Cynsational News & Giveaways

Compiled by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Enter to win an ARC of Grave Mercy: His Fair Assassin: Book 1 by Robin LaFevers (Houghton Mifflin, 2012) from P.J. Hoover at Roots in Myth. Note: Grave Mercy is highly recommended.

Lee & Low Acquires Children’s Book Press by Wendy Werris from Publishers Weekly. Peek: “Children’s Book Press, founded in 1975 by Harriet Rohmer for the specific purpose of creating a line of bilingual and multicultural books, ceased operations at the end of September and has sold its backlist inventory of 90 titles to Lee & Low Books in New York.”

Gantos, Raschka, Whaley: Where They Were When the Award Call Came from Publishers Weekly. Peek: “…three lucky authors got phone calls from the Newbery, Caldecott, and Printz committees, letting each of them know they had won the top prize. And whether they were at home when the call came (in the case of Jack Gantos), in search of a missing cell phone (Chris Raschka), or on the highway heading to Dallas (John Corey Whaley), the messages awaiting them on the other end of the line were life-changing. What was going through their minds when the phone rang? And what did they do next?”

4 Ways to Find the Right Freelance Editor from Jane Friedman. Peek: “A great editor doesn’t need to have a lot of letters after their name, nor do they need to be able to give you a list of New York Times best-selling authors they’ve edited for. But they should have background or experience that makes them suitable to edit the type of work you have.” See recommended children’s-YA freelance editors and writing coaches.

The 28th Annual Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth is scheduled for April 12 and April 13 at the Kent State University Student Center in Ohio. Featured speakers are Alma Flor Ada, Lisa Yee and E.B. Lewis.

Texas Book Bloggers are Rock Stars by Joy Preble from Joy’s Novel Idea. Joy interviews Sourcebooks publicists Derry Wilkens and Kay Mitchell. Peek from Kay: “They are a fantastic group of people as a whole and really lovely as individuals as well. I have an enormous amount of respect for what you all do—especially those of you who also have other jobs, families to take care of, that kind of thing. I bow down to your ability to multitask.” Note: first in a series of interviews with Texas book bloggers. See also Joy with Mundie Moms and Girls in the Stacks, Stephanie Pellegrin and Jen Bigheart, Kristin, Tillie, Amy, Maria Cari Soto, Sarah Evans, and Christin Baker (posts are ongoing).

Celebrate Black History Month with Picture Books by Jennifer Shultz from ALSC Blog. Peek: “Since there are many superb titles that feature the history of African-Americans, let’s chat specifically about picture books for the purposes of this discussion.”

Congratulations to Gwenda Bond on her two-book deal with Strange Chemistry via Jennifer Laughran, of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, Inc. The first book, Blackwood, will be one of the imprint’s September 2012 launch titles, with the second following in 2013.

Imagining Multiple Platforms by Mary Kole from Peek: “I urge debut writers whose interest lies primarily in landing a print book deal to focus there first. If you try to pitch an idea in too many directions at once (as a magazine, app, TV show, clothing line) without first having any print titles under your belt, agents and editors will think you’re ambitious…and not in a good way.”

Making Her Vision a Reality: Hannah Goodman Launches Edgy YA Sucker Literary Magazine by Mima Tipper from Hen and Ink. Download the free magazine.

The Writing Barn: A Workshop Space that Celebrates Books and Their Creators in Austin, Texas. Available for workshops, overnight stays, and book launches. Owner: children’s-YA author Bethany Hegedus, who also offers private instruction to writers. See also The Top Ten Reasons You Want to Hold Your Next Event at the Writing Barn by P.J. Hoover from Roots in Myth.

What To Do When Your Character Goes to Court by Blythe Leszkay from Writing Mystery is Murder. Peek: “You’re not sure what evidence can or can’t be used in court, or how it should all play out. So, you let a great story idea drop away out of ignorance and fear.”

J.K. Rowling’s Plot Chart for Order of the Phoenix from The Good Stuff. Source: Brooklyn Arden.

Marketing and Publicity for Authors, Part 1 by Janet Fox from Through the Wardrobe. Peek: “Most authors I know do a significant amount of marketing; I know I do. For the next several weeks I’m going to share a few things I’ve learned since the publication of my first book….”

Some Packing Tips for Conferences by Kimmie Poppins from Jess Free Falcon. Peek: “Wear comfortable shoes.  Your fancy shoes should be comfortable and then also bring a really comfortable pair and plan your outfit around them for Sunday–because by then your feet hate you.”

