. Find your own book to review. Because we don’t have enough books for everyone, and because Option 1 can take a long time, you may want to find your own book to review. If you do, be sure to follow our Book Review Guidelines:

Select a book that interests you from your library or bookstore. Email editor@stonesoup.com to make sure we have not already published a review of the book you chose. Once you get the go-ahead, read the book carefully and think about what it means to you. We’re not particularly interested in a summary of the story. Instead, we want to know how the characters and situations in the story affect you personally. If there is any part of the story you find especially bad or good, write about that part. Have you had an experience similar to any in the story? If you have, write about your experience and how it compares with the one in the story. Whenever possible, back up the ideas you express in your review with examples from the book. Your review must be at least 450 words and no more than 600 words.

If you choose Option 2, you may submit your review by postal mail (address at the top of this page) or by Submittable (button at the bottom of this page).

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Illustrators

illustration_example_m-j2012All the artwork we publish in Stone Soup is in the form of illustrations. To apply to be a Stone Soup illustrator, you need to send us 3 samples of your artwork by one of these methods.

1. Mail 3 color copies (not originals) to the address above. Include your name, age, birthdate, and home address, as well as your parent’s name, phone number, and email address. Tell us what kinds of things you like to draw most.

2. Upload your 3 art samples at Submittable. (Use the button at the bottom of this page.)

We are looking for artists who can draw or paint complete scenes in color, filling the entire page. Most of our stories have people in them, so be sure at least one of your samples includes people.

If your work seems right for Stone Soup, we will contact you to let you know your samples are in our Illustrator File. When we begin work on a new issue, we match each story up with an illustrator from the file. We contact the chosen illustrators by email before sending them their illustration assignments.

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Letters to the Editor

Send us your comments! The Mailbox appears on page 3 of every issue of Stone Soup. Tell us what you like or don’t like about Stone Soup, or about a particular story, poem, book review, or illustration. Be sure to include your name, age, birthdate, and home address, as well as your parent’s name, phone number, and email address. You may send your comments by postal mail to the address at the top of this page, or upload them at Submittable (button at the bottom of  this page).

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Does my story or poem have to be typed?

Story manuscript by a child.Writing need not be typed, as long as it is legible. If you type your work, please type it double-spaced in a plain, medium-sized font.

You might enjoy clicking on the image to the left to view it at full size. It is the first page of “The Hero,” by 12-year-old Shyla DeLand. Shyla, a frequent contributor to Stone Soup, writes all her stories by hand. “The Hero” appears in print in the May/June 2014 issue of Stone Soup. Shyla’s other published stories include “Fern, the Queen of All Hunting Dogs” (July/August 2011), “The Scarlet King” (January/February 2013), and “As a Family” (July/August 2013). If, like Shyla, you prefer to write your stories or poems by hand, don’t be shy about sending them to us.

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May I send more than one piece at a time?

Yes. If you send your work by postal mail, it’s OK to send more than one piece in the same envelope. If you upload your work to Submittable, you will need to submit each piece separately.

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May I illustrate my own story?

If you illustrated your own story, or if a friend illustrated your story, please send the story and illustrations by postal mail to the address at the top of this page.


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May I send the same story to Stone Soup and to another magazine, website, or contest?

No. Please do not send us work you are also sending to other magazines, websites, or contests. Send your work to Stone Soup, then wait 6 weeks. If you have not heard from us in that time, you are free to send your work to others.

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Payment

All contributors whose work is accepted for publication receive a certificate, two complimentary copies, and discounts on other purchases. In addition, contributors of stories, poems, and book reviews are paid $40 each; illustrators are paid $25 per illustration.

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