The Jim Henson Company are searching for an author to write a new novel set in the world of Henson’s The Dark Crystal. This new Dark Crystal novel will be a prequel story, set at the time of the Gelfling Gathering. The winning author will receive a publishing contract with Penguin Group USA valued at $10,000*.
To enter the competition writers must submit a complete original story, set in The Dark Crystal universe. Stories must be between 7,500 and 10,000 words in length. Five shortlisted entrants will be selected to receive editorial feedback on their submissions and asked to submit a revised story. From these five writers, one overall winner will be selected.
The winner will then be commissioned to write a new 50,000 word Dark Crystal young adult novel to be published by Penguin. The novel may or may not include elements of the winning story.
Unfortunately the competition is only open to residents of the fifty United States, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories and possessions, Canada (excluding Quebec) and the United Kingdom.
Submissions will be accepted between 1 October and 31 December 2013. For full submission details and judging guidelines please read the Official Rules for The Dark Crystal Author Quest.
The organisers have also provided an 18-page Author’s Resource Document with character descriptions, location information, and history to assist in imagining the next Dark Crystal story.
The winner of the competition will be announced on 7 July 2014. For further details visit darkcrystal.com.
*UPDATE: We contacted Penguin Group USA to find out a little bit more information about the author payment/prize for this competition. They have advised that the successful author will be paid on a ‘standard work-for-hire contract’ and that they will not receive any royalties in addition to the prize money.
More About The Dark Crystal
The Dark Crystal, directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz, was released in 1982. It tells the story of a Gelfling, Jen, who is on a quest to restore balance to his world by returning a lost shard to a powerful but broken gem.
The film’s release was accompanied by a tie-in novelisation by A.C.H. Smith. Henson is said to have taken a keen interest in this novelisation which he considered to be an important part of the film’s world, rather than an advertisement.
At the same time The World of The Dark Crystal was released. This book by J. J. Llewellyn and Brian Froud expands on the world of the film, Thra, providing additional story background. as well as detailing the world’s history.