Author & Artist Corner: Artist

Emily Fiegenschuh: Star Shard

Emily Fiegenschuh

Emily Fiegenschuh's art career began at a very young age when she set up a card table in the hallway of her home and sold her drawings of monsters and animals to family members for five and ten cents. Later (much later), with support from said family members, she attended art school at the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, and graduated with honors and a BFA from the Illustration program in 2001. After working for one year as a product designer at The Franklin Mint, Emily returned to her childhood dreams of creating creatures and characters when she began freelancing for Wizards of the Coast. Emily has done illustrations for numerous Dungeons and Dragons rulebooks, including Monster Manual II, Ghostwalk, and Races of the Dragon. Emily's illustrations can also be seen on the covers and interiors of the Mirrorstone young adult novel series Knights of the Silver Dragon, and in the New York Times bestseller A Practical Guide to Dragons, also published by Mirrorstone. She is currently illustrating the original fantasy series "The Star Shard" for Cricket.

Emily and her husband, Vinod, with their favorite pig In her spare time, Emily enjoys sculpting. She lives with her husband, Vinod, in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, where she can be found playing video games for too long on breaks, baking cookies at 1:00 a.m., or talking to her guinea pigs Cedric, Mims, Momji, Chester, and Peppi.

"I'm thrilled to be illustrating 'The Star Shard,'" says Emily, "and I'm really looking forward to hearing comments and questions about the illustrations from Cricket readers. I sketched many ideas for the characters of Cymbril, Rompol, Loric, and Urrt. You can see some of my sketches by clicking below, along with parts of the e-mails I sent explaining my ideas to the Cricket art director. I tried to include ideas for any important accessories on each page of characters, such as Cymbril's hairpin and Rombol's goose-headed cane. I hope you like the designs, and I can't wait to hear your comments! I had so much fun doing all of these drawings!"

Click below to see Emily's instructions for HOW TO DRAW the characters from "The Star Shard."



Click below to see Emily's sketches for "The Star Shard."


Do you know when they are going to announce the winners of "The Star Shard" fan art contest? I entered it. This is the first time I have entered a contest, and I am really excited.

submitted by Olivia W., age 13, Totall
(November 12, 2008 - 6:37 pm)

Dear Olivia,

Thanks for sending in your beautiful art!  I love that you illustrated a scene of Cymbril talking to Loric using the shard.  You did a wonderful job with the details on her costume!

I apologize for taking so long to write back, but I wanted to make sure I had my information correct that the Star Shard fan art section is not actually for a contest, but is a way to share your drawings with all of the other Cricket readers. You can send in as much Star Shard art as you'd like, and it will all get posted for us to enjoy.

Best wishes,

submitted by Emily Fiegenschuh, WI
(November 21, 2008 - 5:13 pm)

Hello at last, Emily! (May I call you that?)

This is Fred, the writer of "The Star Shard." If you and our moderators at Cricket don't mind, I'd like to ask you some questions here. (I've waited until our readers have had lots of chances to ask things, so I think I can ask now without "hogging the stage"!)

First, I absolutely LOVE all your work on this story! In all the world, I don't think Cricket could have found an artist better suited to this project. From my perspective as the person on whose door Cymbril and everyone else first came knocking, I feel that you've perfectly captured the spirit and mood of the story, being very faithful to the text while also adding your own style, experience, and artistic vision. The story-with-illustrations is better in every way than just the story alone. I'm truly honored to have you working on this, and I feel extremely fortunate! I think many, many readers who love the tale love it mostly because of your beautiful pictures. Thank you for spending so many hours on "The Star Shard"!

I love all your images of Cymbril, but my #1 favorite so far is the portrait in the November/December issue in which she's crouching at the door of her bunk, listening. That is exactly how I imagine her!

I could go on and on about all the things I like, but this message would get entirely too long -- so I'll ask my questions:

1. I know you've said you sometimes use photographs for poses. How about character faces? Do you work from models/photos, or do you create the faces from your imagination? (I doubt you have a model who looks like Urrt!)

2. You've also said that you like drawing the Urrmsh. (And I love your vision of them! They look much better than how I first pictured them -- your Urrt is now the Urrt in my mind.) What so far has been your favorite scene to illustrate?

3. Was any scene or character a lot harder to draw than you expected? Did you struggle with any particular image? Or were there any other special challenges in illustrating this story?

4. Your harpy in the latest issue completely blows me away -- awesome and terrifying! Did that image come from the text and your own mind, or did you have any harpy pictures to work from?

