Compiled by Cynthia Leitich Smith
On Being Thin Skinned by David Macinnis Gill from I Am Chikin, Hear Me Roar. Peek: “…thick-skinned people are not very good writers. They are bullet
proof to criticism, yes, but they also lack the insight and empathy
required to feel the emotions that should resonant throughout their
Character Entry: Clever by Angela Ackerman from The Bookshelf Muse. Peek: “Resourcefulness marked by inventiveness or originality.” Note: bookmark this blog for brainstorming!
Who’s Your First Reader? by Michael Gettel-Gilmartin from Project Mayhem. Peek: “These were people who liked me but didn’t love me, and who were all too
willing to point out my flaws–and give me the tools to fix them.”
On Nostalgia: Which of You Is Which? by Tim Wynne-Jones from Write at Your Own Risk. Peek: “We are not immune to nostalgia but cannot–must not, I feel–project
onto our stories any sense of this hankering for a time that, frankly,
never was, except that wishing makes it so.”
Three Things I’ve Learned about Writing Picture Books by Anna Staniszweski. Peek: “In my effort to find the story, I wound up making things far too complicated.”
Author Insight: Revising the Journey from Wastepaper Prose. Authors answer the question: “If you could change one thing about your journey to publication, what would it be?”
Cynsational Blog Tour Tip: Turn in your texts and images well in advance, so the participating bloggers have plenty time to properly edit and format your posts.
Interview with Linda Sue Park by Marjorie Coughlan from PaperTigers.org. Peek: “The response of the students and teachers who have read the book has
been just remarkable. Dozens of schools and individuals have been
inspired by Salva’s story to raise money for Water for South Sudan.”
Making Your Writing Dreams a Reality by Kristy Lahoda from QueryTracker.net. Peek: “They (twin babies) came home at the beginning of October and while they slept 18 hours a day, I wrote. I had to be very conscientious about not getting distracted with other things that weren’t as important…”
Twitter Hashtags about Children’s Books, Writing, Publishing and Education from Loren Leedy. Peek: “Hashtags are the way people index
their tweets, which allows anyone searching on a hashtag to find info
about, say #ebooks or #elemed (elementary education) or #math.”
Roles in Publishing: Bryony Woods, Literary Agents Assistant, from Teri Terry at Notes from the Slushpile. Peek: “…obsessed with all things book-related, and is lucky enough to have her ideal job–working in one the UK’s top literary agencies.”
2012 YA Writer-in-Residence Program at Miami-Dade Public Library System from Austin SCBWI. Peek: “We are seeking a dynamic and engaging young adult author who will
encourage local teens, 12-18, in the creative writing process. The three
month residency will run from September – November 2012 in Miami,
Seeking Money to Finance an Author School Visit? The SCBWI Amber Brown Grant is now open and accepting applications for 2012! Peek: “Two schools will be rewarded with an all-expense-paid visit by a well respected children’s author or illustrator. The chosen schools will also receive a $250 stipend to assist in creating this memorable event to celebrate reading, learning, and children’s literature and $250 worth of books by the visiting author. Additionally, one runner-up school will
be selected and rewarded with books valued at $250.00.”
Congratulations to Jennifer Ziegler, the new programming chair for the Writers’ League of Texas, and many thanks to outgoing chair Sara Kocek for a job well done! Note: learn more about Jennifer and Sara.
Seuss fan? Celebrate NEA’s Read Across America Day (March 2) by entering to win Lorax themed prizes at facebook from Random House.
Marshall Dawa on Adapting to Create Success from Adventures in YA and Children’s Publishing. Peek: “Nothing against hanging on, but sometimes we have to fall in order to soar. Learning when to do the former so as to experience the latter is tricky.”
10 Questions to Ask When Offered Representation by a Literary Agent by Mary Kole from Kidlit.com. Peek: “…it’s important that you really take the time, ask the right questions,
get full answers, and give yourself as much information as possible.”
Querying Your Unlikable Character by Jane Leback from QueryTracker.netBlog. Peek: “Maybe it’s the character’s intelligence. Maybe he was abused as a child
and wanted to break out of the cycle but couldn’t figure out how.
