Compiled by Cynthia Leitich Smith
2012 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction by Roger Sutton from The Horn Book. Peek: “…goes to Jack Gantos for Dead End in Norvelt, published by Farrar Straus Giroux. The award, created by Scott O’Dell and Zena Sutherland in 1982 and now administered by Elizabeth Hall, carries with it a prize of $5000, and goes to the author of a distinguished work of historical fiction for young people, published by a U.S. publisher; and set in South, Central, or North America.” See more awards news below.
Micro-level Revision by Paul Greci from Project Mayhem: From the Manic Minds of Middle-Grade Authors. Peek: “I read it out loud—multiple times. If my characters are making faces or moving in other ways while they speak I act these things out to see how they look and how they feel.”
From Sketch to Final Art: I’m Bored by Debbie Ridpath Ohi from Pixel Shavings. Peek: “They loved the monster hat on the girl. We decided to make the girl’s mouth look more interesting; Justin and Laurent suggested making it look a bit more like the monster’s, maybe echoing the shape.”
YA Market Ripe for Digital by Caroline Horn from The Bookseller. Peek: “While children’s e-book sales saw a marked rise during the Christmas period, they remain a “very small” part of the overall children’s market, said Simon & Schuster Children’s publisher Ingrid Selberg. Selberg pointed to the young adult market as the obvious digital growth area in 2012.” Note: U.K. market. Source: ACHOCKABLOG.
Weaving in Symbolism by Stina Lindblatt from Seeing Creative. Peek: “For example, if the scene takes place in a room with green walls, you won’t be thinking that the director wanted to reveal the subtext of life. But you can guarantee someone behind the scenes purposely picked that color because of what it symbolized and not because it was her favorite color.”
Poetry Friday Roundups from Kidlitosphere Central. Peek: “Each week, a blogger is tasked with rounding up the Poetry Friday posts around the blogosphere. Here are links to the bloggers who will be taking on that task in the weeks ahead, as well as links to past round-up posts.”
Three Ways to Handle Time in a Novel by Darcy Pattison from Fiction Notes. Peek: “Setting details are a great way to make these time periods clear: is the sun or the moon rising? Are there Christmas ornaments on the street lights or are the daffodils just peeking out of the soil?”
Writing Q&A: Using the Insanity Defense in Your Story by Leslie Budewitz from QueryTracker.net. Peek: “The underlying premise is that a person cannot be held responsible for criminal behavior if mental illness prevented him from understanding that his actions were wrong. This inquiry focuses on the defendant’s mental status at the time of the crime.”
Author-Illustrator Interview: Joyce Wan by Tarie from Asia in the Heart, World on the Mind. Peek: “I work mostly in the digital medium so I’m usually on my computer. I’ll use my light table for the concept stages of developing a book and for creating book dummies. Hanging on the wall behind my desk is my inspiration board where I pin up printouts of stuff I’m working on, postcards, photographs, quotes, scraps of paper, fabric – anything I find that resonates with me. I think it’s really important to create a space for yourself that nurtures your creative spirit.”
Lii Yiiboo Nayaapiwak lii Swer/Owls See Clearly at Night by Julie Flett (Simply Read): recommendation by Debbie Reese from American Indians in Children’s Literature. Peek: “Flett is Metis. Her language, Michif, has prominence in the book. For example, on the ‘A’ page, she’s got the letter ‘A’ and ‘Atayookee!’ Beneath ‘Atayookee’ is the phrase ‘Tell a story’, which is what Atayookee means.”
Submit a Photo of Yourself with a Dinosaur to Greg Leitich Smith to take part in his series of blog posts featuring children’s-YA authors, illustrators, and other members of the community (booksellers, teachers, publicists, etc.) with dinosaurs to promote your books or other bookish pursuits and in celebration of Greg’s upcoming release, Chronal Engine (Clarion/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012). Note: it doesn’t have to be an actual, living dinosaur…because that would be challenging. See examples.
Vermont College of Fine Arts Writers in Residency: Q&A with Libba Bray by Tami Lewis Brown from Through the Tollbooth. Peek: “Ultimately, it comes down to, as always, doing your due diligence of finding out who your characters are, finding the heart and the humanity. Be an observer of the world–can you just imagine how something feels? It always gets back to human nature.”
New Covers and Black Heart Excerpt from Holly Black. Peek: “This has proven to be a tricky series to find the right jackets for, and I am really excited by this new direction. It was described to me as the sort of cover that might go on a very modern edition of The Great Gatsby, and I think that’s a fantastic way of looking at them.”
Cynsational Author Tip: create an author vitae, listing your books and other published writing, publishers, awards and honors, significant speaking engagements, teaching experience, judging experience, professional affiliations, and education. Keep it updated.
