Cynsational News & Giveaways

Young Adult Novel Discovery Contest 2010 from Gotham Writers’ Workshop.

No query? No pitch? No problem!

Submit the first 250 words of your novel, and you can win both exposure to editors and a reading of your manuscript from literary agent Regina Brooks.

Regina is the founder of Serendipity Literary Agency and the author of Writing Great Books for Young Adults. Brooks has been instrumental at establishing and building the careers of many YA writers, including three-time National Book Award Honoree and Michael Printz Honoree Marilyn Nelson, as well as Sundee T. Frazier—a Coretta Scott King Award winner, an Oprah Book Pick and an Al Roker book club selection.

The first 100 submissions will receive free autographed copies of Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks.

So will the top 20 submissions. The top 20 submissions also will be read by a panel of five judges comprised of top YA editors at Macmillan (Nancy Mercado, executive editor at Roaring Brook Press), Scholastic (Cheryl Klein, senior editor at Arthur Levine Books), Candlewick (Nicole Raymond, editor at Candlewick), Harlequin (Evette Porter, editor at Harlequin), Sourcebooks (Leah Hultenschmidt, executive editor at Sourcebooks) and Penguin (Leila Sales, editor at Viking). Of the 20, they will pick the top five submissions and provide each author with commentary.

These five winners will also receive a free one year subscription to The Writer magazine.

One Grand Prize Winner will win a full manuscript reading and editorial consultation from Regina Brooks and a free 10-week writing course courtesy of the Gotham Writer’s Workshop.

Please submit all entries via the contest website. One entry per person; anyone age 13+ can apply. Open to the U.S. & Canada (void where prohibited). See details.

More News & Giveaways

Track Changes Coming Back to Bite You? by Kristin from Pub Rants. Peek: “Lately we’ve received a slew of sample page submissions that have all the writer’s revisions clearly outlined in track changes.” Note: see related insights from QueryTracker.

JacketFlap: “a comprehensive resource for information on the children’s book industry. Thousands of published authors, illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, and publishers visit JacketFlap every day.” Note: to reach a wider audience, register your children’s-YA literature/writing-related blog at JacketFlap.

Not Writing, or Why Your Brain Is An Ice-Cream Maker by Veronica Roth. Peek: “…if the information I know and the thought patterns I’ve developed remain constant, I will never come up with anything new, different, interesting, intriguing, or enlightening.”

Happy 90th Anniversary, Scholastic! from On Our Minds @Scholastic. Peek: “Ninety years ago, Robbie Robinson created the first issue of a magazine called The Western Pennsylvania Scholastic. Fast forward to today – Scholastic is now the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books. Time flies when you’re reading!”

Finding the Right Agent by Verla Kay. Peek: “Before you can find the right match for you, it’s important that you know what you want from your agent. Here’s a checklist to help you determine what you would like to get from your agent. Answering these questions will help you to define your wants and needs from an agent.”

Barnes & Noble Divides Out Teen Fiction Genres by Judith Rosen from Publishers Weekly. Peek: “In a sign of just how popular teen fiction has become, Barnes & Noble is in the midst of rearranging its teen fiction section chain-wide this week in an effort to improve the shopping experience and boost sales.”

Beginnings by Brian Yansky from Brian’s Blog: Writer Talk. Peek: “Beware the false beginning. It’s easy to start in the wrong place. A lot of times we authors even need to start in the wrong place. We need to get out some ideas or ground ourselves in the story or think to the tap tap tap of our fingers hitting the keyboard.” Read a Cynsations guest post by Brian on Being Unreasonable.

20th Annual Pen USA Literary Awards include an Award of Merit for Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver and a Literary Award for Children’s/Young Adult Literature to Paul Fleischman for The Dunderheads (Candlewick, 2009).

Tu Books Adds Mystery to Its Focal Genres by Tu editor Stacy Whitman from Stacy Whitman’s Grimoire. Note: along with fantasy and science fiction, all featuring diverse characters.

Tuning Up Your Mechanics by Carolyn Kaufman from QueryTracker. Peek: “You’d never take your car on the road if the tires were full of holes. So don’t send out your manuscript without perfect mechanics: grammar, punctuation, and spelling.”

Should You Mention Using Freelance Editors? by Mary Kole from Peek: “…a few thoughts that spring to mind for me when I read in a query that a manuscript has been freelance edited.”

How to Make a Monster by Maurissa Guibord from The Enchanted Inkpot. Note: several Inkies chime in.

Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow: Hendrix for Kids by NPR Staff from National Public Radio. Peek: “The guitarist’s story is know to many adult fans. But now, the story of young Jimi Hendrix’s is now told in a new children’s book by author Gary Golio and illustrator Javaka Steptoe, called “Jimi Sounds Like a Rainbow: A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix (Clarion, 2010).”