Present those characteristics. Let us know the character is
On a Budget? How to Support Authors and Show Your Book Love from Megan Crewe. Peek: “Checking a book out from the library shows them that readers are
interested, which makes them more likely to pick up later books from the
same author. If your local library doesn’t already have the book you
want, you can usually submit a request that they add it to their
collection in person or on the library’s website.”
Reminder! 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).” See Day 10: Atinuke, Day 11: Brian Collier, Day 12: Earl Sewell, Day 13: Debbi Chocolate, Day 14: Lynda Jones, Day 15: Calvin Alexander Ramsey, Day 16: L. Divine (posts are ongoing).
Cynsational Business Tip: Be discreet about any correspondence, revisions or other exchanges with a prospective editor or agent until a contract is finalized. Likewise, there’s no reason to go public about your submission history while you’re still shopping the manuscript, and it may work against you.
Enter to Win I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga (Hachette/Little, Brown) from Steven R. McEvoy from Book Reviews and More. Deadline: March 15. Eligibility: North America.
Writing a Strong Plot: Be Cruel to Your Characters by Chris Eboch from Write Like a Pro! A Free Online Writing Workshop. Peek: “You can create conflict by setting up situations which force a person to
confront their fears. If someone is afraid of heights, make them go
someplace high. If they’re afraid of taking responsibility, force them
to be in charge.”
Keep Calm and Carry On: Reflections on Bulldozing Writing Walls by Luke Reynolds from Hunger Mountain. Peek: “No matter how little you feel like it, no matter how futile it sometimes
seems, you must keep writing. You must continue to send out queries.
You must continue to make contact, believing that the words you write do
possess all the possible power and beauty in them to affect one life.”
A Glorious Year of E-booking by Arthur Slade from Arthur Slade: The YA Fantastical Fiction Guy. Peek: “Exactly a year ago, I began putting my out-of-print backlist up for sale
on various ebook vendors (Smashwords, Kindle, iBooks, B&N, Kobo…).” Arthur talks numbers and features nifty visual aids.
R.L. Stine Posts a Short Story on Twitter from GalleyCat at Media Bistro. Peek: “The novelist tweeted a mini-horror story about a haunted kitchen. We’ve collected the posts…for your reading pleasure.”
This Week for Writers from Adventures: Our Favorite Articles and Blog Posts from YA & Children’s Publishing.
ALA Popular Paperbacks
- to Libba Bray on the inclusion of a WriteFest book, Going Bovine (Delacorte) in the Adventure Seekers category;
- to fellow Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA) faculty member Coe Booth whose Kendra (Push) is in the Forbidden Romance category;
- to Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci, whose anthology, Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd (Little, Brown) and Mari Mancusi‘s Gamer Girl (Dutton) is in the Get Your Geek On category;
- and fellow VCFA faculty member Rita Williams-Garcia whose Jumped is in the Sticks and Stones category.
Note: “The Wrath of Dawn” by Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith appears in Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd.
|Click to enlarge!|
Enter to win a Blessed paperback giveaway! The grand prize includes:
- a signed copy of Blessed (Book 3 in the Tantalize series)
- Dracula by Bram Stoker, illustrated by Scott McKowen
- laminated “Dracula” movie poster
- (vampire) bat finger puppet
- Holy Water flask (actually labeled “Holy Water)
- silver Celtic cross (for your protection & in honor of werewolf hero Kieren Morales)
- angel tokens
- Tantalize series buttons
- one of two author-signed copies of Tantalize: Kieren’s Story, illustrated by Ming Doyle
- a signed copy of Diabolical (Book 4 in the Tantalize series)
To enter, comment on this post (click previous link and scrolll) and include an email address
(formatted like: cynthia at cynthialeitichsmith dot com) or a link to an email address. Or you can email me directly with “Blessed giveaway” in the subject line. Author sponsored. Eligibility: international. Deadline: Feb. 27.