5. Do you have a favorite fantasy illustrator?

6. When you were about the age of most Cricket readers, were there any covers of books that particularly "grabbed" you and made you want to be a fantasy illustrator? (For me, the most magical book covers as I was growing up were any of the old ones by Gervasio Gallardo. Even today, if I come across one that I don't have in a used book store, I'll buy it -- and I can spot them a mile away! I also loved the editions of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Tolkien's own illustrations on the covers.)

7. Finally, do you have any funny or interesting background stories about any of the illustrations in this story so far? [Here are two quick ones from my part in the project: one, my original story when I submitted it to Cricket involved a long scene at one of the Rake markets in which a man named John Thyme talked to Cymbril. He'd known her parents and talked about what great people they were. The scene went on and on, and it's the sort of thing that might happen in real life, but it stopped the story in its tracks and served no purpose. When the editor suggested I consider cutting out that scene -- and when I did remove it -- the story got a lot better! Second, you know that little hatchway high in the Rake's prow that Cymbril opens and sits in when she's communicating with Loric on the bow above her? One test reader asked me, "What's this hatch doing here? What's it normally used for?" That's why I put in the pulley and the lines explaining how cargo is hoisted in through that hatch!]

That's a lot of questions! You certainly don't have to answer all of them! Again, thanks very much, and I can't wait to see what's coming next!

Oh, and readers -- do NOT feel that this is the last word! -- please feel free to keep asking your questions, too!

With warmest regards,


submitted by Fred D., Japan
(November 13, 2008 - 11:50 am)

Dear Fred,

I hope you don't mind me calling you Fred!


I am flattered and honored that you have taken the time to write to me!  Thank you so much for all of your complements.  I'm so pleased that you are happy with my illustrations, and that they're fitting into your vision of the amazing world you have created for your characters.  I don't always have the opportunity to hear what authors think about the illustrations I've done for their work, and knowing that I've made you happy means the world to me.  There is always some pressure in melding my own vision of a story with that of an author's and when I hear nice comments like yours, I'm simultaneously relieved and overjoyed.


I must admit, I feel a little guilty for not writing you first!  I've been wanting to write for quite some time, but I always have trouble thinking of what to say and what questions to ask.  I always hoped that all of the things I have wanted to say have manifested themselves in some way in my artwork for "The Star Shard", which has been one of my biggest and most rewarding projects.  I really love working on it, and always try to put my all into each painting.  When I read the manuscript, I felt like a kid again, and in a very wonderful way; it was that wonderful feeling of excitement and creativity where all kinds of new ideas popped into my head and I couldn't wait to start doodling.   I could not put "The Star Shard" down.  I had to know what happened next!  


Thank you so much for your thoughtful questions.  I will try to answer them all as best as I can!


1.  On Photo Reference  
When I start my illustrations for "The Star Shard" or any other project, I usually get a vision in my head of how a character might look after I read a manuscript or description.  Before I look at anything else, I usually do some sketches to try to get that look down on paper, so that the most raw interpretation has been recorded first.  Afterwards, I can change or elaborate on those initial scribbles.  For the most part, the faces I draw are entirely from my imagination.  From time to time, though, I will look through some of my books or magazine clippings, or search online for interesting faces or facial features that I might not have come up with on my own.   I might do this if I can't come up with a satisfactory design for a character, or if the idea in my head is too nebulous and I'm having trouble getting it down on paper.  I tend to use more photo reference when trying to achieve a likeness or certain look; I looked at many pictures of different Inuit people when working on illustrations for the Inuit Mythology Initiative, to make sure I had their clothing and features represented as accurately as possible.  Then there is the strange phenomenon that occurs amongst many artists, and that is what I'd call "the face that looks like your face."  Many times, I've had friends and people at conventions tell me that my characters remind them of me.  I believe some of that comes from using oneself as a model for poses, but I also think it's the subconscious effect of an artist seeing themselves in the mirror every day.  For those of us experiencing that phenomenon, maybe it's a little bit of our soul seeping into our images!  My mom commented that Cymbril looks a little bit like I did when I was little!


