Cynsational News & Giveaways

Congratulations to Libba Bray on the release of Beauty Queens (Scholastic, 2011)! Don’t miss the writing contest from Scholastic, in part featured in the video below! Note: it’s well worth watching, especially for the ventriloquism/singing.

After the Acceptance: The Editorial Letter by Brian Yansky from Brian’s Blog. Peek: “…the approach of the editors I’ve had varies. Some like to mention a problem and then spend some space explaining why they think it’s a problem and then move on. Some like to spin out possible ways to fix a problem.”

The Art of the Blurb Request by Agent Kristin from Pub Rants. Peek: “Even with noble intentions, most writers who experience success end up having to put a moratorium on offering blurbs for a couple of reasons.”

2011 Américas Award winners are Clemente! by Willie Perdomo, illustrated by Bryan Collier (Holt, 2010), The Dreamer by Pam Muñoz Ryan, illustrated by Peter Sis (Scholastic, 2010), and the Américas Award Honorable Mention went to The Firefly Letters by Margarita Engle (Holt, 2010.) Peek: “The Américas Award is given in recognition of U.S. works of fiction, poetry, folklore, or selected non-fiction (from picture books to works for young adults) published in the previous year in English or Spanish that authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States.” See more information. Source: PaperTigers.

Congratulations to Cheryl Rainfield on the paperback release of Scars (WestSide, 2010, 2011). From the promotional copy: “An edgy, realistic, and hopeful novel about a teen survivor of sexual abuse who uses self-harm to cope.” Read a guest post from Cheryl on Writing Bravely.

Beyond Orcs and Elves Part 3: Writing Cross-Culturally by Stacy Whitman from Stacy Whitman’s Grimoire. Peek: “…you can’t assume that if someone’s Asian, for example, that they’re from the culture you want to write about (big difference between Chinese/Japanese/Korean/other Asian cultures) or that they’d have any more experience than you do with it if they’ve lived here in the U.S. their whole lives. They might. But they might not.” See also part one and two.

Agent Interview: Tracey Adams by Nathalie Mvondo from Multiculturalism Rocks! Peek: “We have many books with characters whose parents are from another culture, books full of diverse characters in our own country, but honestly I would love to see more submissions featuring characters in foreign settings – this is something we don’t see often enough.”

Writing Outside Your Experience by J.A. Yang from Diversity in YA Lit. Peek: “If the only authentic stories we could tell were related to our personal experiences, wouldn’t that be horribly limiting?”

Chatty Main Characters by Tabitha from Writer Musings. Peek: “We want our characters to have opinions, and a clever comment here and there, but if we’re getting a comment every other sentence, that’s too much.”

Your Truth Isn’t Necessarily Someone Else’s Truth by Miranda Kenneally from The YA-5. Peek: “The truth is, not everybody comes from the same place, so everyone’s ‘reality’ is different. So how do you bring readers in so they ‘buy’ your story?”

6 1/2 Reasons to Love Mother-Daughter (Or Any) Book Clubs by Cindy Hudson from Donna Gephart at Wild About Words. Peek: “Any time communication happens between the generations is a good thing. I know. I have teenagers.” Note: Cindy also is giving away a signed copy of Book By Book: The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs (Seal Press, 2009).

9 Tips for Finishing That Novel by Anna Staniszweski. Peek: “Make sure there are consequences if you don’t reach your goal. If you’re not good at cracking your own whip, ask a friend to bully you into staying on task. Or better yet, ask an enemy, someone who would like nothing better than to see you fail. How’s that for motivation?”

Interview with the Little Introvert Who Could (AKA Allen Zadoff) by R.L. LaFevers from Shrinking Violet Promotions. Peek: “I’m an introvert with a taste for extroversion. I really enjoy people.” See also an interview with Allen and Publisher Elizabeth Law of Egmont USA.

Writers Links: On Publishing from Children’s & YA Lit Resources. Note: a listing of annotated links to substantive posts on the publishing process. See also links on agents, editors & publishers, and promotion.