- The Camping Trip that Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir and Our National Parks (Dial), autographed by Caldecott medalist Mordicai Gerstein and author Barb Rosenstock;
- 11×14 framed poster image of President Theodore Roosevelt and naturalist John Muir, the book’s main characters, atop Glacier Point in Yosemite, 1903;
- a “grow your own” Giant Sequoia kit (boxed kit includes: seeds, starter pot, growing mixture and instructions);
- 15-minute Skype visit with author Barb Rosenstock.
To enter, comment on this post (click 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 “Camping Trip” in the subject line. Author-sponsored. Eligibility: North America (U.S./Canada). Deadline: midnight CST Feb. 20.
- an author-autographed copy of One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo, illustrated by David Small (Dial)
- full-body penguin hand puppet
- 15 minute Skype visit with author Toni Buzzeo
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 email Cynthia directly with “One Cool Friend” in the subject line.
Author-sponsored. Eligibility: North America (U.S./Canada). Deadline: midnight CST Feb. 20. See also One Cool Friend Before Breakfast from Jules at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. Note: in-depth post features early sketches.
- 2 copies of Beastly Deluxe Edition (including Lindy’s Diary) by Alex Flinn
- 2 copies of Bewitching by Alex Flinn
- 2 paperback copies of Cloaked by Alex Flinn
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 “Alex Flinn Giveaway” in the subject line. Deadline: Feb. 20. Author sponsored. U.S. entries only.
Last call! Enter to win one of two copies of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Dutton, 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 email Cynthia directly with “The Fault in Our Stars” in the subject line. Publisher-sponsored. Eligibility: U.S. Deadline: midnight CST Feb. 20.
The Cynsational winners of the Diabolical by Cynthia Leitich Smith giveaway were Sarah in Iowa (grand prize), Darrella in Texas, Mahek in Surrey (England), Yamile in Utah, Sheela in New York, Aiwah in Australia, and Donna in Missouri.
Cynsational Screening Room
Author Mitali Perkins talks about the influence of her heritage, writing between cultures, social justice themes, being a five-senses writer, and more.
Check out the book trailer for Emma Dilemma: Big Sister Poems by
Kristine O’Connell George, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter (Clarion). Emma Dilemma is the winner of the Claudia Lewis Award from Bank Street.
This Week at Cynsations
- Giveaway: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
- Event Report: Vicious Valentine YA Fantasy Panel
- Reader-Created Trailer: Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith
- Author Videos: Karen Sandler on Being a Writer, Ideas, Characters & Writing Across Cultures
- Giveaway: The Camping Trip That Changed America by Barb Rosenstock
- Jane Yolen Establishes Grant for Midlist Children’s Book Authors
- Blessed Paperback Release & Giveaway Package
- New Voice: Megan Bostic on Never Eighteen
- Ashley Hope Pérez on Rewriting the News–and The Rules of My Characters’ World in The Knife and The Butterfly
Great news! Blessed is now available in paperback from Candlewick Press! Don’t miss the book trailer and mega prize pack giveaway, both above!
|Photo by author-illustrator Salima Alikhan.|
My fellow featured authors were Jordan Dane, P.J. “Tricia” Hoover (Tricia’s report), Mari Mancusi, Rosemary Clement-Moore, and L.A. Weatherly with devilish moderating by Sean Petrie. Talk about great company!
Please also note that you can always find signed stock of my books at BookPeople!
Girls in the Stacks says of Diabolical: “The story unraveled with many surprises and twists, and kept me
guessing and entertained. The memos, news articles and phone
transcripts interspersed between chapters gave the reader hidden
insights to the story – sometimes humorous, sometimes chilling.”
- Larklight by Philip Reeve (Bloomsbury, 2006)(ages 8+)
- My Vicious Valentine
- Writers and Illustrators and Dinosaurs: E.C. Myers
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.
Interested in taking a class with Cynthia this summer? Try the 13 Annual Conference of Writing & Illustrating for Young Readers from June 18 to June 22 in Sandy, Utah; the Southampton Children’s Literature Conference from July 11 to July 15 in Southampton, New York; or the 17th Annual Postgraduate Writing Conference from Aug. 13 to Aug. 19 at Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier. See more of Cynthia’s upcoming events.
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.
|Join Cynthia from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. March 7 in Albuquerque|