Announcing the Personal Canons Cookbook

In 2020, Stone Soup ran a series of essays featuring a really incredible lineup of new and established voices. The essay series was an exploration of the books and stories that have shaped us as readers and writers, challenging the notion of a universal literary canon and emphasizing the way individual relationships to literature shape us as people and creators. I called that series Personal Canons.

The Personal Canons series was emblematic of almost everything Stone Soup is about: inviting lots of perspectives, respecting the nuance of individual experiences, grappling with complex emotions, celebrating writers’ voices.

But there’s one thing that is central to Stone Soup that was missing from that series. From its inception, this newsletter has consistently returned to the idea that food brings people together, helps us find and express ourselves, and connects us to our communities. It’s time to unite Stone Soup’s approach to food with its approach to literature, art, poetry, and essays.

It’s time for Stone Soup to hear from you.

In 2023, I'm revisiting the Personal Canons series through our relationships to food. The Personal Canons Cookbook is a series of free-to-read essays that will run all year long. I’m accepting guest post submissions starting today and closing December 31st, 2022.

I’m looking for 1000 words discussing food and/or a meal that has shaped and/or defined you to yourself and/or your community. I know that's a lot of and/or's! Our relationships to food, ourselves, and our communities are complex and dynamic, and this series has space for that complexity. Essays will range from reflections on a favorite childhood snack to explorations of funeral-reception staples, with lots in-between and beyond.

Each piece will end with a recipe that invites readers to connect with the essay in their own kitchens; recipes will be edited into a consistent format for cohesion and readability. If you don’t enjoy writing recipes, I am more than happy to help put one together, so don’t stress about that part – what matters most here is your perspective and experience. I’m also accepting pitches for illustrated pieces or short comics. BIPOC writers and artists are strongly encouraged to submit.

Pay rate is a flat $150 upon acceptance. The only rights I need are non-exclusive digital rights, plus the right to possibly include your recipe in a free digital cookbook (more on that below). All other rights stay with the author. I’ve got enough budget to accept 10 submissions, to be published over the course of the year. I also have some truly exciting solicited pieces lined up from amazing writers and artists who I think are going to blow you away with their perspectives on food, identity, and community.

Send your submissions to submissions@sarahgailey.com. I can’t wait to see what you have to say.

Stretch goal: Members of the Stone Soup Supper Club will get early access to recipes, bonus content from the series, and exclusive access to the comments section. If I get enough new subscribers, I’ll be able to afford to compile a digital Stone Soup Recipe Collection at the end of the year, which will include all the recipes from this series as well as recipes from the past couple of years of the Supper Club. Here’s a 25% discount to make it easier for you to support this goal!

I am so excited about this series, friends – about the amazing food we’re all going to eat together and the brilliant ideas we’ll explore together next year. In the meantime, care for yourself and the people around you. Believe that the world can be better than it is now. Never give up.

-Gailey

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