Skype! Skype! Skype! An Interview with Laurel Snyder by Greg Pincus from The Happy Accident. Peek: “…last year when I saw author Laurel Snyder announce that she was going to do 100 Skype visits in 100 days along with her book launch, I thought it was a fantastic, if exhausting sounding, idea. Now that the visits are over, I asked Laurel a few questions about the experience – the logistics, what she learned, how it did (or didn’t) help her and her book.”
Diversity Matters: A Q&A with Debut Author Ellie Daines from Tracy tall tales & short stories. Peek: “With literature, sometimes a book is presented in the media as being say, a Muslim story or an African story, when essentially it’s a universal story which we can all relate to it, no matter what race or social background we come from.”
Author-illustrated Keith Graves: Ace Kids’ Yarn Spinner by Mark G. Mitchell from How to Be a Children’s Book Illustrator. Peek: “Reviewers have used words like ‘zany,’ ‘quirky,’ ‘twisted’ and ‘rowdy’ to describe his pictures and stories that are also just plain funny and kid-friendly.”
The Value Rubric: Do Book Bloggers Really Matter? by Beth Kephart from Publishing Perspectives. Peek: “Book blogging takes time. And while some bloggers have certainly found ways to monetize their efforts (a move that is not without its own complex controversies), a substantial number of the bloggers are still doing what they do for the simple love of books, and for the chance to turn someone’s head toward a story they have loved.”
2012 American Library Association (ALA) Youth Media Awards to be Announced Jan. 23 from PaperTigers. Peek: “The ALA will host a live Webcast from the Dallas Convention Center begining at 7:30 a.m. CT, Jan. 23. Virtual seating will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Information will also be posted to the ALA Twitter account @alayma and Facebook account.”
All the World Loves Marla Frazee from Through the Tollbooth. Peek: “Marla…sees illustrative work as, partly, a type of ‘product’ – involving decisions with regards front cover design, font, layout, size, and format. These aspects have a commercial component inherent in the illustrator’s work: they implicate the book’s marketing possibilities, and where the book may be placed on the bookstore’s shelf.” Note: with regard to Marla’s recent stint as illustrator-in-residence at Vermont College of Fine Arts program in Writing for Children and Young Adults.
The 2012 Edgar Nominees in the Best Juvenile and Young Adult Categories from the Mystery Writers of America. Juvenile: Horton Halfpott: Or, The Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor; or, The Loosening of M’Lady Luggertuck’s Corset by Tom Angleberger (Abrams – Amulet); It Happened on a Train by Mac Barnett (Simon & Schuster); Vanished by Sheela Chari (Hyperion); Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby (Scholastic); The Wizard of Dark Street by Shawn Thomas Odyssey (Egmont); and YA: Shelter: A Mickey Bolitar Novel by Harlan Coben (G.P. Putnam’s Sons); The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (G.P. Putnam’s Sons); The Silence of Murder by Dandi Daley Mackall (Knopf); The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines (Roaring Brook); and Kill You Last by Todd Strasser (Egmont).
2012 Sydney Taylor Book Awards Announced by the Association of Jewish Libraries. Michael J. Rosen and Robert Sabuda, author and artist of Chanukah Lights (Candlewick, 2011), Susan Goldman Rubin, author of Music Was It: Young Leonard Bernstein (Charlesbridge, 2011), and Robert Sharenow, author of The Berlin Boxing Club (HarperTeen, 2011), are the 2012 winners of the prestigious Sydney Taylor Book Award. The awards were announced at the mid-winter meeting of the School, Synagogue and Community Center Division of the Association of Jewish Libraries.
An Interview with Melodie Wright (A QueryTracker Success Story) on signing with agent Tricia Lawrence of Erin Murphy Literary Agency from QueryTracker.net. Peek: “I checked Literary Rambles religiously and only queried agents who specifically said they wanted YA mystery either on their L.R. profile or on their agency web site. I also looked over their client list and tried to read excerpts of books to get a feel for what kind of writing those agents favored.”
See also more links for writers from Adventures in YA & Children’s Publishing.
Highlights Foundation Workshop
Founders Workshop: Making the Web Work for You from March 4 to March 8.
Peek: “It takes more than a stellar book to make an impact in today’s publishing climate. Media promotion (through websites, blogs, social media, social cataloging, Skype, and podcasts) is integral to successfully launching a children’s book and a writing career!
“Join our team of social marketing gurus, Laurina Cashin and Bobbie Combs, We Love Children’s Books consulting firm; Lindsey Leavitt, Princess for Hire series; and Katie Davis, host of the podcast, Brain Burps About Books, for a workshop guaranteed to improve your social savvy on the web.
