Cynsational News & Giveaways

Indies Choice YA Book Award Winner

Compiled by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Winners of the Indies Choice and E.B. White Read-Aloud Winners Announced from the American Booksellers Association. Peek: “All of the Indies Choice and E.B. White winners and honor recipients are being invited to the Celebration of Bookselling Author Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, June 5, at BookExpo America.”

On Top of the Hen House — Meet My Agent by Carmen Oliver from Following My Dreams…One Word at a Time. Peek: “…she wasn’t exactly connecting with the main character. Hold everything. That’s huge!” Note: feeling stuck? Do a careful read of Carmen’s feedback and revision process.

Día Initiative Extends Its Literacy Outreach by Sally Lodge from Publishers Weekly. Peek: “(Pat) Mora decided to combine the idea of honoring children with literacy advocacy, a subject she is passionate about. She created Día, now a year-long, family literacy initiative based at the ALA’s Association of Library Services to Children.”

Calling all cats! Model call! Send author-illustrator Ruth Sanderson a few photos of your cat – action is best – no more than three – and she might make him/her one of the cat characters in A Castleful of Cats (Random House, 2013). Be sure to include your cat’s name, as Ruth will mention all the models on the dedication page. You’ll also receive a free signed book, if she features your cat. Email photos to ruth at ruthsanderson dot com.

Editor Week for a Non-N.Y.C. Literary Agent by Mandy Hubbard from Pub(lishing) Crawl. Peek: “At almost every conference, authors want to know: does it matter if an
agent is based outside of New York? Are New York agents better, more
connected, more… something?”

2012 RITA Nominee

2012 RITA Nominees for Best Young Adult Romance from YA Fresh. Note: a list.

Point of View in Queries by Mary Kole
from Peek: “…you should discuss your plot and characters,
and then introduce yourself and do your breezy sign-off in the first
person.” See also Mary on Biographical Information in a Query.

Cynsational Author-Blogger Tip: ask yourself, “What is the reader takeaway? How can the information I’m sharing apply to someone else’s life/art/dreams?” Not every post will be a grand-slam, but just being more aware of readers will increase the odds of attracting/satisfying them.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Writing Middle Grade and Were Willing to Ask, featuring editor Molly O’Neill, from Dystel & Goderich. Peek: “…the best books, even when they’re not deal with the end of the world or
magic, aren’t really ‘quiet.’ They may be a smaller story, with very
real, relatable stakes. But if the story is constructed well, and the
voice is strong, the writer can make us care very much what happens in
these more everyday struggles.” Source: April Henry.

Defining Genre: The Problem with “Dystopian Romance” as a Label by Phoebe North from Intergalactic Academy. Peek: “Will women who write YA sci-fi have to try twice as hard to justify
their genre credentials? Will they have to squeeze in an explosion to
counterbalance every kiss lest their work not be seen as worthy of
meriting intergender appeal?” See also On the Rights of Reading and Girls and Boys by Hilary Rappaport from The Horn Book.

Highlights Founders Workshops: A Novel Experience by Janet Fox from Through the Wardrobe. Peek: “There was plenty
of time between one-on-one consults and group workshops for participants to
work in their cabins or to walk in the gorgeous countryside or to socialize.
The TA’s were given time to be available for consults and evenings were for the
most part free.” See also Interview: the Highlights Foundation and Patricia Lee Gauch from Cynsations.

Recommended by CBC

What a Small World: a bibliography of recommendations from the Children’s Book Council. Note: Highlighting books that showcase cultural diversity. Course: CBC Diversity.

In Honor of Beverly Cleary’s 96th Birthday by
Jodi Chromey from BookRiot. Note: required reading.

A Thrilling Fantasy with Roots in Real Life: An Interview with R.L. LaFevers by Heather Seggel from BookPage. Peek: “While you won’t find assassin nuns in any history book, Ismae’s job
takes her to Brittany and Duchess Anne, who really did rule the region
at the ripe old age of 12. That the characters in this story are teens
is entirely faithful to the roles they occupied in society, “doing
really big, important, cool things” as military and political leaders.”

Procrastination Means You Won’t Get Things Done by Melissa Wyatt from And if I come to ledges… Peek: “There are plenty of other writers out there who are writing and getting
things done. So if you want to be one of those people, you must do this
on your own. There is simply no way around this.”

Taming the Dreaded Synopsis by Jane Lebak from QueryTracker.netBlog. Peek: “…the synopsis is primarily a selling tool. It will give a quick overview
of your entire novel from soup to nuts, proving to the agents and
editors that you understand story structure, that your story has both a
plot arc and a character arc, and that you know how to pull together a
satisfying ending.”

You Mean I’ve Got to Write Another One? by Sarah Davies from The Greenhouse Literary Agency. Peek: “You may have put months, if not years, into that first book; if you write
another you could be on a much tighter deadline and under contract. All
of which means the stakes can suddenly feel a whole lot higher.”

Cynsational Giveaways

The winner of a signed advanced reader copy of The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy by Nikki Loftin (Razorbill, 2012) and some sinister sweet swag is Jackie in Maryland!

Enter to win one of two Robot Zombie Frankenstein! prize packages.