I'm so flattered that you are so pleased with my interpretation of Urrt!  This sort of blends into the next question, but I thought I'd mention how I went about putting the Urrmsh down on paper.  I remember having a picture in my head when first reading the manuscript, and I when I was finished reading, I did a lot of sketches to come up with a number of ideas that felt like they were moving in the right direction.  I looked at a combination of human and frog anatomy (with a dash of imagination of course) to come up with my interpretation of Urrt and his friends.  When I design creatures for something like Dungeons and Dragons, for example, I often like to push the concept I am given as much as I can.  For example, when illustrating a faerie that has certain insect-like features, like dragonfly wings for instance, I might try to find some other ways to sneak in bug features.  I might try longish eyebrows that look like antennae, or give them big, colorful eyes.  I loved the frog-like features you described the Urrmsh as having, so I used them as a jumping off point for drawing Urrt.  Of course, I did not want him to literally look like a frog, but I looked at many types of frogs and toads and tried to incorporate some of their features while still keeping in mind your description.  The eyes and mouth, and of course the green and warty skin are probably the most noticeable frog features I took inspiration from, but I also imagined that Urrt and the other Urrmsh would have very big torsos and sort of flattened chests and backs like a frog or toad.  The idea of making them so muscular came from a combination of the powerful looking upper bodies of most frogs, and the physique of a muscular giant.  I especially wanted to show that they have very strong arms that could realistically move something as massive as the Thunder Rake.  I love that the Urrmsh have a strong connection to nature and song, and that those ideas fit hand in hand with the singing of frogs.


2.  The Urrmsh
I think I hijacked this question with my response to number one!  Yes, I do love drawing and painting the Urrmsh very much!  I have always loved illustrating creatures, ever since I was young, so I always relish the chance to continue to do so professionally!  My favorite scene to illustrate involving the Urrmsh specifically was probably the spot illustration of the sleeping Urrmsh in Part 3 of "The Star Shard".  I enjoyed showing him napping peacefully, surrounded by birds and nature.  I was also really happy with the way the painting itself turned out.  There is another illustration I don't want to spoil that's coming up soon that I'm also fond of.  Everyone will have to wait and see!  
With regards to my favorite illustration for the whole group so far, that is really tough to pinpoint!  I enjoyed painting the portrait of Cymbril that begins the story, Cymbril sneaking around the grape arbor in Part 4, as well as the cover and contents to the same issue, the harpy, and some others that are coming up in future installments of "The Star Shard."


I hope I haven't written too much, and I want to get this posted so you don't think I'm ignoring you and all of the wonderful readers here, so I will send this one along and answer the next batch of questions soon!  Promise!



submitted by Emily Fiegenschuh, WI
(November 20, 2008 - 7:42 am)

Ok, I'm back!  I'm sorry it's taken so long!  As usual things are extremely busy around here.  I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!


3. Challenges
There are always mini triumphs and difficulties within each painting, but when I read your question, two paintings in particular came to mind.  I think one of the most challenging illustrations I've done for "The Star Shard' was the Thunder Rake painting in Part 1.  I have spent a lot of my career drawing organic things.  People, creatures, and characters are what I have worked on most often, so I have had a lot of practice with them, and drawing them comes naturally for me.   The type of flowing lines I tend to use when I draw lend themselves more easily to adapting things that are organic in nature.  So the Thunder Rake, with its complex, architectural design was a special challenge.  It helped a lot to work through the details with a drawing of the Thunder Rake in profile before moving onto the final drawing, and then the painting, which needed to be done in perspective.  


The second piece that came to mind was one that I didn't anticipate any particular trouble with.  It was the painting of Cymbril sitting on Urrt's shoulder in Part 5.  When I paint, I try to take advantage of the dual aspect of the gouache paint I use.  In the beginning, I use it transparently, like watercolors, to build up the basic colors and values in the painting, keeping things relatively light.  Then, I continue to add layers of paint, creating darker and darker values.  Finally, I use the gouache opaquely for final details, and to pop out the lightest values, similar to the way oil paint is often used going from dark to light.  In the case of this painting of Cymbril and Urrt, I went dark way too fast.  I like to paint transparently for at least 80% of the painting, adding opaque brushstrokes last.  Because the painting got so dark so fast, I ended up painting most of it with opaque paint, which took much much longer than I had anticipated.  That's one of the dangers in using traditional media rather than digital programs to create art, but the tactile feeling of using real paint is what I truly enjoy!


