Cynsational News & Giveaways

Compiled by Cynthia Leitich Smith

The Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature have been announced.

In the Picture Book category, the winner was The House Baba Built: An Artist’s Childhood in China by Ed Young (Little, Brown), and the honor book was Hot Hot Roti for Dada-ji by F. Zia, illustrated by Ken Min (Lee & Low).

In the Children’s Literature category, the winner was The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang (Scholastic), and the honor book was Vanished by Sheela Chari (Hyperion).

In the Young Adult category, the winner was Orchards by Holly Thompson (Delacorte), and the honor book was Level Up by Gene Luen Yang (First Second).

For author insights, see New Voice: Sheela Chari on Vanished and Holly Thompson on the Perfect Setting and Orchards. 

More News & Giveaways

Poetry: A Messy Business from Sharon Darrow. Peek: “What would happen if the wind blew in and swooped up all our carefully ordered pages, tossed them to the ceiling, some even blowing away through the open window, and rearranged those left into a joyful chaos? How would we cope? What treasures might we find?”

The Promise of the Novel by Mary Kole from Peek: “If something reads contemporary realistic for enough pages to make me think that it’s a contemporary realistic novel, don’t toss dragons at me on page 25. My expectations have gelled. I am settling into your tale. I don’t want to suddenly discover that I’ll be reading high fantasy.”

Do You Need Social Media Interaction? by Angela Ackerman from The Bookshelf Muse. Peek: “Running yourself ragged is not the solution. Quitting a platform you worked so hard to build is not the solution. Change is.” See also The Fine Art of Zipping It, or XYZ PDQ by Jennifer Laughran from Jennifer Represents.

Twenty Years Strong from The Brown Bookshelf: United in Story. Peek: “On Saturday, Feb. 4, Philadelphia’s African American Children’s Book Fair turns 20. It’s a milestone that means a lot to founder Vanesse Lloyd-Sgambati.”

Placing Too Much Importance on Passion from Jane Friedman. Peek: “As long as we do work that feels satisfying—that complements our personal values and strengths—we can all do just fine, especially if we have relationships that are also fulfilling and satisfying.”

Questions about Power in Stories and Storytelling by Mitali Perkins from Mitali’s Fire Escape. Two lists of questions to consider before/as you write.

Inspiration and Writing Anyway from Kate Messner. Peek: “Have you ever noticed that we don’t ask this question of people with too many other jobs?  I didn’t ask my mail carrier how she got inspired to deliver the mail today, nor do I ask my husband how he gets inspired to figure out the weather forecast.” See also Kate on The Fine Art of Faking It.

“Rotters” by Daniel Kraus, narrated by Kirby Heyborne (Listening Library) is the 2012 Odyssey Award winner. See Daniel Kraus on Why Do You Write Such Dark YA Fiction? from Cynsations. Peek: “It has already been called by one taste-maker as the most ‘adult’ book ever published as YA, and is certainly in the running for the darkest.”

2012 Amelia Bloomer Celebrates Feminist Perspective in Books for Young Readers from the American Library Association. See the complete annotated list. See Amelia Bloomer top 10 author Julie Chibbaro on Navigating The Past Through Real Stories.

Ghetto Cowboy,” by G. Neri and narrated by J.D. Jackson (Brilliance Audio) is a 2012 Odyssey honor book.  See G. Neri On The Trail to Ghetto Cowboy from Cynsations. Peek: “By getting boys interested in raising a horse rather than killing another human being, these cowboys gave the youth something positive: father figures, focus, and the ability to stand tall.”

Hungry for More About the Hunger Games? A Q&A with Amandla Stenberg (aka Rue) by Karen Springen from Publishers Weekly. Peek: “I had a little wreath of flowers in my pocket that I thought Rue might have. That was in my pocket as good luck, and also a special rock.”

When to Quit Querying and Self-Publish by Samantha Clark from Motivation for Writers. Peek: “Rejections to query letters could mean a number of things: the query isn’t strong enough, the writing isn’t good enough, the story isn’t interesting enough, the characters aren’t developed enough. Let’s face it, plenty of us have sent out queries for a book we thought was ready only to look at it later and think it wasn’t.”

Karen Schreck and Katherine Grace Bond interview Leah Hultenschmidt of Sourcebooks from Crowe’s Nest. Peek: “The ‘we publish authors not books’ often comes down to career planning. When we sign an author, we want to work with her over a number of different books. We want to launch her (or relaunch her) and build her audience.”

