Cynsational Events Round-Up

Children’s-YA author Bethany Hegedus spoke on scene and structure to Austin SCBWI members on Feb. 13 at BookPeople. She highlighted Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick, 2000) as a model for study. Note: Bethany also works for the Writers’ League of Texas and is a graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Donna Bowman Bratton and former regional advisor Tim Crow.

Jo Whittemore. Jo looks forward to the release of Front Page Face-Off (Aladdin, March 2010).

Here’s a shot of the huge crowd, which doesn’t begin to show everyone in the audience.

April Lurie. April is celebrating the release of The Less-Dead (Delacorte, 2010), which is about a boy who’s hunting down a serial killer in Austin. Don’t miss this week’s Cynsations interview with April.

Debbie Gonzales, Bethany Hegedus, Brian Anderson, Jo Whittemore, Erin Edwards, Tim Crow, and Greg Leitich Smith at Opal Divine’s Freehouse.

Don Tate and Mark G. Mitchell at “More Than Words: Making Connections With Authors and Classroom Readers and Writers,” sponsored by the Texas Association for the Improvement of Reading and the Central Texas Writing Project on Feb. 15 at Round Rock (Texas) Higher Education Center. Note: I spoke on the young adult literature panel.

Four of the fabulous DDDs–Margo Rabb, Jennifer Ziegler, April Lurie, and Varian Johnson.

Last weekend, I had the honor of keynoting at the Houston SCBWI annual conference. The Friday night reception was held at co-chair Varsha Bajaj‘s home in Katy, Texas. Pictured above are fellow co-chair Carmen Bredeson and former regional advisor Mary Wade.

Tim with conference co-chair and hostess Varsha Bajaj.

In true Texas style, a barbecue dinner was served.

Lisa Ann Sandell, senior editor at Scholastic; Sara Crowe, agent at Harvey Klinger; and author Jenny Moss.

Here’s a peek at one of the rooms at the party, which filled the first floor of the lovely Bajaj home.

Children’s author Dotti Enderle.

Brazos Valley SCBWI regional advisor Liz Mertz (striped shirt) with Oklahoma author Anna Myers and College Station author Kathi Whitehead.

At the conference the next day, author Shirley Smith Duke shows off No Bows! illustrated by Jenny Mattheson (Peachtree, 2006). Read a Cynsations interview with Shirley.

Alexandra Cooper, senior editor at Simon & Schuster; Sara, and Ruta Rimas, assistant editor at Balzar & Bray/HarperCollins.

Varsha accepts the Houston SCBWI Mary Wade Volunteer of the Year Award.

Afterward, attendees enjoyed their choice of chicken or beef fajitas at a local restaurant.

Mark, Varian, and Sara.

Cynsational Notes

Thank you to Blue Willow Bookshop for its support at the Houston SCBWI book sale!

Houston chapter members include Gail Greenberg, author of No Pig’s Brain Soup, Please! illustrated by Lauren Forgie (KAM Publishing, 2009). “…a humorous story about a…girl who thinks she must choose between the Jewish culture of her adopted family and her Chinese heritage.”

Back matter includes a recipe for Pig Brain Soup in Casserole. See excerpt and teaching activities (both PDFs).

Look for the book at Blue Willow Bookshop, Brazos Bookstore, River Oaks Bookstore, and Read it Again and Again in Houston. It is also available at

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