Invention by Brian Yansky from Brian’s Blog: Diary of a Writer. Peek: “…coming up with inventive twists and turns of a story or inventive ideas that propel scenes or give characters a compelling otherness that’s hard to resist as a reader.”

EMU’s Debuts Proudly Presents We’ve Got a Job by Cynthia Levinson by Mike Jung: post traces the book from an agent recommendation by Chris Barton, to signing with Erin Murphy, to acquisitions at Peachtree. Peek from Erin: “The Civil Rights era and its major players have been covered so much in children’s literature, and here was a brand-new take with the most kid-interesting window that I could dare to imagine. This was a book that could change kids’ lives.” See also The Heroes of Birmingham by Lynda Mullaly Hunt from EMU’s Debuts.

17th Annual Postgraduate Writers’ Conference from Aug. 13 to Aug. 19 at Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier. Join Cynthia Leitich Smith and Tim Wynne-Jones in studying the YA novel.

Congratulations to author-illustrator Divya Srinivasan on signing with agent Ty King at Writer’s House at Writer’s House, and congratulations to Ty on signing Divya! See a Cynsations interview with Divya.

Marketing Your Digital Book: What’s the Plan? from e is for book. Featuring How to Promote Your Children’s Book: Tips, Tricks, and Secrets to Create a Bestseller by Katie Davis. Peek: “The book’s tone is lighthearted and conversational while the content is comprehensive and well-organized. There are many, many tips from the various author/illustrator/librarian/blogger contributors plus links galore to a huge variety of resources.” Giveaway deadline: midnight Feb. 3. See also the list of Katie’s other tour stops for more chances to win.

Big Sur Writing Workshops for Children’s Books from Picture Books Through Young Adult Fiction will be March 2 to March 4 in Seaside/Monterey. Faculty includes editor Lisa Yoskowitz of Hyperion, editor Sharyn November of Viking, editor Julie Romeis of Chronicle, authors Catherine Ryan Hyde and Eric J. Adams, and the eight agents of Andrea Brown Literary. Source: Literary Rambles.

CBC Diversity: new blog. Peek: “The CBC Diversity Committee is dedicated to increasing the diversity of voices and experiences contributing to children’s literature. To create this change, the Committee strives to build awareness that the nature of our society must be represented within the children’s publishing industry. We endeavor to encourage diversity of race, gender, geographical origin, sexual orientation, and class among both the creators of and the topics addressed by children’s literature. We strive for a more diverse range of employees working within the industry, of authors and illustrators creating inspiring content, and of characters depicted in children’s literature.”

Challenge, Counter, Controvert: Subverting Expectations by Uma Krishnaswami from Write at Your Own Risk. Peek: “I’m writing this from India where continuum and contradiction are present in tandem: Republic Day flag-buntings and traditional rice-flour kolam on thresholds and sidewalks, the whir of ceiling fans and the shrieking of tropical birds at daybreak. Here, controverting meaning is part of daily life.”

For Crying Out Loud by Mary Kole from Peek: “I don’t much like to see crying for crying’s sake. There are manuscripts I’ve read that have characters screaming, raging, crying, laughing, and every other powerful emotion in between. But they fail to strike a chord. Why? Because rather than seeing those external displays of emotion, I’d rather know the exact thoughts that bring those tears about.”

Party 2 p.m. March 24 at BookPeople!

Chronal Engine by Greg Leitich Smith, illustrated by Black Henry Activity Guide: features discussion questions, activities, writing exercise, word search, cryptogram, and word scramble.

Reminder: 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.

28 Days Later: A Black History Month Celebration of Children’s Literature from The Brown Bookshelf. Peek: “To celebrate children’s authors and illustrators of color, during the twenty-eight days of Black History Month we’ll profile a different artist (each day). Vanguard artists are those who have paved the way for newer authors and illustrators, all others are considered ‘under the radar.'” See Day 1: Kwame Alexander, Day 2: Denise Lewis Patrick, Day 3: Noni Carter (posts are ongoing).

Ending Well by Christine Kohler from the Institute of Children’s Literature. Peek: “Editors say to end stories organically. What does that mean? It does not mean is to sum up the story or project into the future. To end organically means the ending should grow out of the heart of the story in a natural way.”

Using Selective Visual Details to Power Your Story by Martina from Adventures in YA and Children’s Publishing. Peek: “…picking details that your character can relate to, helps our readers relate to our characters.”

