May 12, 2015

MASON, OH – Mars Hill Academy fourth grader Carrie Merhout (Liberty Township) had her short story, “Moonbeam,” published in the May issue of Stone Soup, a national magazine for young writers and artists. Stone Soup receives hundreds of submissions every week, accepting less than 1% of the work it receives for publication. Carrie’s story was submitted by Mars Hill third grade teacher, Mrs. Traci DeBra.

“From the moment Carrie stepped into my classroom, her delight for writing and desire to craft a well-written story was quite evident,” said DeBra. “Carrie's ability to paint a picture for her readers is something very special.”

DeBra remembers the first time she approached Carrie about writing a story on her own. “The sparkle in her eyes revealed the hopes and dreams of a little girl who was ready for the challenge of writing her own short story. Within one week, Carrie placed her idea onto paper, and the process had begun.”

“Moonbeam” is about a lonely farm girl surrounded by animals who dreams of having pets of her own.

“Carrie has the ability to draw her readers into the beauty and goodness of a child’s life,” noted DeBra.

Carrie’s mother, Michaux Merhout, is amazed how the classical and Christian curriculum at Mars Hill Academy has drawn out Carrie’s love for the written word. Mars Hill students are taught vocabulary and grammar, including parts of speech and proper sentence construction, beginning in first grade.

“During her third grade year, I watched her writing come alive,” Merhout commented. “Mrs. DeBra kept challenging her to use better words and more vivid expressions to flesh out her stories. Since Carrie is a voracious reader, she has a huge vocabulary to pull from. She has notebooks full of stories and wakes up early in the morning to work on them before school.”

Carrie’s favorite writing subject is animals. Her Stone Soup story features a shadowy stray cat and a collie. “I have two pet cats, and I love them because they are beautiful and mysterious,” Carrie explained.

Carrie says she is working on “ten million and two” stories. “Ideas just pop into my head and I write them down.” She hopes to be published in Stone Soup again. DeBra believes this is a real possibility.

“Carrie has a unique gift for finding the beauty in the simplicity of our everyday lives and capturing those moments thoughtfully. While this is Carrie's first piece of published writing, I am certain it will not be her last!”

Published six times a year to an international audience, Stone Soup is the leading publisher of creative writing by children ages 8 to 13.

Photo: Mars Hill Academy fourth grader Carrie Merhout (Liberty Township) had her short story, “Moonbeam,” published in the May issue of Stone Soup, a national magazine for young writers and artists. Stone Soup receives hundreds of submissions every week, accepting less than 1% of the work it receives for publication.