Cynsational News & Giveaways

The Eyeball Collector by F.E. Higgins (Feiwel & Friends 2009): a recommendation by Greg Leitich Smith from GregLSBlog.

Seven Characteristics You Need to Get Published by Carolyn Kaufman from Peek: “The first thing every real writer needs is a willingness to learn and grow. All agents or editors—no matter how busy—are interested in quality work.”

2009 Cybils Widget is now available from JacketFlap. Show your support by adding it to your blog!

Balancing Acts by Kelly Bingham from Through the Tollbooth. Peek: “How do you take all those reams of writing advice, all the lessons you have gleaned from novels and books on craft, and make them balance out? Because haven’t you heard pieces of advice that contrast with one another? Who is right? Who is wrong?”

Top 10 Myths About E-Books from Nathan Bransford – Literary Agent. Peek: “…because e-books are (usually) much cheaper than print books, it doesn’t take long before an e-reader pays for itself – since most hardcovers that sell for $25 or more are available for $9.99, all it takes is roughly 20 e-books for an e-reader to pay for itself.”

Unlocking Your Potential by Kristi Holl from Writer’s First Aid. Peek: “Some of my most brilliant students gave up after a rejection or two and never were published. But I have books on my shelf from medium-talented students who refused to give up on their dreams–books published by large New York publishers.”

Congratulations to Nicola I. Campbell, whose picture book Shin-chi’s Canoe (Groundwood), “about a little boy leaving home for a residential school, has won the $25,000 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award.” Note: the illustrator of the book is Kim LaFave. Sources: CBC News; Debbie Reese from American Indians in Children’s Literature.

Attention Central Texans: children’s author Dianna Hutts Aston will be reading and signing in the Buda (TX) Public Library in conjunction with Budafest at 1 p.m. Dec. 5.

The Importance of White Space
by R.L. LaFevers from Shrinking Violet Promotions. Peek: “White space could be wielded as effectively as the most brilliant prose, and to equally devastating effect. What you leave out is as important as what you leave in.”

Altitude and Attitude
by Susan Uhlig from Kidlit Central. Peek: “As an adult we think it is funny or cute when kids do certain things. Unless they are trying to be funny, often what they are doing is very serious business.”

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers’s “List of Attributes that Make a Good Children’s Book” from Michael Stearns at Upstart Crow Literary. Source: Cynthia Lord.

Winners of Royal Mail Awards for Scottish Children’s Books: compiled by Michael Thorn at ACHOCKABLOG. Peek: “John Fardell, Lari Don and Keith Gray have been named as this year’s winners for the 2009 Royal Mail Awards, Scotland’s largest children’s Book Prize which is voted for exclusively by Scottish children themselves.”

National Book Award Dinner Photo Montage by Lorie Ann Grover at readergirlz.

Writers’ Conferences: Approaching Other Writers by Ami from Write Out Loud. Peek: “Once you’ve made a connection, the easiest way to start a conversation is to introduce yourself and ask what type of writing the person does.”

Writing While White by Justine Larbalestier. Peek: “What we all have to remember when we write about people—any people—is that the risks of reinforcing stereotypes and thus hurting people is very high. So the onus is on us to do the very best job we can. We also have to remember that even when we do a wonderful job, even if we are a member of the group we’re representing, there are still people who will be offended.”

Wasted by Brian Yansky from Brian’s Blog: Writer Talk. Peek: “Here I’m referring to the idea that every manuscript does not become a published book even from writers who have published books and even from famous writers who have published books.”

Choose Cybils Books for the Holidays from Jen Robinson’s Book Page. Peek: “I’ve always felt that one of the biggest benefits that comes out of the Cybils process is these categorized lists of nominees and finalists. I hope that if any of you are planning to buy children’s or young adult books for the holidays, you’ll take advantage of this resource.”

Cynsational Screening Room

In the video below, “Author Mary Amato demonstrates how she wrote Invisible Lines (Egmont, 2009), her new novel for ages 10 and up.”

