Cynsational News & Giveaways

Congratulations to author Audrey Vernick and illustrator Don Tate on the release of She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story (Balzer & Bray, 2010)(interior illustrations). From the promotional copy:

Effa Manley always loved baseball. As a young woman, she would go to Yankee Stadium just to see Babe Ruth’s mighty swing. But she never dreamed she would someday own a baseball team. Or be the first — and only — woman ever inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

From her childhood in Philadelphia to her groundbreaking role as business manager and owner of the Newark Eagles, Effa Manley always fought for what was right. And she always swung for the fences.

From author Audrey Vernick and illustrator Don Tate comes the remarkable story of an all-star of a woman.

More News & Giveaways

What’s an Imprint? by Stacy Whitman from Stacy Whitman’s Grimoire. Peek: “First off, let’s distinguish between a smaller company and an imprint. Big and small publishers will both have imprints. You may have an advantage getting published with a smaller press because they’ll often be able to give more personalized attention from the editorial stage on through production and promotion—though that can depend, too.” Read a Cynsations interview with Stacy.

An Interview with Diane Muldrow, Children’s Book Author and Editorial Director of Golden Books by Kimberly Gee from Where the Sidewalk Begins. Peek: “…so many aspiring writers don’t think visually enough as they plan and plot and write their picture book manuscripts.”

Children’s Writer-in-Residence: Thurber House invites authors to apply for the 2011 residency in children’s literature. Peek: “The Thurber House Residency in Children’s Literature offers talented, emerging writers a month-long retreat in a lovely, quiet living and working environment in James Thurber’s home in Columbus, Ohio. Besides having time to focus on his/her own writing project, the resident will teach writing-based activities to middle-grade children in a variety of community settings, including the Thurber Summer Writing Camp.”

Congratulations to P.J. Hoover on the release of The Forgotten Worlds Book 3: The Necropolis (CBAY/Blooming Tree, 2010)! From the promotional copy: “The situation in Lemuria is rapidly deteriorating. In fact teleportation between the hidden continent and the outside world has become so dangerous, all agents and their families have been recalled. Although Benjamin is pleased to be living in Lemuria full time, he knows he needs to find his last sibling soon. However, between classes, a murderous half-brother, and complications with his friend Heidi, Benjamin can barely focus. Besides, there’s only one place left they haven’t searched – the hidden continent of Atlantis.” See a guest blog by P.J. and Jessica Lee Anderson on Sophomore Novels.

Walking the Edge by Sarah Bromley from The Slanted Mirror. Peek: “In my opinion, edgy is more ground-breaking than gritty. Gritty is more often a dark tone and a pervasive seediness, a moral ambiguity, that flows throughout the story. But edgy is the subject matter at the heart of the book.”

10 Rules for Writing About Cops by Joe McKinney from Stet! Peek: “If I could give you one metaphor for police work, it would be this. Imagine standing in the middle of a huge river and being told you have to drink every drop of water that comes by. Every drop that does get by is a case that goes unsolved.” Source: April Henry.

The Shrinking Violet Online Personal Workshop Week One, Week Two: The Many Layers of You, Week Three: Connecting the Dots from R.L. La Fevers. Peek: “…helping you create an internet presence that you are comfortable with, that makes you accessible, and doesn’t feel like shilling. The workshop isn’t only about creating a new presence, but can also be used to refine, tweak, or revamp an existing one.”

Oh Boy, Books: Helping Parents Find Perfect Books and Encourage Their Kids Love of Reading: a new blog in the kidlitosphere.

Inspiration vs. Writing Every Day by Tabitha Olson from Writer Musings. Peek: “I write on the days that I can, and don’t write on the days I can’t. For this reason alone, I don’t have the luxury of waiting around for inspiration to strike because I can’t sit down to write anytime I want.”

Trends in Children’s Publishing: A Panel: a report by Mary Kole from Peek: “Rosemary [Stimola] made sure to point out — and some writers disagree with this, but I completely enforce this idea — that publishers aren’t printers. They’re purveyors of content. And no matter the platform, whether ebook or printed book or app, people will always need stories, art, and content.” Read a Cynsations interview with Mary.

A Graphic Take on Homer: Gareth Hinds’ The Odyssey by Kate Culkin from Publishers Weekly. Peek: “With The Odyssey, published on October 12 by Candlewick, Gareth Hinds continues his project of reinterpreting classic texts in the graphic novel format. With this 256-page work, in watercolor and pastel, he hopes to find a wide audience in schools and libraries, while still appealing to adults.”

The Temptation of Thinking Someone Has Made It by Nathan Bransford – Literary Agent. Peek: “We keep striving no matter how high we’ve climbed, even those who have climbed the highest. Pressure can cut into satisfaction, and the spotlight can be uncomfortable.” Read a Cynsations interview with Nathan.