Each includes: a signed book, plus build-a-bot foam stickers, robot
chest panel iron-ons, and other kid-sized story-related bling: a Robot
Zombie Frankenstein mini-notebook; a Robot Zombie Frankenstein pirate
hat, eye patch and hook; a Robot Zombie Frankenstein pirate
superhero-in-disguise disguise; Robot Zombie Frankenstein pirate
superhero-in-disguise outer space invader glow-in-the-dark stars; and a
Robot Zombie Frankenstein pirate superhero-in-disguise outer space
invader chef hat and apron.

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 “Robot Zombie Frankenstein!” in the subject line.
Author-illustrator sponsored. Eligibility: U.S./Canada.
Deadline: 11:59 CST April 23.

Note: Robot Zombie Frankenstein (Candlewick, 2012) is a spring Indiebound Kids’ Next Pick.

Last call! Enter for a chance to win Angel Burn and Angel Fire, both by L.A. Weatherly (Candlewick, 2012). To enter, comment on this post (click immediately 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 “Angel Burn & Angel Fire” in the subject line. Author-sponsored. Eligibility: U.S./Canada. Deadline: midnight CST April 16.

Last call! Enter to win a signed copy of  A Million Suns by Beth Revis (Razorbill, 2012)! To enter, comment on this post (click immediately 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 “Million Suns” in the subject line. Author-sponsored. Eligibility: U.S. only. Deadline: midnight CST April 17.

Enter to win Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems by Kate Coombs, illustrated by Meilo So (Chronicle, 2012) from Book Aunt in conjunction with ReaderKidz. To enter, write a haiku “about an ocean animal or some other maritime topic” and share it as a comment in this post (click immediately previous link and scroll); be sure to leave contact information and/or check back. Winner will be chosen and announced at the end of April. See also an interview with Kate and A Letter to Readers by Kate from ReaderKidz.

This Week at Cynsations

More Personally

Great news! Cynsations welcomes Christopher Cheng as a new international reporter, covering Australia, New Zealand and Asia! See details.

On a related note, the SCBWI Bologna 2012 interview series is now posted in its entirety here at Cynsations. Highlights include interviews with author Christopher Cheng, author-app creator Sarah Towle, author-illustrators Barbara McClintock, John ShelleyPaul O. Zelinsky, Bruce Degen, marketing consultant Susan Raab, and agent Erzsi Deak, among others. Special thanks to all the contributors, especially Angela Cerrito for coordinating this series with SCBWI Bologna and Cynsations.

At LBJ State Park by Jeanette Larson.

I received a lovely note informing me that Holler Loudly, illustrated by Barry Gott (Dutton, 2010) has received
the 12 annual St. Mary’s Book Award from St. Mary’s International School in Tokyo. The librarian says: “Thank you for creating books that
boys love to read. We truly love Holler Loudly here in Japan.”

What else? Baby Earth in Round Rock, Texas will kick off storytime on April 26 with Holler Loudly!

A souvenir from children’s-YA author Bethany Hegedus‘s recent wedding.

This tabletop decoration is a book bouquet made out of novels by fellow Austin children’s-YA authors. Looking for a Central Texas venue for your celebration, workshop, or writers’ retreat? Or just a lovely place to stay in South Austin? Check out The Writing Barn.

About Greg

The possibilities are limitless…

Huge congratulations to Greg Leitich Smith on the sale of Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn to Roaring Brook Press!

From Publishers Lunch: Greg Leitich Smith’s “Little
Green Men at the Mercury Inn,” about three friends at a motel in Cocoa
Beach, Florida, after a manned space launch at Kennedy Space Center is
scrubbed due to the appearance of a UFO over Cape Canaveral, to Deirdre Langeland at Roaring Brook Press, for publication in fall 2013, by
Ginger Knowlton at Curtis Brown (world English).

Congratulations also to Greg, whose newly published novel, Chronal Engine (Clarion, 2012), is a Junior Library Guild Selection.

Personal Links:

From Greg Leitich Smith:

Cynsational Events

Cynthia will appear at the Texas Library Association Annual Conference:

  • April 18: 1 p.m. to 1:50 p.m. “Connecting Teens and Authors: Teen Book Festivals and Awesome Author Visits.” 
  • April 18: 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. signing in the author area. 
  • April 19: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. signing in the Permabound booth #1529.
  • April 20: 8 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. “Introducing the Spirit of Texas Reading Programs.” 

Note: Greg Leitich Smith also will be signing in the author area from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. April 18.

See YART’s list of authors signing at the conference (PDF). See also Austin authors-illustrators at TLA.

Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith will appear at A Festival of Authors, in celebration of 100 Years of School Libraries in Austin, which will take place from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. May 12 at Reagan High School in Northeast Austin.

Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith will appear June 30 at Bastop Public Library in Bastrop, Texas.

Interested in taking a class with Cynthia this summer?

More about the Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrel at TLA!

2 thoughts on “Cynsational News & Giveaways

  1. Cyn, Thanks for including me in your weekly round-up!! I'm truly honored. It's been an awesome journey to agent representation and I know there's so much more work to be done. I'm looking forward to it! Thanks to you and Greg both for all your support!!

    Congratulations on the 12th annual St. Mary's Book Award!! And story time at Baby Earth with HOLLER LOUDLY. Those kids are in for a real treat!


  2. So happy for Greg about the JLG award! Also thinking the Writing Barn would be a great place for the Kidlitosphere Conference. Maybe in 2013.

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