Cynsational News & Giveaways

Enter to win one of TWENTY copies of The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams (St. Martin’s Press, 2009)! Read a Cynsations interview with Carol.

From the promotional copy:

Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated community without questioning the fact that her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters, with two more on the way. That is, without questioning them much—if you don’t count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with Joshua, the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her.

But when the Prophet decrees that she must marry her sixty-year-old uncle—who already has six wives—Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family forever.

To enter, email me (scroll and click envelope) with your name and snail/street mail address and type “The Chosen One” in the subject line. Deadline: May 25!

More News & Giveaways

Congratulations to Nancy Thalia Reynolds on the release of Mixed Heritage in Young Adult Literature (Scarecrow, 2009)! From the promotional copy: “Mixed-heritage people are one of the fastest-growing groups in the United States, yet culturally they have been largely invisible, especially in young adult literature. Mixed Heritage in Young Adult Literature is a critical exploration of how mixed-heritage characters (those of mixed race, ethnicity, religion, and/or adoption) and real-life people have been portrayed in young adult fiction and nonfiction.”

Sara Jane Boyers has been working for the past nine years, photographing Chinatowns of the U.S. and Canada. Sarah’s books include Teen Power Politics: Make Yourself Heard (Sagebush, 2000). Read a Cynsations interview with Sarah.

What I did to keep myself on the level as I queried agents by Amanda Coppedge from Wrapped Up In Books. Peek: “…reminded myself that a bad agent is worse than no agent, and that I didn’t just want any agent–I wanted an agent who really loved my book and who was interested in my career as a whole. You don’t find somebody like that overnight.”

Interview with Flux Editor Brian Farrey from Karen Kincy at Crowe’s Nest. Peek: “You can learn from writers whose material you don’t care for just as much as you can from writers whose material you adore. Know what’s out there. It’s very, very easy for me to spot a submission written by someone who hasn’t read a contemporary YA novel. Ever.” Note: attribution correction.

Author Susane Colasanti talks about Waiting for You (Viking, 2009)(excerpt).

First Annual Stanford Publishing Courses Writers Workshop sponsored by the Stanford Publishing Courses Writers Workshop will be held July 31 and Aug. 1 at Stanford University in Palo Alto. Note: the workshop will “explore both craft and new media tools for marketing fiction and nonfiction for children and young adults, books for adults, magazine journalism, writing for the Web, and creating blog and Web videos.” Note: editor Deborah Brodie will be teaching “Books for Children and Young Adults.”

Interview with S.E. Hinton from Nathan Bransford – Literary Agent. Peek: “I had to look out for myself and other people at an early age, so it was a great relief that I had Marilyn [Marlow] to deal with the business side of things, who was a tough lady (and I emphasize ‘lady’ because she always conducted herself as such) and a very thorough agent. Nothing got by her.”

Meet Three Amazing Editors from the Class of 2k9. Interviews with Anica Rissi of Simon Pulse, Madeline Smoot of CBAY Books, and Miriam Hees of Blooming Tree Press. Peek from Anica: “I am a sucker for quirky or dark humor, smart writing, compelling storytelling, and characters that I can’t get out of my head.” See also a 2k9 interview with Molly O’Neal of HarperCollins. Peek: “I really respond to books with a strong sense of place, where setting is woven into every part of the book–books where I feel like I’m stepping not just into a story, but a whole world, where the setting is far more than the just a static backdrop, but is as active a part of the story as the characters and plot.”

Congratulations to Shutta Crum on the release of Thunder-Boomer, illustrated by Carol Thompson (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009)! From the promotional copy: “It’s a hot day on the farm, and a little girl, her brother, and their mother are trying to cool off by the pond. Suddenly, dark clouds roll in. A thunder-boomer is on the way! The storm brings pounding rain and hail—and an unexpected visitor: a soggy wet stray kitten. Colorful descriptions of the storm are accompanied by lots of playful sound effects, making this free-verse poem perfect for reading aloud. Charming watercolor illustrations capture all the drama, humor, and tenderness of the text.”

Hoops v. Hints from Nathan Bransford – Literary Agent. Peek: “I use the extreme example to illustrate a single point: these query rules we blogging agents blog about? They’re not about making you jump through hoops or because we hate pink paper or because we’re meanies. We’re just trying to help you improve your odds.”

