New Book Coming!

The news is now official: I have signed a contract with Saga Press, the new fantasy imprint of Simon and Schuster, for my novel The Sacred Woods. Look for it to hit shelves in Summer 2016!


The March issue of Cricket is on shelves! In it you will find Part 4 of “The Girl Who Writes the Future,” illustrated by Emily Fiegenschuh! Although I have the privilege of writing this story, the characters and some of the special fantasy objects were created by the young readers of Cricket Magazine in the first-of-its-kind crowd-sourced story — a project aptly called “Crowd-Sorcery.” Don’t miss it!

I also highly recommend Emily Fiegenschuh’s blog — click here. Some of her recent posts have featured sketches she did for the Crowd-Sorcery project (along with her explanatory notes) that do not appear in the published story, so check out this rare look into the artistic development of “The Girl Who Writes the Future”!


Stellar Company: A Review

Here’s a video on YouTube that has left me speechless:

Thank you, Ms. Davis!


DRAGONFLY is now also downloadable in audio format from Audible! The unabridged text of this dark fantasy novel is read by Casey Holloway and may be found easily on Amazon (where you can also listen to a brief excerpt). Of course, if you’re new to this page, please don’t miss the print DRAGONFLY (find more information by clicking “WORKS” in the toolbar above).



The incomparable Patty Templeton has conducted an interview with me that is up on the BLACK GATE web site. Please read it here!

THE STAR SHARD: Good Reviews Keep Coming!

Here’s from the latest, by Michelle Villarmia, through NetGalley:

“Frederic S. Durbin’s The Star Shard is a fairy tale among fairy tales. The world is full of fantasy and wonder, perfectly fitting . . . I quickly fell in love with [the main character], despite our age difference. She showed me things that I hadn’t seen in a while. She was fun to get to know . . . I connected with her.

“Durbin builds a magical world, perfect for the imagination of a young child. It’s hard for me to fully express how much awe I was in. The images described were vivid, the world outstanding, and the characters wonderful. . . . It was a nice break away from the worlds of emotional teenage angst.”

Attention, writers!
Cricket and Cicada Magazines are actively seeking high-quality story submissions, particularly in the areas of fantasy and science-fiction, but also in other genres! For you as a writer, these are truly among the very best places to be published. For details, go here:

The reviews are coming in! Here’s what critics are saying about The Star Shard.

From Booklist:

“Durbin has created a world that . . . comes alive with fantastic creatures and a varied cast of supporting characters. Cymbril herself is a strong heroine — loyal, resourceful, and brave. While this story is satisfactorily concluded with surprise revelations and limited loose ends, there is plenty of scope for a follow-up.”

From The Bulletin:

“Evocative imagery, an enthralling world, and a fully realized storyline that does not depend on future installments make this a standout among recent pre-YA fantasies. The charm of old-school fantasy blends with the mechanics of steampunk aboard the Rake, making the massive city feel both menacing in its size and enchanting in its secrets. Cymbril’s longing for freedom is deeply felt, and even as she acknowledges her privileges as one of the more well-kept slaves, her desire to become more than the possession of another person and find a life of her own will resonate with young readers just coming into their independence. Durbin’s quiet, reverent tone does slow some of the more action-driven scenes, but the lush, almost poetic prose is something readers will want to linger over anyway.”

From Asher Knight on NetGalley:

“An engrossing, fascinating tale . . . The Star Shard is a wondrous fantasy read that reminded me why I adore the genre so much and granted me characters I was surprised, but thrilled, to love.

“More, the fantastical world-building is a soft, compelling voice that takes us through and tells of a vivid, magical world, one so thoroughly built, we almost refuse to part with it.”

By way of introduction: I am a writer of fantasy fiction for children and adults, including stories in Cricket Magazine, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Black Gate. My first novel, Dragonfly (Arkham House and Ace Fantasy) is a dark fantasy for adults and for precocious children. For more about Dragonfly:

It’s a delight to have my web site and blog together in the same place at last. This is now the Grand Central Station of all things Frederic S. Durbin on the Web. Please come to the blog for an always-happening discussion of the writer’s life as well as interviews with other writers, musicians, etc.

You’re also invited to visit my Author Page on Goodreads ( If you’re a Dragonfly aficionado, you can test your knowledge of the book by taking a Dragonfly quiz there, too!

Creative Writing Instruction

Attention, classroom teachers and librarians in the Pittsburgh area: I am also an exuberant presenter on creative writing. In addition to readings and book events, I love to deliver interactive programs on writing-related skills ranging from basic mechanics to story-building. Some highlights include:

  • Creative writing techniques
  • Focus on the joy of reading and writing
  • 22 years of teaching experience
  • Groups of any size
  • Length and content custom-tailored to every classroom or program

Each mini-workshop includes a free packet of additional resources for teachers. To schedule a presentation, please contact me at