Is All This Hard Work Ever Going to Pay Off? from Jody Hedlund: Author & Speaker. Peek: “Yes, keep climbing, but we need to learn to enjoy each step as it comes, celebrate the small accomplishments, and find joy in the process of creating.” Source: Phil Giunta.

Cynsational Giveaways

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

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.

Enter to win a copy of Ellen’s Broom by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Daniel Minter (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2012). To enter, comment on this post (click 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 “Ellen’s Broom” in the subject line. Deadline: Feb. 13. Publisher sponsored. U.S. entries only. See also Kelly Starling Lyons on Ellen’s Broom.

Inkies Extravaganza Book Giveaway from the Enchanted Inkpot. Three prize packages of eight books each. Hurry! The winner will be announced Feb. 4. Note: please change your subscriptions/blog rolls to the Inkies new URL.

Win a Chained Book Club Kit from Lynne Kelly at Making Stuff Up & Writing It Down. Kit includes: 10 hardcover copies of Chained (FSG, 2012), a Chained tote bag, bookmarks and signed bookplates for each member of your class or group, and up to an hour-long Skype visit. Grades 3 to 8. Deadline: May 1.

Winners of the Tantalize series bookmark/postcard/bling/iTunes giveaway are Terri in Oklahoma, Rachel in Bedfordshire (U.K.), Artemis in Athens (Greece), Lysette in California, Laurisa in California, Jamie in Oregon, Jenn in Wyoming, and Deena in New York, Alishia in Western Australia, Perla in California, Tayte in Illinois, Mera in Maryland, Tina in Georgia, and Vivien in Kansas.

The winner of signed copies of Love? Maybe. (Dial, 2012) and The Cupcake Queen (Dutton, 2009, 2010), both by Heather Hepler, and various nifty sweet treats is Candace in Virginia, and the runner-up is Lisa in Florida.

This Week’s Cynsations Posts

More Personally

Flowers from my mom and stepdad in celebration of Diabolical!

Wow! January 2012 was the all-time highest traffic month at Cynsations, beating the second-highest month, August 2009! Thank you so much for your ongoing enthusiasm and support! I’m honored!

Great news! Smolder is off to my Candlewick editor. I look forward to receiving notes from her next week and revising from there. New deadline: end of February!

Contributor copies of Girl Meets Boy!

Diabolical is the Prep School from Hell — Literally by M.K. from Popcorn Reads. Peek: “Yes, this is a YA novel…however, it’s more of a story about resolve, determination and finding the strength to stand up and be counted. For that reason, it will appeal to folks of all ages. …I think you are really going to enjoy Diabolical!”

Sonja Somerville of The Salem (Oregon) Statesman Journal says of Blessed: “Lighthearted and genuinely funny, Quincie and her posse are interesting characters to know.” Note: Sonja also is the Salem Public Library teen librarian.

Book Reviews & More says of Tantalize: Kieren’s Story: “Ming Doyle has captured the essence of the shifter world that Cynthia has created in her previous three novels. The story is well told in word and art. It was a good read and added to the story we already know and love. Well done.”

Book Reviews & More says of “Haunted Love,” a free e-book short story: “…you will love the story as it just adds to her cannon and we can’t help but wonder who the mysterious inline seller of the energy elixir is. For those who have yet to read her works, it will draw you in. Her writings, in this world she created, are very addictive.”

Thanks to Victoria Scott for this shot from Barnes & Noble in Dallas.

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.

Personal Links:

From 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.

Join Cynthia Leitich Smith at an Alamosa Books Author Event from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. March 7 in Albuquerque.

Join Cynthia Leitich Smith on March 10 and March 10 at Tuscon Festival of Books. Panels: from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 10 “Blood and Kisses: Paranormal Romance with Courtney Rene and Aprilynne Pike,” followed by signing and from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. March 11 “What’s New & Who’s Reading Now? with Janni Lee Simner, R.L. Stine & Aprilynne Pike,” followed by signing.

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.

Join Greg Leitich Smith at the Chronal Engine Launch Party at 2 p.m. March 24 at BookPeople in Austin. See also the Chronal Engine Activity Guide.

See Cynthia’s upcoming events in Sandy (Utah), Bastrop (Texas), Southampton (New York), and Montpelier (Vermont), among others. 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. Wow, Cyn! What a round-up, and thanks SO much for the shout out for SUCKER LITERARY MAGAZINE.
    Also, I hope this does enter me in your DIABOLICAL give-away:)
    You rock, as always!

Comments are closed.