Cynsational News & Giveaways

Harcourt, April 2012

Dear Debut Authors: Eventually You’ll Care Less…and That’s a Good Thing by Saundra Mitchell from Making Up Stuff for a Living. Peek: “… maybe it will help you better enjoy your debut– your one and only debut– to have some answers. So…” Highest recommendation.

Poetry Books for Young People about War and Peace from Sylvia Vardell at Poetry for Children. Note: scroll for bibliography.

Picture Book Idea Month by Tara Lazar from Writing for Kids. Peek: “Do you think you can meet the PiBoIdMo challenge and create 30 new picture book ideas in 30 days? Well then, sign-up for all the craziness!”

Lesson Plan on Where Did You Get Your Moccasins? by Bernelda Wheeling: a recommendation from Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children’s Literature. Peek: “If you work with preschool or kindergarten children and you’re interested in a lesson plan for the book, Montana’s Indian Ed for All developed one that spans five days.” Note: see also teacher resources for books (including Native American themed books) by Cynthia Leitich Smith.

The Five Love Languages of Writing or How to Love a Writer by Carrie Jones from Through the Tollbooth. Peek: “Side note: writers often feel unloved.”

Articles on the Submissions Process by Tabitha from Writer Musings. A collection on various steps.

Coming 2012 from Peachtree

My Three-Day Blind Date with My Editor by Cynthia Levinson from EMU’s Debuts. Peek: “I was honored by Kathy’s support for the book. But, I also felt like the boy in the Dr. Seuss story who meets up with the green pants in the woods. Was she as scared of meeting me as I was of her?”

Marissa Moss on Finding the Story in History from I.N.K. Interesting Nonfiction for Kids. Peek: “Those are the stories I turn into books, the tales of courage and achievement against the odds that deserve to be widely known. Is it a coincidence that many of these undiscovered gems are about women?”

Dear Anonymous: Keep on Shining by Jo Knowles. A thoughtful, even gracious response to a hostile anonymous LiveJournal comment. If you’re going to respond at all, this is a model to consider first.

Daniel Nayeri: Publishing Renegade: an author/editor interview by Mary Kole from Peek: “Someone once said to me, ‘Daniel, your interests are a mile wide and an inch deep,’ and I might have misread that as a compliment.”

Character Traits Thesaurus: Talented from The Bookshelf Muse. Don’t miss the other writing thesaurus links in the sidebar.

My Conversation With Brian Selznick: On Wonderstruck, Hugo, and the Terror and Joy of Creating Books by Jules from Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. Peek: “A lot of times I actually draw positions that human beings can’t really get into, and so I have to take, like, three or four different pictures to approximate the pose, because in the drawings they look like they are poses that a human being can do, but you might notice, if you try to do some of them, that your feet might not work that way or your arm might go a different way. But I need them to be in that position for the drawing, so I take lots and lots of photographs.”

The 10 Types of Writers Block (and How to Overcome Them) from i09. Peek: “Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the terrifying mystique of Writer’s Block, it’s better to take it apart and understand it — and then conquer it.” Source: April Henry. See also Morning Pages by Coe Booth and Well Filling by Tim Wynne-Jones from Write at Your Own Risk.

Searching for the Right Publisher for Your Book by Jan Fields from the Institute of Children’s Literature. An overview for beginners that’s not agent centered.

There Is a Fine Line Between Comedy and Horror by Alex Laybourne from Jen Wylie’s Blog. Peek: “When used well, comedy allows the writer to relief the tension in the reader and that ultimately makes the next scare or creepy moment all the more real.”

YA author Brian Yansky is now on Twitter; follow him @BrianYansky. Note: see also @CynLeitichSmith.

Recommended by GregLSBlog.

Reawaken Your Love for the Picture Book (and Brick-and-Mortar Bookstores) by Matthew Cordell. Matthew suggests buying a picture book a week or, if you can’t afford that, one a month. Peek: “Someone you know needs more picture books in her/his/their life/lives. You need to experience, again, what you loved when you read picture books as a kid.” Source: 100 Scope Notes.

How to Get an Agent: round-up of posts by Jill Corcoran.

National Novel Writing Month from Nov. 1 to Nov. 30. Peek: “Thirty days and nights of literary abandon!” See also Nano Wrimo’s Young Writers Program. Check out the 2011 Pep Talkers!

See also Best Articles this Week for Writers!

SCBWI Pro Writers Marketing Intensive

Marketing for Professional Writers Intensive Debuts at the 2012 SCBWI Winter Conference: Registration is open for the 13th Annual Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators International Conference. SCBWI will hold its first Marketing for Professional Writers intensive on Jan. 27, 2012 which, along with a Marketing for Illustrators intensive that day, kicks off a jam-packed conference weekend. The Marketing for Writers intensive brings today’s market leaders together to talk trends and marketing tactics in social media, websites, ebooks, mobile & games, apps, book trailers, publicity, working with publishers, Amazon, the education market and more. Note: The 13th Annual SCBWI International Winter Conference will be Jan. 27 to Jan. 29 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City.