Writers Digest “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest: Young Adult Division from Chuck Sambuchino from Guide to Literary Agents. Judge: Tamar Rydzinski of Laura Dail Literary Agency in NYC. Note: “…online contest with agent judges and super-cool prizes.”

Writers Links: Promotion: resources for connecting a book to young readers from Cynthia Leitich Smith Children’s-YA Literature Resources.

Cynsational Screening Room

Happy Teen Read Week, Oct. 17 to Oct 23, celebrating Books with Beat! Teens are invited to vote for the 2011 Teen Read Week theme. Check out the 2010 Teens Top Ten. Share how you celebrated at the Teen Read Week wiki. Watch this video of Nikki Grimes talking about reading, writing, and how libraries began a refuge and inspiration to her as a teen!

Hope for Haiti: “Read a book [for free online] today and help share a book with a young child whose family is still recovering from the earthquake in Haiti.” Or you can purchase a copy of Hope for Haiti by Jesse Joshua Watson (Putnam, 2010); “a donation from each book is made to the Save the Children’s Haiti Emergency Relief Fund.” Source: Kirby Larson.

Check out the book trailer for The Lost Children by Carolyn Cohagan (Simon & Schuster, 2010).

Check out the book trailer for The Mermaid’s Mirror by L.K. Madigan (Houghton Mifflin, 2010):

Check out the book trailer for Tell Us We’re Home by Marina Buhos (Atheneum, 2010).

Native Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month is coming in November! My related books include Jingle Dancer (ages 4-up), Indian Shoes (ages 9-up), and Rain Is Not My Indian Name (all HarperCollins).

Check them out, and then continue to celebrate Native youth literature throughout the year.

Jingle Dancer: a recommendation by Steven R. McEvoy from Book Reviews and More. Peek: “This book is a wonderful story of culture, tradition, love and family.”

Don’t miss the teacher guide for Jingle Dancer, free readers theater, reading group guide, and new word-search puzzle for Indian Shoes as well as the chapter activities, reading group guide, and new word-search puzzle (PDF) for Rain.

See also Native American Themes in Children’s-YA Books and Teacher & Librarian Resources for Children’s & YA Books with Native American Themes.

More Personally

In 2010, I’m celebrating my tenth anniversary as an author for young readers! If you would like to ask me a question about my past decade in youth literature, please feel free to write me at my website or comment/message me on any of my blogs/networks. Note: Blogger readers may comment at Cynsations at LiveJournal. I’ll choose several to answer next month.

Publishers Weekly calls my prose in Holler Loudly (Dutton, 2010), “as raucous as its protagonist” and cheers, “This effervescent collaboration…has sass aplenty.”

Santa Knows: a recommendation by Steven R. McEvoy from Book Reviews and More. Peek; “The story by Greg and Cynthia is very funny and the illustrations by Steve Bjorkman bright, vibrant and very engaging.” Note: Santa Knows is available from

Thank you to Jama Rattigan for the bookstore shelf shot of Tantalize (Candlewick, 2008) and Eternal (Candlewick, 2010) paperback on in her recent post Hawai’i Book Sightings.

Look for Blessed (PDF) on pages 24 and 25 of the Candlewick Press spring-summer 2011 catalog.

Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith Review and ARC Giveaway by Insert Book Title Here. Peek: “The world of Tantalize and Eternal combine in Blessed (PDF) to create an amazing story that is captivating. I loved both of the previous novels, but Blessed has blown them both out of the water. This is Cynthia at her best.” Note: U.S. and Canadian citizens are eligible to win. Deadline: midnight Oct. 31. Enter here.

Cynsational Giveaway Reminders

Enter to win a copy of The Wish Stealers by Tracy Trivas (Aladdin, 2010)! To enter, email me (scroll and click envelope) with your name and type “The Wish Stealers” in the subject line LiveJournal, Facebook, JacketFlap, MySpace, and Twitter readers are also welcome to just privately message or comment me with the name in the header/post. I’ll write you for contact information, if you win. Deadline: Oct. 31. Sponsored by Simon & Schuster; U.S. entries only. Read a Cynsations interview with Tracy. Note: the email link was broken on previous announcements of this giveaway. It should work now. Please try again. My apologies for the inconvenience.

Cynsational Events

“Beyond Feathers and Fangs: Crossing Borders in Realistic and Fantasy Fiction, with Cynthia Leitich Smith” at The 33rd Annual Mary Calletto Rife Youth Literature Seminar – Kalamazoo Public Library. The seminar costs $40 (lower student rates are available) and is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m Nov. 5. Note: Maria Perez-Stable and Beth Amidon will also present a book talk, and additional speakers are Gillian Engberg, Booklist editor, and Debbie Reese, UIUC professor. See more on the speakers. Note: I’ll also be speaking on Nov. 4 in a public event at the Kalamazoo Public Library!