Presentations for youth
Finding the Essence: A Social Emotional Writing Workshop for Kids in Covid
Students use their own words in a clear, methodical, and tender way to describe their anxiety, grief, frustration, and even strange joy in these exceptionally complex times. Bilingual optional (Spanish), trauma-informed approach. Meets Social/Emotional, Common Core, and American School Counselors Association Standards.
Now Is Your Time: Being a Fierce Leader in a Crazy World
In these tumultuous times, Crystal challenges young adults to think critically about their world, engage compassionately with others who are different, and shares the struggles of growing up in the Midwest and claiming her mixed race identity. Through the themes of her newest book, ALL THAT I CAN FIX, she hits home the power of living with integrity and underscores the relevance of education as the cornerstone for young adults to claim their lives and mend the world according to their vision and leadership. (Audience: Grades 7-12+)
Letting Your Real Self *Shine*
It wasn’t easy growing up as a mixed-race kid in the middle of Wisconsin. Despite obstacles of race, culture, and family expectations, Crystal found the courage to write from her heart and follow her dreams. She talks about dealing with loss, finding inner strength, and infusing your art with life experiences. She also touches on the importance of research and ends with a jawdropping example that will inspire kids of all ages to use the power of their voice. (Audience: Grades 4-12)
Mesmerizing mountains, graveyards, and swamps: Writing setting
Setting is one of the most important – and overlooked – components to writing those stories that keep you at the edge of your seat. Crystal uses a fun, interactive, game-show style approach that teaches students how to writing setting based upon a character’s point of view. Your students will be itching to create their own characters and build their own worlds. Watch out! You never know what students will do when their creativity is unleashed. (Audience: Grades 4+)
Bird activity and writing workshop
Got kids? Are you a kid at heart? Crystal Chan, author of the internationally-published, middle grade book Bird, will be conducting a special interactive workshop for kids and adults. We’ll have the chance to talk about our life dreams, write poetry, and do some cool interactives based on events on the novel. Everyone will get the chance to design and take home a keepsake with personal meaning to them. (Audience: kids/teens/adults)
Presentations for adults
Finding the Essence: A Healing Writing Workshop for the Pandemic
Participants use their own words in a clear, methodical, and tender way to describe their anxiety, grief, frustration, and even strange joy in these exceptionally complex times. Bilingual optional (Spanish), trauma-informed approach.
When There’s No Box To Check: Falling in the Racial Cracks, Multiracial Students, and Diversity
Crystal highlights the mixed-race experience in her novel Bird, which features a multi-racial girl and transracial adoptee. She discusses racial confusion in schools, society, and globally (the cover of Bird was whitewashed in the Netherlands) and explores ways to bolster confidence in multi-racial children. (Audience: Teachers/ librarians/adults)
How To Break All the Rules and Still Get Published…in Ten Countries
Crystal shares the path to publication of her debut novel Bird, which includes getting fast tracked to an agent, selling her debut on the first fifty pages of Bird’s first draft, seeing the book sell in nine other countries, and somehow getting a movie star to read the audiobook. (Audience: Writers/adults)
Beyond being “unique”: a mixed-race author in a monoracial world
Crystal talks about growing up mixed race and how she poured her experiences of racial “uniqueness” into her novel…and had 9 other countries around the world resonate with her very story. She shares the confusion and joy in the book industry that still swirls around those who don’t fit into racial boxes. She explores the themes of hardship and loss, inner strength, and finding your voice. (Audience: Teens/adults)
Hey, they whitewashed my book! On race and diversity
What do you do when you create a mixed race character but an overseas publisher puts a white child on the cover? Crystal shares her experiences of race and diversity in the book industry in the U.S. as well as how different countries responded differently to the issue of race, as her novel, Bird, is published in nine other countries. She also explores how we can deepen the diversity conversation. (Audience: Teens/adults/writers)
The writer’s journey: wandering the path of bedazzlement
Crystal explores the role of bedazzlement – the unique combination of wonder and confusion – in her writing journey, and infuses her presentation with personal stories and industry examples. She talks about the role of wonder in the writing process and gives tips on how to surrender to the mystery of writing, where “letting go” is sometimes exactly the place you need to be. (Audience: Teens/adults/writers)
Presentations for writers
In writing her newest book, ALL THAT I CAN FIX, Crystal walked away from a contract and publisher, as well as left her agent in order to stay true to her artistic integrity. She also received scores of criticism within the industry – some even went so far as to say that “some parts of the book were physically painful to read”. In the seven years that it took her to write this book, the novel underwent roughly twenty edits. Crystal needed to carefully discern which voices to listen to and which to discard, and how to put aside her fears and discouragement. Crystal will share her journey in how she chose to be guided by her inner compass and give listeners the tools to do the same.
Writing the Other (and let’s not stop at race)
Crystal’s newest novel, ALL THAT I CAN FIX, features a 15-year-old mixed race male, an Indiana community that has a significant pro-gun rights faction, and a dad who suffers from depression. How did Crystal, who is staunchly anti-gun, cis-female, and who does not suffer from mental illness, write from these different perspectives so well that many readers feel that Crystal has truly slipped into these other people’s shoes? In her presentation, Crystal will share her different strategies in writing from perspectives that aren’t her own, strategies that will challenge the writer to Write What They Don’t Know – and the deep struggles and rewards of doing so.