4. The Harpy
I was very excited when I read about the harpy.  Not only was it a suspenseful moment in the story, but it was my chance to draw a terrifying monster!  The harpy was (after your description of course) something of my imagination.  I'm familiar with the harpies of mythology, and I have seen them depicted by other artists in many different ways before.  I wanted to emphasize the qualities of a bird and human hybrid, so I gave her long wings with a thumb claw, and a more noticeable elbow to push the body in a slightly more human direction.  I also decided to give her longer legs, more like a stork's.  For her face, I definitely wanted her to have piercing eyes like a bird of prey, and a long, hookish nose and pointy chin to evoke the feeling of a bird's beak.  I studied different vultures for the coloring of her feathers and the blotchy, red coloration of the skin on her face and neck.  I had some photos of old women on hand as well for inspiration, although thankfully none of them looked anything like the harpy!


I was ecstatic to read how much you liked the harpy illustration!  I'm glad to have brought your vision to life in a way that maybe even exceeded your expectations.


5.  Favorite fantasy illustrator
This is a tough one!  There are so many fantasy artists I admire.  I think one of my most favorite, and the one who initially had the most influence on me at a young age is Yoshitaka Amano.  He is most well known in the states for his work on the Final Fantasy video game series and the Vampire Hunter D novels written by Hideyuki Kikuchi.  His illustrations for the Final Fantasy games I played growing up really captured my imagination and always inspired me to draw. The beauty of his line and his fantastic character designs continue to excite and inspire me as an artist.  I am always amazed by the fact that Amano became a professional artist working at the animation studio Tatsunoko Pro in Japan at the ripe old age of fifteen!


I would feel guilty if I did not also mention Arthur Rackham and Brian Froud as two more fantasy artists whose work I enjoy immensely.


6.  Favorite book covers
It's funny, but I racked my brain and could not think of anything in particular that grabbed me at the age of most Cricket readers and made me think about becoming a fantasy illustrator.  I actually didn't start reading that much fantasy and science fiction until I was a little older. When I think of artwork that I really noticed when I was young, I tend to think back further, to children's picture books.  There are books that still give me an overwhelming sense of nostalgia when I look at them.  Goodnight Moon makes me feel that way especially.   I also remember enjoying Maurice Sendak's work, and Chris Van Allsburg's Polar Express.  James Gurney's Dinotopia was a favorite, and his gorgeous illustrations are ones I still love looking at today.  Although I loved to read, what really got me excited about becoming an artist was animation.  I was always fascinated by the art form.  I had a lot of books about animation.   I remember I would watch old Warner Brothers cartoons almost every night.  In high school, I discovered animation from other countries, especially animation from Japan.   When I entered art school, it was as a Computer Animation major.  Computer animation was still in its early stages at the time, and I honestly wasn't very excited about how it looked.  I had hoped to become a traditional animator, but unfortunately, less and less animation was being created with two dimensional drawings and hand painted cels.  After my first year at school, I discovered how much I loved painting and decided to become an illustrator instead.  I'm very glad I did!  


7.  Funny or interesting creation stories
Definitely, the funniest (and most embarrassing) thing about being an illustrator is having a ton of photos of myself doing some really ridiculous looking things!  I take my own reference when I need help with a pose, so there are many pictures of me in weird, makeshift costumes.  The pictures are like a chronology of my life as an illustrator, and when looking back through old files, I can often remember what else was going on the day the photos were taken.  For "The Star Shard", the goofiest pictures have to be of me escaping the harpy.  I needed to get some information about how Cymbril's cape might billow behind her, and how she might look in action as she runs and dives out of the way of the swooping harpy, so my husband, Vinod, and I prepared for a photo shoot!  I put on a skirt and a cape we saved from an old Halloween costume, and arranged a big pile of pillows from the couch on the floor.  Then, as Vinod took photos, I ran, leapt, and dove into the pillows over and over until we got some good shots.  I often wonder if the neighbors can see in the window and wonder what the heck we're doing?!


Thanks again for all of your excellent questions!  I apologize for taking so long to get through them, but I hope that I gave all of you some more insight into my process as an illustrator, the things I love about my job, and what kinds of things inspire me.  Thanks for sticking with me!

Best wishes,

submitted by Emily Fiegenschuh, WI
(December 1, 2008 - 3:48 pm)

SmileHello, Emily!

I'd like to say, I love to bake cookies, too, (and eat them). And, I have guinea pigs, too! 3 of them:

Plumpy (A boy)

Patch, and Rye! (Mother, and daughter)

I'm soooooo glad I get Cricket to see your wonderful drawings! By the way, I love to draw, too. Can you please tell me how I can become an artist when I grow up? Thank you!

SmileElena B.

submitted by Elena B., age 8, D.C.
(November 30, 2008 - 6:34 pm)

Dear Elena B.,


I like to eat cookies, too, especially at this time of year!  It's so fun to bake your own, isn't it?  I think they taste better that way!  I love your guinea pigs' names, especially Plumpy's.  What do they all look like?