Should New Writers Establish Themselves in a Particular Genre or Form? Or Is It Okay to Explore? from Kirby Larson at Kirby’s Lane. Note: Linda Pratt, an agent with the Sheldon Fogelman Agency, and author Jane Yolen answer.

Three Reasons an Agent Rejects Your Pages by Chuck Sambuchino from Mary Kole at Peek: “If you think your work has a problem, then it more than likely does—and any manuscript with a problem is not ready for agent eyes.”

Perspiration: Professional Critiques: a listing of writing teacher, book doctors, private editors, etc. with an expertise in children’s-YA literature.

Cynsational Screening Room

Save the date: Cynthia Leitich Smith will launch Blessed (Candlewick, 2011) and Mari Mancusi will launch Night School (Berkley Trade, 2011) at 2 p.m. Jan. 29 at BookPeople in Austin. Check out Mari’s book trailer for Night School.

Check out the book trailer for Pull by B.A. Bines (WestSide, 2010), and read Inside the Writer’s Studio with B.A. Binns by Bethany Hegedus from Writer Friendly; Bookshelf Approved.

Cheryl Rainfield, author of Scars (WestSide, 2010), tells LGBTQ teens, “It Gets Better.” Read Cheryl’s blog.

From Bookmans in Phoenix. Source: Nathan Bransford – Literary Agent.

Good luck to all of you National Novel Writing Month warriors! I’m rooting for you! Cheers to Errol Elumir. Source: Debbi Ridpath Ohio from Inkygirl: Daily Diversions for Writers.

See also SLJ Leadership Summit 2010: The Trailee Awards Unveiled from School Library Journal. Special cheers to fellow Austinite Chris Barton on the trailer award to Shark v. Train (Little, Brown, 2010).

More Personally

Congratulations to my agent, Ginger Knowlton of Curtis Brown Ltd. (NY), on the 24th anniversary of joining the agency! Learn more about Ginger at Publishers Marketplace.

Cynthia Leitich Smith – Author Profile: a Q&A interview by Steven R. McEvoy from Book Reviews and More. Interview focuses on my Native writing, the Tantalize series, writing with Greg, my early supporters, favorite reads, favorite movies, and advice to both teens and aspiring authors/artists. Peek: “Adopt a Han Solo (‘never tell me the odds’) attitude when it comes to pursuing your dreams. You’ll never have to wonder, what if?”

Mundie Kids cheers: “Rain Is Not My Indian Name [by Cynthia Leitich Smith (HarperCollins, 2001)] is a heartbreaking, real, thought-provoking book that will leave readers feeling empowered to embrace who they are.”

Folks looking forward to the release of Holler Loudly, illustrated by Barry Gott (Dutton, Nov. 2010) may want to check out Voice and The Tall Tale, which offers a template to help students write their own tall tales (PDF) and recommends The Topic: Tall Tales.

Reminder: want to leave a comment at Cynsations? You can do so at the LiveJournal or MySpace versions of this blog as well as at my facebook author page. I’m also online at Twitter and YouTube.

Cynsational Giveaways — Last Call

Enter to win a copy of Another Pan by Daniel and Dina Nayeri (Candlewick, 2010)! To enter, email me (scroll and click envelope) and type “Another Pan” in the subject line. LiveJournal, Facebook, JacketFlap, MySpace, and Twitter readers are welcome to just privately message or comment me with the title in the header/post. I’ll write you for contact information, if you win. Deadline: Oct. 31. Sponsored by Candlewick Press; U.S. entries only. Read a Cynsations interview with Daniel and Dina.

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.

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 Winner

The winner of Hibernation Station by Michelle Meadows, illustrated by Kurt Cyrus (Simon & Schuster, 2010) was Azucena in Texas. Note: congratulations to Michelle and Kurt on the book making the Los Angeles Times Reading List 2010: Librarians Choose Books with Strong Kid Appeal.

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!

Authors Bethany Hegedus, Brian Yansky and Cynthia Leitich Smith will celebrate their latest books at 2 p.m. Nov. 14 at BookPeople in Austin, Texas. This joint author party will feature refreshments, alien tattoos, readings, a Q&A, and signing. Bethany’s new release is Truth with a Capital T (Delacorte, 2010)(ages 9-up), Cynthia’s latest release is Holler Loudly, illustrated by Barry Gott (Dutton, 2010)(ages 4-up), and Brian’s latest release is Alien Invasions and Other Inconveniences (Candlewick, 2010)(ages 12-up).

“Give Yourself a Longer Shelf Life: Marketing for the Long-Term” panel discussion at 7 p.m. Nov. 18 at BookPeople. Panelists: Cynthia Leitich Smith, Jay Ehret and Dana Lynn Smith. Jay is a book marketing expert, and Dana is a book marketing coach and author of The Savvy Book Marketer Guides. Sponsored by the Writers’ League of Texas.

“Fangs vs. Fur” event will include Cynthia Leitich Smith Nov. 19 at the University Hills Branch of the Austin Public Library.