Last Call for May Giveaways

Cynsational Screening Room

Uma Krishnaswami‘s recent post, Reinventing Your Children’s Writing Career, is among the most popular of late at Cynsations. Check out what she has to say on the rest of The Grand Plan Blog Tour.

In the video below, Uma reads from the book and then discusses it with Kathi Appelt.

See also Uma at Through the Tollbooth from Michelle Knudsen, Explorations from Sarah Blake Johnson and Inside the Writer’s Studio from Bethany Hegedus at Writer Friendly, Bookshelf Approved.

Austin Scene

Highlights of the week included Saturday brunch with author pal Janet Nolan (above) at Opal Divine’s Freehouse, followed by a trip to BookPeople. See Janet Nolan on The Firehouse Light.

The Austin SCBWI monthly meeting speaker was D. Anne Love, talking about the Care and Feeding of Editors and Agents.

The Chills and Thrills Teen Book Tour came to Austin May 15. Here’s Jennifer Archer, Tracy Deebs, Sophie Jordan, Mari Mancusi, Jordan Dane, and Tera Lynn Childs (holding Lara Chapman‘s book). Attention: Houston and Katy, Texas; readers! The tour will stop in your towns this weekend. See schedule for more information.

More Personally

Dear Teen Me from Author Cynthia Leitich Smith from E. Kristin Anderson at Dear Teen Me: Letters to Our Teen Selves. Peek: “Part of me can’t help observing that you’d be a lousy YA novel protagonist. You’ll stay this way through high school without ever stepping up and owning what’s great about you. On the other hand, you are doing a few important things right…”

I Heart YA Books says of Tantalize: Kieren’s Story: “The characters and story plot was strong, and with it being in comic book format, made it a fun read. I would recommend this for middle grade to teenagers, or to anyone who loves comic books.” Read the whole review. Note: Tantalize: Kieren’s Story, illustrated by Ming Doyle, will be released by Candlewick in August.

Kate Hall at Book4Ever says of Blessed: “Beautifully evocative, Blessed combines the ideas of good and evil, heaven and hell in such a way as to make the reader rethink what they know about the world. I hope there will be more in this series.” Read the whole review.

Jessica at Reading Inspires says of Blessed: “…when I finally got it I sat down and read for four hours straight. On day three, I finished it already. Because, yes, it was that good. Blessed had all the elements I loved from Eternal and Tantalize combined. It’s really amazing to see how much Cynthia has improved as a writer.” Read the whole review.

My YA short story “Cat Calls” (Candlewick, 2011) is now available for free as an e-book from Barnes & Noble. “Cat Calls” is set in the Tantalize series universe and features entirely new characters. You can download “Cat Calls” for free from Barnes & Noble. It’s also available for free download to Kindle readers from “Cat Calls” was originally published as a short story in Sideshow: Ten Original Tales of Freaks, Illusionists and Other Matters Odd and Magical, edited by Deborah Noyes (Candlewick, 2009).

From Greg Leitich Smith

Personal Links:

Cynsational Events

The First Annual BooksmART Festival will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 11 as part of Arts & Letters Live from the Dallas Museum of Art. Peek: “Come spend the day with authors, illustrators, musicians and actors, and enjoy talks, workshops, gallery tours, and entertainment, designed to appeal to every member of the family and every age group.” Featured children’s-YA book creators include Rick Riordan, Norton Juster, Laurie Halse Anderson, David Wiesner, Jerry Pinkney, Gene Luen Yang, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Duncan Tonatiuh, Antonio Sacre, Joe McDermott, Jan Bozarth, and Ann Marie Newman.

Authors Jennifer Ziegler and Cynthia Leitich Smith will speak to YA readers at 2 p.m. June 18 at Bee Cave Public Library in Bee Cave, Texas. Mark your calendars for book talk and pizza! See also event planner information on booking Jennifer and Cynthia for the joint “From Classics to Contemporary” program–two authors for the price of one!

Cynthia Leitich Smith will speak to the Cedar Park Teen Book Club at 11 a.m. June 25 at Cedar Park (TX) Public Library.

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