This Week’s Cynsations Posts

Cynsational Giveaways

Enter to win an illustrator-signed copy of Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite by Anna Harwell Celenza, illustrated by Don Tate (Charlesbridge), choice of a $25 iTunes or Amazon gift certificate (winner’s choice), DVD of “Jazz Legends: Duke Ellington & His Orchestra 1929-1943.”

For more information on how to enter, see this link. Notes: (a) “every book comes with a CD filled with Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite holiday jazz music!” (b) 10 additional winners will each receive an illustrator-signed book. Publisher-sponsored. Deadline: midnight CST Nov. 4. Eligibility: U.S./Canada.

Enter to win a paperback copy of The Adventurous Deeds of Deadwood Jones by Helen Hemphill (Front Street, 2008/Boyds Mills, 2011). To enter, comment on this post (click the preceding link and scroll) and include an email address (formatted like: cynthia at cynthialeitichsmith dot com) or a link to an email address. Or email Cynthia directly with “Deadwood Jones” in the subject line. Author-sponsored. Eligibility: U.S./Canada. Deadline: midnight CST Oct. 31.

Enter to win a signed copy of Waiting to Forget by Sheila Kelly Welch (namelos, 2011)! To enter, comment on this post (click preceding link and scroll) and include an email address (formatted like: cynthia at cynthialeitichsmith dot com) or a link to an email address. Or email Cynthia directly with “Waiting to Forget” in the subject line. Author-sponsored. Eligibility: U.S. Deadline: midnight CST Nov. 7. 

Reminder: Enter to win an ARC of Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith from Melissa at Just One Opinion. Deadline: Nov. 1. See more information. Note: link fixed!

The winner of an Aphrodite the Diva Swag Giveaway, courtesy of authors Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams from Cynsations, was Deni in New York.

The winner of Straw House, Wood House, Brick House, Blow by Daniel Nayeri (Candlewick, 2011) from Cynsations was Darcy in South Carolina.

The winner of a manuscript critique by Tu Books/Lee & Low editor Stacy Whitman from Cynsations was Andrew in Indiana. Note: especially if you’re interested in business and craft issues related to diversity in children’s-YA publishing, don’t miss the conversation with Stacy and her author Karen Sandler in the comments of their interview/giveaway post (scroll to view). Peek from Stacy: “Whether or not you want to worry about a cultural expert before submission depends on how confident you are in your research, I suppose. Generally I’ll always want my own expert to take a look as well, either before acquisitions if it’s a culture I’m not familiar with or after if I feel I know enough to acquire the book, if the writer is not from the culture he or she is writing about.”

Cynsational Screening Room

Bestselling debut author Beth Revis on failure, success, persistence and her ten-year journey to publication, writing a new novel manuscript every year. Note: don’t be put off by her early use of the F-word (“failure”); she’s going somewhere with all this–I promise. Source: Cheryl Rainfield. See also an in-depth interview with Beth by Gwenda Bond from Lightspeed.

The winner of the Writers League of Texas Book Award in Writing for Young People is Crossing the Tracks by Barbara Stuber (McElderry, 2011). Note: Holler Loudly by Cynthia Leitich Smith, illustrated by Barry Gott (Dutton, 2011) was one of the finalists.

More Personally

Me & Barry, photo by Shelli Cornelison

The highlight of this past week was the 2011 Texas Book Festival. Here’s a pic of my graphic novel panel with Barry Lyga. See my whole photo report!

Have you visited my official author site lately? It includes a substantial section of Children’s & YA Lit Resources and Goodies for Writers! Special thanks to my wonderful webmaster Lisa Firke for her ongoing monthly updates and latest mega update of the annotated bibliographies!

Thanks to Jen Bigheart at I Read Banned Books for featuring Diabolical as her Waiting-on-Wednesday pick! Note: Diabolical is the fourth book in the Tantalize series and will be available from Candlewick in Jan. 2012.

Thanks to Alice Pope for her efforts on The Official SCBWI Blog! Note: Lee Wind will be taking over.

Reminder: Enter to win an ARC of Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith from Melissa at Just One Opinion. Deadline: Nov. 1. See more information. Note: link fixed!

Reminder: Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith a highlighted October sale title for Kindle readers! You can purchase the e-book for $2.99 (67% off)! See a complete list (with links) of children’s-YA ebooks on sale for Kindle/ readers from author Cheryl Rainfield.

Reminder: download “Cat Calls,” my free YA paranormal short story for the Kindle or Nook.

Reminder: I receive upwards of four requests a week for book donations–largely to benefit compelling causes. Unfortunately, I can’t fulfill all of them, however, I host regular giveaways of my books and those by other authors here at Cynsations, so be sure enter! Good luck!

Even More Personally

I watched a few movies on DVD this week. “Batman: Year One” (2011), a must-see for Commissioner Gordon fans, “Topper” (1937), “Ghost Busters” (1984) and “The Three Investigators” (2007).

Personal Links:

From Greg Leitich Smith

Cynsational Events

Tweens Read Book Festival will be Oct. 29 in Pasadena, Texas.

Cynthia Leitich Smith will be appearing at Austin Comic Con, scheduled for Nov. 11 to Nov. 13 at the Austin Convention Center.