Presentations for adults
A Teachers-Only Retreat for Tumultuous Times
This writing retreat grounds teachers in their strength, growth, and purpose so they’re revived and ready to go for the school year. Studies have proven that putting words to one’s experiences can bring significant and lasting physical and mental health benefits, and that naming one’s experience can help process grief, bring self-soothing, and reclaiming one’s joy. Trauma-informed approach. Registration is now OPEN. Register HERE.
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.