Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Exquisite Corpse

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, animals both domesticated and wild, "When the lambs is lost in the mountain, he said. They is cry. Sometime come the mother. Sometime the wolf."
--Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

I'm back from the National Book Festival. Though it rained part of the day, somewhere in the vicinity of 130,000 people attended the event. The lines for the authors this year were extra long, so I didn't meet as many authors as I would have liked to, but it was still a great time.
While speaking to some of the staff at the Library of Congress (the sponsors of the festival), I learned about an interesting children's story called The Exquisite Corpse Adventure that premiered at the festival. Here's the info:

"Ever heard of an Exquisite Corpse? It's not what you might think. An Exquisite Corpse is an old game in which people write a phrase on a sheet of paper, fold it over to conceal part of it and pass it on to the next player to do the same. The game ends when someone finishes the story, which is then read aloud.
Our 'Exquisite Corpse Adventure' works this way: Jon Scieszka, the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, has written the first episode, which is 'pieced together out of so many parts that it is not possible to describe them all here, so go ahead and just start reading!' He has passed it on to a cast of celebrated writers and illustrators, who must eventually bring the story to an end.
Every two weeks, there will be a new episode and a new illustration. The story will conclude a year from now. To get bi-weekly updates with new Exquisite Corpse Adventure chapters, click on the subscribe link at the top of the page. "This story starts with a train rushing through the night.... 'No one knows where or how it will end!'"

The cast of celebrity writers and artists include Gregory McGuire, M.T. Anderson, Natalie Babbitt, Calef Brown, Susan Cooper, Kate DiCamillo, Nikki Grimes, Shannon Hale, Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), Steven Kellogg, Megan McDonald, Patricia and Fredrick McKissack, Linda Sue Park, Katherine Paterson, James Ransome and Chris Van Dusen.

Later Fiends,


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