Thank you very much for your complements on my art for Cricket!  I'm so happy and honored to be able to work on "The Star Shard."  And I'm really delighted when my copies of the magazine show up in my mailbox.   I love looking at the illustrations by all of the other artists, and I like reading the stories, too!


I think the best advice to anyone who wants to be an artist is to practice, practice, practice!  A lot of time spent drawing, painting, or doing whatever it is that you enjoy will improve your skills and get you going places with your art.  Keep a sketchbook or even a clipboard full of blank paper handy so you can draw any time you have a great idea that you can't wait to put down on paper.  Draw things you see from life, like animals, plants, buildings, even your shoes or a pile of clothes on the floor.   Draw plenty of things from your imagination, too!  Favorite characters that you may have created, imaginary creatures, fantastic spaceships, interesting scenes; anything you want!  As long as you are having fun and you keep at it, you will be learning without even realizing it.  Taking art classes is a great idea, too.  When you get older, if you'd like, you can also enroll in a college art program or dedicated art school like the one I went to, where your professors will provide you with a more structured schedule and art assignments to prepare you for creating artwork for a living.


I hope that helps, and feel free to ask any other questions you might have!

submitted by Emily Fiegenschuh, WI
(December 5, 2008 - 2:22 pm)

Hi again, Emily!

Thank you so much for answering my questions in such detail! I just knew you had all kinds of fascinating insights and stories about your work that Cricket's readers would enjoy hearing as much as I did.

I especially loved the story of the photo shoot for escaping the harpy! So producing a painting can be almost like making a movie -- you have a cameraman, costumes, props, a stunt person (you), a director (you), and lots of takes! Believe it or not, even for written scenes, I will sometimes stand up and act things out to get a better sense of how people move when they're doing certain things. I'll also say things aloud to figure out just how natural (or not) a line will sound. Anyway, your story reminded me of the calendars and book that came out a few years ago about the "Tolkien years" of the Brothers Hildebrandt. In addition to their paintings, a bunch of their reference photos were included. The brothers and their friends were doing pretty much what you described! (I was enchanted when I first encountered a Hildebrandt calendar in a bookstore back in the late seventies -- a calendar full of paintings illustrating The Lord of the Rings. I don't always agree with their interpretations, but I love how they did forests and stone textures, and their use of light.) Anyway, the end result is very much worth it! In that painting, Cymbril looks quite thoroughly terrified, and her pose and billowing cloak are all just right.

I was also impressed by the research that went into your harpy!

Yes, Maurice Sendak. In Where the Wild Things Are, he tapped right into the essence of childhood wonder and imagination, with that forest growing up in Max's room. I was inspired by his work at an early age, too. And by the artwork in My Father's Dragon -- those wonderful varied treetrunks in the jungle on Wild Island: trees, leaves, vines, all in different textures, and Elmer peeking fearfully out from among them. There were a great many more pictures from children's books (fairy tales and folk tales) that made me want to write from the time almost before I could read. Isn't it interesting, the relationship between visual art and the written word? Good stories make you want to paint; good paintings make me want to write. It's all interlinked.

I wonder if perhaps the Thunder Rake was a challenge also partly because you were being so faithful to someone else's specific visual sketch. When you're illustrating, it sounds as if you normally make your sketches based on your own impressions from the written text. In the case of the Thunder Rake, you had a pencil sketch I'd done, and I was amazed that you remained very faithful to the details of it while making it look realistic. One thing that I especially love about your Thunder Rake is its coloring, which my sketch had nothing to do with; when the Rake is at a distance, it's colored almost like a hill, like an organic part of nature -- all green and gray and mossy, with the trees growing on its upper decks. Beautiful!

Yes -- Cymbril sneaking through the grape arbor is also one of my favorite illustrations so far. And of course I love that breathtaking A Precarious Perch, when Cymbril is in the open hatchway high on the Rake's prow, with the wind whipping around her! (That was the September issue's cover, and in case any readers don't know, that can be ordered as a poster -- with a choice of two different sizes -- from Cricket. I've ordered mine!)