Writing Easy Readers – Or How to Get Second Graders to Love You by Dotti Enderle from Trust Me…I’m a Writer. A few tips from the author of a dozen early reader chapter books.

2012 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers from the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Note: special congrats to fellow Austinite Chris Barton on the inclusion of Can I See Your I.D.? True Stories of False Identities, illustrated by Paul Hoppe (Dial, 2011)! See Chris on Unbridled Silliness and Carefully Researched Truth Telling.

Catching Your World on Paper by Danielle Leafty from Peek: “World building, in it’s most basic form, is the process by which an author takes the story as it is in his or her mind and carefully reconstructs it on the page.”

Discussion and Activity Guides: an interview with Debbie Gonzales from Through the Tollbooth. Peek: “…any way we can make our books appealing to gatekeepers – teachers, booksellers, librarians, parents – the better. Guides demonstrate the academic soundness of your book to the educator. They show gatekeepers that you’ve taken their needs to heart and want to help make their lives a little easier.”

A Book Rejected 23 Times? What Impact Could It Have? Check out this video featuring Mitali Perkins from the Highlights Foundation. Learn about Mitali‘s upcoming workshop, Creating an Authentic Cultural Voice, with Donna Jo Napoli and special guests Kathryn Eskine and Alvina Ling, which will take place April 26 to April 29. Peek: “Through impeccable research, imagination, empathy, and experience, a true cultural voice can be achieved.” See also upcoming Highlights Workshops on Nature Writing and Science Writing.

List of Selected Illustrators for the Illustrators Exhibition 2012 at Bologna Children’s Book Fair. See also Selected Images.

Genre Display Signing for Libraries by Naomi Bates from YA Books and More. Don’t miss part two.

It’s the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine) by Jonathan Maberry from Crowe’s Nest. Peek: “…four separate aspects to the genre. They are pre-Apocalyptic, Apocalyptic, Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian. Over the last six years I’ve written variations of all four. And I’m a happy guy. I don’t shovel down anti-depressants and writing this stuff isn’t a cry for help.”

Editorial Palavering: Martha Mihalick, Editor at Greenwillow/HarperColllins by Cheryl Klein from Brooklyn Arden. Peek: “…I’m very attracted to stories that involve significant–often heartwrenching–choices for the characters. And ones with strong friendship or sibling themes.” Check out Cheryl’s book, Second Sight: An Editor’s Talks on Writing, Revising & Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults.

When Dad Came Back by Gary Soto (University Press of New England) at facebook. Note: Gary’s first e-only book for young adults. See Jo Ellen Misakian Interviews Author Gary Soto on His New Books, Writing and the Gary Soto Museum.

12 x 12 in 2012: Picture Book Writing Challenge from Julie Hedlund: Write Up My Life.  Peek: “Twelve complete picture book drafts. Twelve months.  2012.  Are you with me?” Sign-up deadline: Jan. 29.

Getting the Glory: A Note about Awards by Kathi Appelt from Write at Your Own Risk. Peek: “What I I think is that we’re all in search of glory. But let me just say that glory comes in many sizes.  Some days it ends with a small ‘be,’ and that’s enough.  When I say ‘glory be’ out loud it reminds me of the joy and wonder that I experience at the end of a well-formed sentence—both my own and others.” See also Musings About Awards by Teri Lesesne from professornana.

See also Our Favorite Articles and Blog Posts from Adventures in YA and Children’s Publishing.

Cynsational Giveaways

Enter to win a Diabolical giveaway! The grand prize includes:

Note: Tantalize series logos designed by Gene Brenek; see the whole selection at Sanguini’s at CafePress.

Runner-Up Prizes

  • one of two signed hardcover copies of Tantalize
  • one of two signed hardcover copies of Eternal
  • one of two signed hardcover copies of Blessed

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 you can email Cynthia directly with “Diabolical giveaway” in the subject line.  Everyone will be entered for every prize unless otherwise specified. If you have, say, an earlier book in the series and don’t want another copy, please just say so! (In the alternative, you could plan to gift one to a friend or a local school/public library.) Author-sponsored. Eligibility: international. Deadline: Feb. 8.

Looking for another chance to win? Check out this Diabolical Interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith & Giveaway by Jen Bigheart from I Read Banned Books.

Grand Prize! Enter for a chance to win:

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!

Teachers, librarians and book clubs also may enter to win one of five sets of 10 Tantalize: Kieren’s Story bookmarks or one of three sets of five Diabolical bookmarks!