“For those just starting out, learn about website design and innovative, painless marketing techniques. For those ready to take self-promotion to the next level, receive guidance in gaining an audience, establishing a brand, and developing a book launch that gets noticed.
Bobbie Combs, co-creator of We Love Children’s Books, says: “Gone are the days when authors and illustrators would ask ‘Do I need a website?’ Now it’s unthinkable that a professional would not have a website (or a blogsite, Facebook page, or other web presence.) It’s not enough, though, to create your site and just let it be. We’ll discuss updating your site (how often?) to keep it relevant, marketing your site to connect you with the larger children’s book community on the web and give you tips for analyzing your site traffic, maximizing the ‘reach’ of your site and making your site content sparkle.”
See more upcoming Foundation Workshops.
Grand Prize! Enter for a chance to win:
- signed copy of Love? Maybe. by Heather Hepler (Dial, 2012)
- signed copy of The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler (Dutton, 2009, 2010)
- sweet treats to share with friends, including candy heart-shaped balloons, Conversation Hearts candies, Ring Pops and much more…
A runner-up will receive signed copy of Love? Maybe. And sweet treats.
To enter, comment on this post (click the previous 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 “Love? Maybe.” in the subject line. Author-sponsored. Eligibility: North America (U.S./Canada). Deadline: midnight CST Jan. 31.
|Plus three $15 iTunes Gift Cards!|
Enter to win an author-signed Tantalize: Kieren’s Story postcard, Tantalize: Kieren’s Story bookmark or Diabolical bookmark! Up to 20 total! Plus, the occasional Tantalize series button or bat stickers or nifty surprise! And three lucky winners will receive a $15 iTunes gift card!
Last Call! Enter to win one of ten signed copies of Bittersweet by Sarah Ocker (Simon Pulse)(excerpt)! To enter, comment on this post (click the previous 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 “Bittersweet” in the subject line.
If you include in your comment a thought on the video at that link, you’ll receive two extra entries! Publisher-sponsored. Eligibility: U.S. Deadline: midnight CST Jan. 23.
Last call! Enter to win an ARC of Touched by Cyn Balog (Delacorte, Aug. 14, 2012) from The B-log Blog. Peek: “Nick Cross always listens to the voice in his head. Because if he doesn’t? Things can go really, really wrong. Like the day he decided to go off script and saved a girl from being run over…and let another one drown. Trying to change the future doesn’t work. But this summer at the Jersey Shore, something’s about to happen that Nick never could have predicted. He meets a girl named Taryn and finds out about the Book of Touch. Now the path that he thought he was on begins to shift…and there’s no way to stop things from happening. Or is there? In a life where there are no surprises, nothing has prepared Nick for what he’s about to discover–or the choice he will be forced to make…” Deadline: midnight EST Jan. 20.
Interview with Caroline Starr Rose and May B. Giveaway by Literary Rambles. Peek: “…I learned from that disastrous manuscript that regardless of the history, the story had to belong to the character; I couldn’t beat historical facts into my readers’ heads. I went into May B. trusting that if I kept my protagonist’s perspective and understanding of her world, enough history would organically seep in.” Deadline: midnight, Jan. 28.
Interview with Barney Saltzberg & Book Giveaway by April Halprin Wayland from Teaching Authors. Peek: “In my school visits I talk about a dog of ours who was accidentally locked in my studio. She attempted to climb out the window and stepped all over an illustration I had finished. I thought the artwork was ruined. After careful reflection, I found I could turn each paw print into a cloud.” Enter to win Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg (Workman, 2010) from Teaching Authors. Deadline: 11 p.m. CST Jan. 25.
Last Call! Canterwood Crest Initiation Giveaway from Jessica Burkhart. Grand prize includes a 20-minute Skype session or phone call with the author. Deadline: 11:59 EST Jan. 20. Eligibility: U.S. only.
Reminder: Enter to win an ARC of Article 5 by Kristen Simmons (Tor, 2012) and The Pledge by Kimberly Derting (Margaret K. McElderry, 2011) from Tabitha at Writer Musings. Winner will be announced Jan. 28. Note: learn more about Article 5 and The Pledge.
Reminder: Jean Reidy is celebrating cabin-fever creativity and the release of her latest picture book Too Princessy!, illustrated by Geneviève Leloup (Bloomsbury, 2012) by hosting a Boredom Buster Blog – chock full of rainy day ideas from parents, teachers, caregivers, babysitters, writers and other folks like you. Send in your favorite ideas and be entered to win one of five prizes, including a $100 bookseller gift card and autographed books. The drawing will be Feb. 29.
