The Jim Henson Company Partners With Penguin Young Readers Group To Launch "The Dark Crystal" Author Quest

  The Jim Henson Company Partners With Penguin Young Readers Group To Launch
                       "The Dark Crystal" Author Quest

~Winner To Receive $10,000 To Write The First Book Of A New Young Adult Novel
Series Based On Jim Henson's Classic Fantasy Film

PR Newswire

HOLLYWOOD, Calif., June 18, 2013

HOLLYWOOD, Calif., June 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Jim Henson Company and
Grosset & Dunlap, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, are reaching out
to fans and fantasy writers to enter The Dark Crystal Author Quest, an online
contest that will award one winner with a $10,000 contract to write the first
book in a new young adult series based on the world of the classic fantasy

Beginning today, entrants can visit to read
contest rules and guidelines and review all the background materials,
descriptions, and history needed to create a submission. Entries will be
accepted beginning October 1, 2013, and must be received no later than January
1, 2014. The site is a preview of the upcoming official Dark Crystal website,, that will be the online destination for all things Dark

"This is such an exciting time for The Dark Crystal! We know there are
talented fantasy writers out there who would love to add to the incredible
universe of The Dark Crystal and we welcome them to submit their best work for
a chance to become part of our team," said Cheryl Henson, daughter of Jim
Henson and founder of"With our new website at, our loyal fans of all ages can connect with each other
online to explore and deeply engage with the rich and endless world of The
Dark Crystal."

"We are excited to partner with The Jim Henson Company on this author quest.
It's a unique opportunity to connect with the multitude of talented fantasy
writers and Dark Crystal fans," said Francesco Sedita, President and Publisher
of Grosset & Dunlap. "I'm looking forward to reading all the submissions. The
Dark Crystal was such a big part of my childhood and I'm thrilled to able to
contribute to the evolution of this important and enduring world."

The world of The Dark Crystal began with the classic fantasy film, widely
regarded as groundbreaking for its technological achievements in animatronics
and puppetry. Released in 1982, the film, directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz
and based on the designs of artist Brian Froud, is set in the world of Thra
where the last two survivors of the Gelfling tribe embark on a dangerous
journey with evil and mysterious creatures at every turn. The new novel
series will be a prequel storyline, taking place before the time of the
classic fantasy film, during the Gelfling Gathering in the early Age of

Travel back in time to the fantasy world of Thra. Jen and Kira, surviving
members of the Gelfling tribe, set out to find the crystal's missing shard and
begin a dangerous journey that will bring them face to face with evil Skeksis
and mysterious creatures. Jim Henson's Creature Shop worked to build both
animatronics and soft puppets for this film, marking it as the first ever
all-puppet full length feature. Directors Jim Henson and Frank Oz created a
masterpiece of fantasy based on the designs of artist Brian Froud that has
earned its place in cinematic history as one of the must-see classics of its

Since its premiere in 1982, Jim Henson's visionary fantasy classic has been
celebrated at screenings, on DVD and online, and in collections of comics,
manga, figurines, sculptures, and plush. The new website
will aggregate all the narratives of The Dark Crystal universe and include
artwork and behind the scenes archives.

Penguin Young Readers Group is one of the leading children's book publishers
in the United States. The company owns a wide range of imprints and trademarks
including Dial Books, Dutton, Grosset & Dunlap, Philomel, Puffin, Speak,
Firebird, G. P. Putnam's Sons, Viking, Razorbill, and Frederick Warne. These
imprints are home to such award-winning, New York Times- bestselling authors
as, Laurie Halse Anderson, Jay Asher, Judy Blume, Jan Brett, Eric Carle, Roald
Dahl, Tomie dePaola, Sarah Dessen, Anna Dewdney, John Green, Anthony Horowitz,
John Flanagan, Mike Lupica, Richelle Mead, Richard Peck, Patricia Polacco, and
dozens of other popular authors. Penguin Young Readers Group is also the proud
publisher of perennial brand franchises such as The Little Engine That Could,
the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series, Peter Rabbit, Spot, the Classic Winnie
the Pooh, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Strega Nona, Madeline, Mad Libs, Alex
Rider, the Rangers Apprentice, Skippyjon Jones, Flower Fairies, and Pippi
Longstocking, among many others. Penguin Young Readers Group is a division of
Penguin Group (USA),the U.S. member of theinternationally renowned Penguin
Group, one of the largest English-language trade book publishers in the world.
The Penguin Group is owned by Pearson plc, the international media group.

The Jim Henson Company has remained an established leader in family
entertainment for over 50 years and is recognized worldwide as an innovator in
puppetry, animatronics and digital animation. Best known as creators of the
world famous Muppets, Henson has received over 50 Emmy Awards and nine Grammy
Awards. Recent credits include the Emmy® nominated "Sid the Science Kid,"
"Dinosaur Train" as well as "Wilson & Ditch: Digging America" and
"Pajanimals." Features include "The Dark Crystal," "Labyrinth," "MirrorMask,"
and "Unstable Fables" and television productions include "Fraggle Rock" and
the sci-fi cult series "Farscape."

With additional locations in New York and London, The Jim Henson Company is
headquartered in Los Angeles on the historic Charlie Chaplin lot, complete
with soundstage and postproduction facilities. Independently owned and
operated by the five adult children of founder Jim Henson, the Company is also
home to Jim Henson's Creature Shop™, a pre-eminent character-building and
visual effects group with international film, television and advertising
clients, as well as Henson Recording Studios, one of the music industry's top
recording facilities known for its world-class blend of state-of-the-art and
vintage equipment.

The Company's Henson Alternative brand has recently launched the national tour
of "Stuffed and Unstrung," a live puppet improvisational show named one of the
top 10 "Best Stage Shows of 2010" by Entertainment Weekly.

SOURCE The Jim Henson Company

Contact: Ann Schwarz, The Jim Henson Company,, or Shanta
Newlin, Penguin Young Readers Group,
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.