Please indicate your related affiliation in your entry. I.e., Suzy Q, school librarian, Austin Independent School District. 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 “Tantalize Series Bling” in the subject line. Author-sponsored. Eligibility: international. Deadline: midnight CST Feb. 1.

More Giveaways

Last call! 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.

Last call! 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.

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.

This Week’s Cynsations Posts

Austin Scene

Photo courtesy of Jeanette Larson.

Highlights of the week included Carolyn Mackler and Jay Asher event Monday night at BookPeople in Austin. They gave a terrific joint presentation on their new release, The Future of Us (Razorbill, 2011), and are highly recommended as speakers.

More Personally

Look for Diabolical at The Book Spot in Round Rock, Texas.

Diabolical is now available from Candlewick Press! Check out the giveaway (above) as well as buzz and upcoming events (below). Any efforts to help spread the word will be hugely appreciated.

Congratulations to the winners and honorees of the 2012 ALA Youth Media Awards. I was especially excited to see Dear Bully: Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories, edited by Carrie Jones and Megan Kelley Hall (HarperCollins, 2011) on the 2012 Rainbow List. The book includes my essay, “Isolation.” Note: awards coverage is ongoing and will continue next week.

Are you a fan of school libraries? Are you based in the U.S.? Please consider signing this White House petition to help ensure every child in America has access to an effective school library program. Please also share this link with fellow enthusiasts. Thank you!

Welcome Cynthia Leitich Smith and Diabolical from Joy Preble at Joy’s Novel Idea. Note: an in-depth interview about creating a diversity of work, writing as a career, balance (or lack thereof), a typical day, a double-author marriage, and more! Peek: “Be especially sure to read outside of your comfort zone. Creating art is all about thriving, innovating amidst uncertainly and chaos; reading books that challenge you is a smart way to steel yourself.”

Diabolical Interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith & Giveaway by Jen Bigheart from I Read Banned Books. Note: reflections on the Tantalize series, settings, and my favorite “devils.” Peek: “…more imagination went into developing the Penultimate, which is located outside the Pearly Gates. It basically functions as a receiving/reunion area and lobby lounge with temporary housing and business offices of the angels.”

Nominations for The Children’s Book Council “2012 Teen Choice Book of the Year” are being accepted on until Feb. 15. Readers are being asked to list up to five of their favorite books of 2011; the five titles that receive the most votes will become finalists to be entered in a second round of voting. From there, teens will vote again to determine the ultimate winner — the 2012 Teen Choice Book of the Year. Note: Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick/Walker) is a nominee! If you liked the novel, please consider voting for it–along with your other four picks–to reach the finals. See the full list of nominated books. (Remember, write-in titles are still being accepted.) Vote for your favorite books here! Voting eligibility: international. Anyone between the ages of 12 and 18 can vote. Deadline for voting in the nominating round: Feb. 15.

Into the Mystic says of Blessed: “This is my favorite book in this series so far!  I loved the way she brought the characters from the 2 books together and then blended that world so seamlessly with Bram Stoker!  It was a stroke of brilliance!”

Into the Mystic says of Diabolical: “Holy hot trips to Hell!!!  This book was great!  This story was very original, very fast-paced, very engaging and very witty!”

Jen Bigheart at I Read Banned Books says of Diabolical: “He {Zachary} tries his best to follow the rules, but when the ish hits the fan at the boarding school, he follows his own heart. A fast paced paranormal full of magic, mystery, and mayhem!”

Two Writing Teachers says of Diabolical: “It’s a fictitious world, and yet I found myself lost in the story. She made me care about the characters. She made me believe in the evil and trust good would triumph in the end. Her craft is tight and I found myself rereading to see how she could pack so much power in just a few words.”

Midnight Reads says of of Diabolical: “There are some excellent twists in the plot and fab new characters, especially Vesper and Nigel, and the relationships between Miranda and Zachary and Quincie and Kieren are as sweet as ever. The final battle in the story is nail-biting and more than one characters life is on the line which makes for an exciting ending.”

Personal Links:

From Greg Leitich Smith:

RE Greg Leitich Smith:

Cynsational Events

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!

2 thoughts on “Cynsational News & Giveaways

  1. Cynthia,

    Thanks for the shout-out of the 12 x 12 picture book challenge. I was going to ask you to include it in your round-up (which I always love), and here you went and did it anyway. 🙂

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