The Jim Henson Company Wants You to Write a New Dark Crystal Novel
The Dark Crystal scared the hell out of me when I was a kid, but that's not going to stop me from submitting to this.
Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal is one of the most terrifying and yet fondly remembered films from the ’80s. It created an entire world from Henson’s imagination, but that world has gone largely untouched for more than twenty years. The Jim Henson Company wants to change that. The JHC wants to start creating novels set in the Dark Crystal world, and you can compete to write one.
Jim Henson’s daughter Cheryl Henson, who sits on the board at the Jim Henson Company, has launched DarkCrystal.com. In a post on the site, Henson writes:
At The Jim Henson Company, we continue to be enthralled with the possibilities of this world and invite you to join us in our obsession. We have set up a portal to share what we know, a new website with all of the information about this place and these creatures: DarkCrystal.com. We invite you to use the resources, character descriptions, locations, and history on this site to join us in imagining the next Dark Crystal story.
Part of that “obsession” is going to be young adult novels set in the world of The Dark Crystal, and to find an author for one of them the Henson Company has teamed up with Grosset & Dunlap, or the Penguin Young Readers Group, for a contest known as Author Quest. Starting on October 1st of this year, they will be accepting submissions for Dark Crystal stories until December 31st. The submissions will be reviewed and winnowed down to five finalists.
The submissions are expected to be between 7,500 and 10,000 words, and can serve as an outline, sample chapters, or even a more succinct version of the story. Each of the five finalists will receive feedback on their submission and will be expected to make revisions and write a detailed outline of their full 50,000 word novel. The revised submissions will be posted to the Dark Crystal website.
To help authors with their submissions, the Dark Crystal site includes extended details into the world. There are descriptions of Gelfling clans, the Skeksis, and the different locations in the world. Even if you don’t plan to write a submission, it’s probably worth checking out for fans of the movie.
On a related note, The Dark Crystal is tragically absent from Netflix instant streaming. Someone please fix that.