Facebook Contest: Grand Prize: Free School or Library Visit by Jan Brett to Anywhere in the World from PR Web. Enter at Jan’s facebook page. Deadline: April 9. Source: ACHUKA.
This Week’s Cynsations Posts
- Giveaway: Tantalize Series Signed Bling & iTunes Gift Cards
- Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- New Voice: Helen Landalf on Flyaway
- Multi-YA Author Video: Words Have Power from Holly Cupala
- Guest Post: Ann Redisch Stampler on Paper Clips, Post-its and The Meaning of Life
- Video Interview: Bullying, YA Literature & Fancy White Trash
- Giveaway: Love? Maybe. and The Cupcake Queen
- Book Trailer: Boy Meets Girl, edited by Kelly Milner Halls
- New Voice: Caroline Starr Rose on May B.
Cynsational Screening Room
How Do I Make a Book Trailer? by Hazel Mitchell from Along the Right Lines. See also (below) the book trailer Hidden New Jersey (Mackinac Island Press).
Just for fun… For those of you who’re members of the Vermont College of Fine Arts program in Writing for Children and Young Adults community, the explanation behind this video is self-evident. For our friends, it’s traditional for upcoming graduating classes to name themselves and then announce that name at the residencies. With that in mind, presenting, the VCFA WC&YA class of Jan. 2013…. Source: Through the Tollbooth.
My most enthusiastic congratulations to 2012 winter graduating class of the Vermont College of Fine Arts program in Writing for Children and Young Adults! Please keep in touch, and know that I’m your forever fan.
This week has been quiet, filled with writing as I close in on the end-of-the-month deadline for Smolder. With that in mind, please hold off on any non-critical questions, pitches or event correspondence until February–thanks!
What else? Because “Joyful Noise” wasn’t at the Alamo Drafthouse Austin, my husband Greg and I made the hike to the the pricy but plush iPic Theaters at the The Domain. (I had to see it–my whole Dolly Parton fan-girl thing!) I had shrimp, mozzarella & complimentary popcorn, seated in an extended recliner with a pillow and blanket.
Great service, and yes, I kept thinking that Marie Antoinette would consider the whole experience wildly indulgent. Really.
As for the movie, great for families with older kids, extraordinarily wholesome, the mildly “edgy” parts somehow made it seem more so. I loved it.
Having fun at ALA? Stop by the Candlewick Press booth to sign up for a Where’s Waldo 25th Anniversary Giveaway (prize includes a gift pack, Waldo books, and a standee) and/or to pick up a spring 2012 galley — like Diabolical by Cynthia Leitich Smith!
Book Chic says of Diabolical: “Overall, just a fabulous book with an action-filled plotline and an amazing climax with some sweet romance as well. I cannot wait for the next book in the series!”
Mingey House Blog says of Diabolical: “You don’t have to read all the other books to understand it or love the book; in general it was just fantastic! Most of the things you might not understand she explains in good detail that’s not too long. It is also a decent length, and the way it is put together is just perfect.”
Perfect Picture Book Friday: Holler Loudly by Cynthia Leitich Smith, illustrated by Barry Gott from Julie Hedlunch – Write Up My Life. Peek: “This book has fantastic voice (as a book named Holler Loudly should).”
- Check out C.S. Jennings’ Holiday Card Illustration
- What Book Am I Most Grateful For? by P.J. Hoover from Roots in Myth
- Author Interview: Cynthia Levinson from Donna Bowman Bratton
- Young Reader Book Giveaway at Bridgeport
- Getting Messy by Meredith Davis from Stories in the Street
From Greg Leitich Smith:
Re: Greg Leitich Smith:
My Vicious Valentine: Spine-tingling YA Author Panel, featuring Jordan Dane, P.J. “Tricia” Hoover, Mari Mancusi, Rosemary Clement-Moore, Cynthia Leitich Smith, and L.A. Weatherly—moderated by Sean Petrie–will take place at 7 p.m. Feb. 10 at BookPeople in Austin. Join us when six top YA authors dish on the devilish, gab about ghosts, and soar with the angels in this panel celebrating spine-tingling stories, supernatural creatures, and perhaps scariest of all, true love.
See Cynthia’s upcoming events in Albuquerque, Tucson, Sandy (Utah), Southampton (New York), and Montpelier (Vermont).
Mark your calendars for Alex Flinn’s Upcoming Tour. She’ll be appearing at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville on Feb. 14, at Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston Feb. 15, and at Barnes & Noble in Round Rock (Texas) Feb. 16.
Note: Due to volume, I can’t feature the author/illustrator events of all of my Cynsational readers, but if you’re Austin bound for an appearance here, let me know, and I’ll try to work in a shout out or two. Thanks!