Another thing that might be interesting to readers: I was very grateful for the way we got to work (indirectly) together in pre-production. After the story was all written, and you had read it, Cricket forwarded me some of your preliminary sketches, in which you had three or four different "looks" for Cymbril, six or eight different Urrts (some really froggy, some more dinosaur-like, and some more humanoid), etc. There were several versions of Loric and a couple Rombols. The editors asked me which ones I liked best. I don't know if my opinions actually got back to you or not, or to what degree they had an influence -- but in every case, the designs I liked the best were the ones that you used.

When I wrote the Armfolk, I pictured them as looking like giant green, warty potatoes with huge arms and stubby legs. I didn't imagine necks for them. But your design makes a lot more sense. Any race of creatures that need to live in a natural (often dangerous) environment and gather food -- and avoid being prey -- need to be able to look back over their shoulders. Your final design for the Urrmsh is just perfect. As I've said, that's how I picture them now. I can no longer imagine them looking any different.

As to how your characters sometimes tend to look like you -- well, we writers do that all the time. I'd go so far as to say that most characters we write resemble us in some way -- even the worst villains! So it seems natural to me that artists would do that, too.

Anyway, thank you very much again for telling us so much about how you work -- how these astonishing illustrations come into being!


submitted by Fred D., Japan
(December 3, 2008 - 1:30 pm)

Dear Emily, I love your work and can't wait 4 part 7. How many parts do u think there r?

submitted by Miranda c.
(December 27, 2008 - 10:20 pm)

Dear Miranda C.,

Thanks so much for your note!  Thank you for your compliments.  Part 6 had a big cliffhanger ending, didn't it?  I hope it kept everyone on the edge of their seats.  Part 7 should be available by now, in this month's issue of Cricket!

submitted by Emily Fiegenschuh, WI
(January 8, 2009 - 4:38 pm)

I LOVE your drawings!!!! I am very glad that I get this magazine and get to enjoy your drawings every month!! You did an excellent job in illustrating "The Star Shard" and I wanted to ask a question: How did you decide on the colorings of the world of Star Shard, besides what the author wrote in the story? Did you talk with the author, or did you just think of it yourself, thinking that it would look good, and that it would blend in?? Thanks a ton,

SmileLaughingSmile Rachel B, Devoted Cricket and Elf fan. 

submitted by Rachel B, age 11, USA, UT
(January 6, 2009 - 9:45 pm)

Dear Rachel B.(aka devoted Cricket and Elf fanSmile),

Thank you so much!  I'm so glad you're enjoying "The Star Shard," and I'm very happy to hear that you're a fan of my work!

Your question about color is a great one.  I always try to use an interesting color palette, and I'm happy to see that you've noticed.  We did not have any special discussions about color use, but when Mr. Durbin mentions color in "The Star Shard," especially the color of the clothing or hair of the characters, I always keep that in mind and do my best to remain faithful to it.  I made sure to pay special attention to the blue-green color of the Shard.  Throughout the story, I tried to focus on that color especially in scenes involving the Shard, magic, or a sense of mood and mystery.  In general when I'm working on an illustration, I choose a palette that will evoke the emotion I'm looking for in the viewer.  If it's a happy, outdoor scene, for example, I often use warm, sunny colors and natural lighting.  When there's a moment that is spooky or mysterious, I might use a cooler palette, with shades of blue, purple, or green, or employ dramatic lighting to illuminate the characters, like flickering torchlight, or a splash of cool white light from the moon.

I hope that answers your question.  Thanks for writing!


submitted by Emily Fiegenschuh, WI
(January 8, 2009 - 6:11 pm)

Emily, we've just posted winners of the Cricket League Web contest--poems based upon a 2008 Cricket cover. You can find the winners at The ones by Alysa C., Margaret A., and Amanda T. were all inspired by your September cover of Cymbril. We got a lot of great poems! I'm sure you'll enjoy all of them.

submitted by Old Cricket, age As old as , Cricket Country
(January 13, 2009 - 10:42 pm)

Dear Old Cricket,

Thank you for letting me know about the poetry contest.  I'm so honored that my artwork helped to inspire such great poems!  Alysa C., Margaret A., and Amanda T; thanks, and great job!  All of the poems posted in every category are wonderful.  There are some really talented writers here who are reading Cricket.  For any of you reading this who sent in poems, excellent job!  Congratulations to all of the contest winners!
Best wishes,

submitted by Emily Fiegenschuh, WI
(January 26, 2009 - 2:24 pm)

Dear Emily,

I love your artwork.  It is very beautiful.  How  long have you been drawing? I typed this myself.  I want to draw like you.

Love, Thalia

submitted by Thalia, age 6, MA
(January 16, 2009 - 9:40 pm)