A Writer at Home: Gail Carson Levine from Kimberly Willis Holt at A Pen and A Nest. Peek: “I write everywhere: hotels, airports, trains. But I have my reference material at home: my English usage books, costume books, art books that I refer to when I want to describe a character physically, my own books that I sometimes need to go back to. I’m frustrated when these things aren’t there and I need them.” Note: also in honor of Children’s Book Week, Kimberly asks authors to highlight their favorite out-of-print titles; see more here and here.

Writers Academy 2009 (PDF) at West Texas A&M University. The first WT Writers’ Academy (WTWA) will be held June 8 to June 12. Four classes will be offered including “Writing and Publishing Books for Young Readers,” which will be taught by author Dian Curtis Regan. Peek: “Regan will foster writers who want to learn to write for a generation raised in CyberSpace through instruction in voice, character and plot development. She will also emphasize marketing tools and how to connect with agents and editors.”

Leaving Glorytown: One Boy’s Struggle Under Castro by Eduardo Calcines (FSG, 2009): a recommendation by Greg Leitich Smith from GregLSBlog. Peek: “Calcines’s humor and love for family and friends shine through, even in the toughest of times.”

Selected Poems written and read by Joseph Bruchac from Joe’s official site. Peek: “For over thirty years Joseph Bruchac has been creating poetry, short stories, novels, anthologies and music that reflect his Abenaki Indian heritage and Native American traditions.” Note: go listen!

An Index Guide to Bubble Stampede!: Two Authors, Two Books, and a 9-month Conversation about…aack!…PROMOTION from Fiona Bayrock and Laura Purdie Salas. A listing of links to posts on everything from Audience to Word of Mouth.

Cynsational Note: attention authors: online book retailers that list everything, well, list everything. Keep in mind that brick-and-mortar stores may consider your on-site numbers in deciding whether to stock your future titles. You may want to direct your readers to them.

Congratulations to Lili St. Crow on the release of Strange Angels (Razorbill, 2009)! See excerpt. Source: The Compulsive Reader.

How Would I Know What I Like Until I’ve Read It? by Nathan Bransford – Literary Agent. Peek: “…let’s say I could spell out precisely what I wanted, right down to the shade of your protagonist’s eyes. Is this really a world you’d want to write in?”

Kim Norman’s Crocodaddy!: an author interview from Elizabeth O. Dulemba. Peek: “Is anyone ever an established writer? I know so many writers, some with many volumes to their name, who still struggle with uncertainties. But it does feel a bit more settled, this time. Less fleeting, like, ‘Hey, I can do this!'”

Take a peek at this trailer for Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin (Little, Brown, June 2009).

Bridget Zinn Auction Update

Bridget Zinn Auction is taking place between now and 12 a.m. PST May 31. Bid to win critiques from award-winning and “big name” authors, signed books, promotional services, and much more. Recent additions to auction items include: a personalized book launch consult with Mitali Perkins, a lifetime subscription to Children’s Book Insider Clubhouse, Web design by Kristina Romero, a children’s poetry mauscript critique by Kami Kinard, an end-paper illustration by Carolyn Digby Conohan, books and painting by Grace Lin, an author-and-editor team critique by Dori Chaconas and Andrea Tompa of Candlewick Press, a custom teacher guide for your book, a manuscript critique by Roaring Brook editor Nancy Mercado, and much more!

Author Janet S. Fox has donated a Texas Author Basket featuring The Underneath by Kathi Appelt, Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith, and her own book, Get Organized Without Losing It!

More Personally

Book Review: Eternal from Janet S. Fox at Through the Wardrobe. Janet gives Eternal 5 out of 5 stars! Peek: “…Smith’s blend of fantasy, current cultural references, literary and Biblical analogies, and a ripping (pardon the pun) good story make this novel a winner.”


Enter to win a paperback copy of Sacajawea by Joseph Bruchac (Harcourt, 2008)! To enter, email me (scroll and click envelope) with your name and snail/street mail address and type “Sacajawea” in the subject line. Deadline: May 30! Read a Cynsational interview with Joe.

Enter to win an ARC of Pure by Terra Elan McVoy (Simon Pulse, 2009)! To enter, email me (scroll and click envelope) with your name and snail/street mail address and type “Pure” in the subject line. Deadline: May 30.

The Vermont College of Fine Arts Postgraduate Writers’ Conference Fourteenth Annual Event will be held from Aug. 11 to Aug. 17. The award-winning YA faculty for summer 2009 are Newbery Honor author and National Book Award finalist Kathi Appelt and Printz Winner and National Book Award Finalist An Na.