Take a sneak peek at the film, “Beastly,” based on the novel of the same title by Alex Flinn (HarperCollins). Read a Cynsations interview with Alex.

Beastly Teaser Trailer

Trailer Park | MySpace Video

The video below celebrates the New Zealand Book Council: Where Books Come to Life. Note: this is much cooler than I’m making it sound–definitely do click to view. Source: Janet Reid, Literary Agent.

Remember Shayne Leighton, the amazing young filmmaker who created my book trailers for Rain Is Not My Indian Name (HarperCollins, 2001), Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007), and Eternal (Candlewick, 2009)?

Here’s a peek at her latest project, “The Incubus.” See also a Cynsations interview with Shayne.

More Personally

Happy (American) Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it!

Special cheers to readergirlz, Through the Tollbooth, and of course American Indians in Children’s Literature for their thoughtful and respectful posts on Native children’s-YA literature and related educational considerations!

Thanks to MissAttitude at Reading in Color for featuring the Native American Youth Lit widget from JacketFlap on her blog!

Cynsational Giveaways

Enter to win one of two author-signed copies of Soap Soap Soap Jabón Jabón Jabón by Elizabeth O. Dulemba (Raven Tree, 2009), one of three author-signed copies of My Father’s House by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by Raul Colón (Viking, 2007), an author-bookplate-signed copy of Operation Redwood by S. Terrell French (Amulet, 2009) and a contributor-signed copy of Immortal: Love Stories with Bite, edited by P.C. Cast (BenBella, Oct. 2009)!

To enter, email me (scroll and click envelope) with your name and snail/street mail address and type “Soap Soap Soap Jabón Jabón Jabón” and/or “My Father’s House” and/or “Operation Redwood” and/or “Immortal” in the subject line (Facebook, JacketFlap, MySpace, and Twitter readers are welcome to just privately message me with the name in the header; I’ll contact you if you win). Deadline: midnight CST Nov. 30.

Read a Cynsations interview with S. Terrell French. See also a PDF excerpt of Immortal which highlights my short story, “Haunted Love.” The story is set in the same universe as Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007, 2008) and Eternal (Candlewick, 2009) and features new characters.

Cynsational Events

Destination Publication: An Awesome Austin Conference for Writers and Illustrators is scheduled for Jan. 30 and sponsored by Austin SCBWI. Keynote speakers are Newbery Honor author Kirby Larson and Caldecott Honor author-illustrator Marla Frazee, who will also offer an illustrator breakout and portfolio reviews. Presentations and critiques will be offered by editor Cheryl Klein of Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, author-editor Lisa Graff of FSG, agent Andrea Cascardi of Transatlantic Literary, agent Mark McVeigh of The McVeigh Agency, and agent Nathan Bransford of Curtis Brown, Ltd. Advanced critique break-out sessions will be led by editor Stacy Cantor of Bloomsbury. In addition, Cheryl and author Sara Lewis Holmes will speak on the editor-and-author relationship, and Marla and author Liz Garton Scanlon will speak on the illustrator-and-author relationship. Note: Sara and Liz also will be offering manuscript critiques. Illustrator Patrice Barton will offer portfolio reviews. Additional authors on the speaker-and-critique faculty include Jessica Lee Anderson, Chris Barton, Shana Burg, P.J. Hoover, Jacqueline Kelly, Philip Yates, Jennifer Ziegler. See registration form, information packet, and conference schedule (all PDF files)!

2010 Houston-SCBWI Conference is scheduled for Feb. 20, 2010, at the Merrell Center in Katy. Registration is now open. The faculty includes author Cynthia Leitich Smith, assistant editor Ruta Rimas of Balzer & Bray/HarperCollins, creative director Patrick Collins of Henry Holt, senior editor Alexandra Cooper of Simon & Schuster, senior editor Lisa Ann Sandell of Scholastic, and agent Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger, Inc.