How to Submit Creative Writing and Art to Stone Soup

General Information
Who may submit work to Stone Soup?
What is the length limit for stories?
What should I include with my submission?
Where to send my work if I live in the U.S. or Canada?
May I email my submission?
I live outside the U.S. and Canada. May I email my submission?
What happens next?
Does my story or poem have to be typed?
I want to send you a poem. Do you have any advice for me?
I want to have a story published in Stone Soup. What advice can you give me?
May I send more than one piece in the same envelope?
May I send the same story to Stone Soup and to another magazine, website, or contest?
Illustrators
May I illustrate my own story?
Book Reviewers
Payment

General Information

Stone Soup is a magazine of writing and art by kids ages 13 and younger. We publish stories, poems, book reviews, and illustrations, all by young writers and artists. Stone Soup welcomes submissions from young people up to and including age 13. If you live in the U.S. or Canada, you must submit your work by postal mail. Send it to:

Stone Soup Submissions Dept.
P.O. Box 83
Santa Cruz, CA 95063
USA

If you live outside the U.S. and Canada, you may email your submission to editor@stonesoup.com.

Be sure to include your name, age, birthdate, home address, phone number, and your parent’s name and email address with your submission. Please use double-spacing (more space between the lines) when you print out your work, to make it easy for us to read.

ss_cover_sample_march-april2014V2You 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 for contributors. Enter the discount code SUBMIT on the Stone Soup order page to receive a 50% 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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Who may submit work to Stone Soup?

Stone Soup welcomes submissions by children ages 13 and younger. If you are 14 or older, we suggest you try a Google search to find resources for older writers.

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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 should I include with my submission?

Please include your name, age, birthdate, home address, phone number, and your parent’s name and email address.

Please do not include a self-addressed stamped envelope. Submissions are not returned. Send copies of your work, not originals. If we need the original, we will request it. You do not need to include a photo of yourself. If we decide to publish your work, we will ask for a photo at that time.

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Where to send my work if I live in the U.S. or Canada?

Please send your work by postal mail to:

Stone Soup Submissions Dept.
P.O. Box 83
Santa Cruz, CA 95063
USA

Please do not send submissions by Certified Mail or Registered Mail.

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May I email my submission?

No. If you live in the U.S. or Canada, you must send your submission by postal mail. Like many other publishers, we believe that if you are serious about being published you will take the time to polish your work, print it out, and mail it to us.

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I live outside the U.S. and Canada. May I email my submission? 

Yes. If you live outside the United States or Canada, you may send us your submission by email. Send it to editor@stonesoup.com.

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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 had to try several times before they were published.

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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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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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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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May I send more than one piece in the same envelope?

Yes. It’s OK to send more than one piece of writing in the same envelope.

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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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Illustrators

illustration_example_m-j2012If you would like to illustrate for Stone Soup, send editor Gerry Mandel three samples of your artwork, along with a letter telling her what you like to draw most. Send color copies of your artwork, not originals; your samples will not be returned. Although we sometimes use simple line drawings in Stone Soup, we are especially interested in artists who can draw or paint complete scenes in color. At least one of your samples should include people, since most of the stories we publish, even the animal stories, have people in them. Send us samples that fill the entire page with detail, including the background. Please include your name, age, birthdate, home address, phone number, your parent’s name and email address, and a self-addressed stamped envelope for our response to you. Send your samples to:

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

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May I illustrate my own story?

Would you like to illustrate your own story? It’s OK to send us a story illustrated by yourself or a friend. If we like the story and the illustrations, we will publish them both. If we like the story but not the illustrations, we will find our own illustrator for your story. If we like the illustrations but not the story, we will contact you to see if you’d like to become a Stone Soup illustrator. Remember to send copies of your artwork, not originals.

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Book Reviewers

book_review_layout_maIf you are interested in reviewing books for Stone Soup, write Ms. Mandel at the postal address above for more information. In your letter, tell her a little about yourself, why you want to be a book reviewer, and what kinds of books you like to read. Be sure to include your name, age, birthdate, home address, phone number, your parent’s name and email address, and a self-addressed stamped envelope for our response to you. It can be helpful to read the reviews that other kids have written for us in the past. You can read reviews from past issues on our Book Reviews by Kids page.

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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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