For many years, Crystalee focused on poetry. It helped her get through her rocky teen years, and she honed her skills as an English major at Penn State Altoona. In 2006, Crystalee got accepted into the MFA program of her dreams at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA. At Chatham, Crystalee began to think maybe poetry was no longer for her.
“It felt like they were putting me into a box,” she says. “Everything was about ‘Is this going to sale?’ I was expected to write like everyone else, and I felt like I couldn’t please anyone.”
During her very first semester, Crystalee took a class called the Craft of Writing for Children and Adolescents. Writing for kids wasn’t an instant passion for her. In fact, it took a picture book writing class a year later to seal the deal. Crystalee picked up writing for children as one of her emphases, but also continued in the poetry program.
Crystalee is now a graduate of Chatham University and the author of her first picture book, Angeline Jellybean. She is a full time Literacy*AmeriCorps member who teaches computer skills to job-seeking adults. She is currently working on two YA novels and a handful of picture books.
Visit Crystalee online at:
And learn more about her book Angeline Jellybean on Saturday.