New Cricket Opportunity for Young Writers
This summer, an exciting event has been happening at Cricket Magazine. The editors have given me and Emily Fiegenschuh (the illustrator of “The Star Shard”) the opportunity to help out with a project called “Crowd Sorcery,” in which kids can take an active part in creating a story. Cricket‘s web site features an interactive forum called The Chatterbox. There, the magazine’s young fans have been working together to design main characters, sidekicks, villains, and fantasy concepts and settings from their own imaginations. As the summer went on, participants voted on the best of the ideas. I am now writing a story incorporating the winning elements, and Emily is illustrating it. The story is slated to appear in three parts, beginning in the November issue of Cricket.
Throughout the summer until September, digital issues of Cricket are free! You can acquire them by visiting cricketmag.com/SummerReading. The digital issues will showcase sketches for this project by Emily and some of the kids’ ideas. And of course, you can keep up with the unfolding project on the Cricket web site at http://www.cricketmagkids.com/sorcery. That’s the place to be this autumn!
I also highly recommend Emily Fiegenschuh’s blog — click here. (She does a much better job of describing this project, so go there, please!)
Stellar Company: A New Review
Here’s a video on YouTube that has left me speechless:
Thank you, Ms. Davis!
AUDIO Dragonfly NOW AVAILABLE!
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!
Of special interest to readers and viewers of fantasy, dark fantasy, and horror is the new column/blog by a good friend, writer Nicholas Ozment, on the BLACK GATE web site. (Nick has been interviewed here on my blog before — please see the archives!) It’s a little hard to find all his columns, since BG doesn’t organize the blogs by author; writing by everyone just accumulates on the main page, and you have to scroll down to uncover the pieces you’re looking for. The plus side of that is that you may find all sorts of other treasures along the way. To read Nick’s posts, which all have titles beginning THE WEIRD OF OZ . . . , please visit www.blackgate.com.
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.”
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: http://www.fredericsdurbin.com/?page_id=1540
The reviews are coming in! Here’s what critics are saying about The Star Shard.
“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: http://www.fredericsdurbin.com/?page_id=1384
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.
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 email@example.com.