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Chatterbox: Crowd Sorcery

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Start Here!

Welcome to Crowd Sorcery!

This summer, Fred Durbin and Emily Fiegenschuh, author and illustrator of “The Star Shard” (Cricket April 2008–April 2009) will be working with ideas and characters you develop through Crowd Sorcery to create an original fantasy story for the November/December 2014 issue of Cricket.

Fred and Emily need your help inventing a hero or heroine, a sidekick, a villain, and an imaginative fantasy world. Beginning with the July/August issue, Cricket will publish in the magazine selections of what kids write on Crowd Sorcery. Sketches of some of your characters and ideas by Emily will be featured in the digital editions!

Digital editions of the magazine will be downloadable for free during the summer. They include everything in the magazine plus many extra features. Just go to the iTunes store or Google Play and search for Cricket magazine to download a free digital edition.

We hope that all of you who love to create stories on the Inkwell will enjoy collaborating in the process of creating a real Cricket story. We also hope that kids who read Cricket around the world will join the fun by linking from their digital editions to the Chatterbox.

If you’ve linked here from the digital edition, let us know! And welcome to the Chatterbox!

How does Crowd Sorcery work?

We’ve planned four threads where you can contribute ideas for a hero or heroine, sidekick, villain, and a Fantasy Dictionary. You can create as many characters and fantasy worlds as you like. Maybe your characters will live in a medieval village, or in ancient Egypt, or your fantasy ideas might lead you to imagine a futuristic world. It’s up to you! You can also change your ideas, and comment on the ideas of other Chatterboxers. (You can’t create new threads on this section of the Chatterbox. Please post your contributions as comments or replies.)

From time to time, Fred will create a Fred Thread. He may ask a question to help him, and everyone, better imagine the story’s fantasy world and characters. He may also post parts of the story as he writes, so that you can comment or make suggestions.

We would like you to begin with the threads for Hero or Heroine, Fantasy Dictionary, and Fred Thread 1. Later in May we will make live the threads for Sidekick and Villain.

How will we/Fred/you decide on the final characters?

We plan to have kids vote on the final choice of characters for the story. We’ll announce during the summer when voting will take place. Your discussions on the threads may also help you decide on your favorites.

When writing the story, Fred will probably draw upon a lot of your ideas, not just the final choices. It will be interesting to see how an author uses ideas in surprising ways to make a story his own.

So go to the threads and begin!

You don’t have to do them all at once. We hope you will return many times over the summer to add and discuss ideas.

Invite your Chatterbox or other friends to participate. We’ve never tried this before, but no one else has either because ... it’s a first-of-its-kind crowd-sourced fantasy story!

If you have any questions or comments, you can post them below.


submitted by Admin
(April 23, 2014 - 9:50 am)

This is an awesome idea! I love writing in the Inkwell and this will give us Chatterboxers to actually write a story! I'm definitely going to participate in the Crowd Sorcery. This is like a dream come true!

submitted by Nina, age 12, Florida
(April 23, 2014 - 2:16 pm)

Hi, I liked what you wrote.


submitted by Alana, age 9, Los Osos CA
(July 10, 2014 - 12:29 pm)

I am writing a story myself about a girl named Aylina, who meets a gnome and soon has a misson. She sets off on her journey, and on the way makes friends (whose characters were invented by my mom, she tells me stories sometimes). I hope I publish it! Anyway, just because I am writing a story doesn't mean I wont participate; publishing it is one thing but having helped an actual writer make a story is completely different.Kiss I am going 2 participate! If I find out how.) 



ps. I am a girl.

submitted by Wayra K., age 11-12, Northern California.
(July 11, 2014 - 2:45 pm)

I've read the story that's been going on and would like to say that has anyone noticed that Fable's One Prophecy only said that she would write her final prophecy after descending the Secret Stair and not that she would die? It never said anything at all about her dying. I think it should be that she loses the talent/gift/curse. I'm only writing this here because I'm not sure where else to put it.

submitted by Viola.V, age 13, New York
(March 5, 2015 - 8:12 pm)

Or maybe it should be that her talent/gift/curse changes so she doesn't write her prophecies and maybe she can control it better like maybe she can get a book of empty pages and her prophecies only come true if she writes them in that book. Also we would want her to always have room to write in that book so maybe she could write and then once each thing happened the writing that made that prophecy would disappear, giving her room to write. 

submitted by Paula
(April 2, 2015 - 4:51 pm)

She can't write prophecies about herself right...? Undecided

submitted by Hermione Granger II, age 10, England
(June 23, 2015 - 8:21 pm)

This. Is. Just. Amazing. I can't believe than Fredric Durbin and Emily Fiegenschuh are going to do another story and we're helping! I loved The Star Shard and I can't wait to see what is come up with!

As Nina said, this is like a dream come true! 

submitted by True
(April 23, 2014 - 5:38 pm)

This is so cool! I have always wanted somthing like this for the Chatterbox!

submitted by Watermelon, age ?, supermarket near you
(April 23, 2014 - 7:06 pm)

SO EPIC, SO, SO EPIC.  This is really great and I can't wait to participate.  Hey, that rhymes!

submitted by Bounty, age 12, Crowd Sorcery
(April 23, 2014 - 8:01 pm)

Character looks: silver thick hair, very pale, petite, stormy eyes, whimsically beautiful

Age: 16

Gender: Female 

Name: Listette

Wears: Wolf skin cloak 

Lives: With wolves

Story: While her parents ( aka, the king and queen of Eln) were escaping the elf revolution, they ran through the forest, only to be brutally murdered by trolls who had sided with the elves. They left the baby to die, until she was rescued by a pack of wolves, who were originally a part of the queen's royal guard until her throne was overthrown by the elves. The wolves cared for her well, and taught her all about survival. Lisette is not a feral animal, she hunts and acts like a wolf, but acts like a human as well. They trained her to fight, until she found out that her parents were the king in queen and ran away. During her travels, she learns of the three wise queens of Eln that lived 1,000 years ago, and how they left behind a book of their secrets, which have the information to defeat the elf revolution. Her quest is to find the book, and restore peace and order to Eln, before it is too late.

submitted by Edie The Bewildered , age 12, Middle Of No Where
(April 23, 2014 - 9:38 pm)

THIS IS AN AWESOME IDEA!!!! I will post my character later!

submitted by Katie M, age 11, Chelsea, MI
(April 24, 2014 - 6:18 am)

Wow!  That is such an AWESOME idea!

submitted by Sophia H., age 11, New Jersey
(May 31, 2014 - 4:08 pm)

i MUST draw this charecter!!!!!!! MUST!!! This sounds Splendiferous!!!!

submitted by Little Sister, age 11, New Hampshire
(June 30, 2014 - 11:19 am)

i MUST draw this charecter!!!!!!! MUST!!! This sounds Splendiferous!!!!

submitted by Little Sister, age 11, New Hampshire
(June 30, 2014 - 11:20 am)

Wow! Just wow!

submitted by Willow, age ?, U.S.
(July 18, 2014 - 9:21 am)