Cynsational News & Giveaways

Compiled by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Enchanted Interview: Bethany Griffin, author of Masque of the Red Death by Elizabeth C. Bunce from The Enchanted Inkpot. Peek: “I’m terrified of all reptiles, more snakes than anything, but having killer crocodiles roaming the streets was terrifying to me, and repulsive, so I threw it in there!”

Writing to Answer Your Central Question by Barbara O’Neal
from Writer Unboxed. Peek: “What it took was not shirking away from taking another step into my central question, allowing the writing to carry me deeper.”

Are We Underestimating Children? by Katherine Langrish from Seven Miles of Steel Thistles. Peek: “Friends of mine who are children’s authors were recently having a conversation about words their editors had asked them to alter, or explain, on the grounds that children would be puzzled by them.”

Perfecting Your First Page: Three Tips or Exercises from Jane Friedman. Peek: “Here are three of the best exercises or tasks you might undertake when thinking about your first page and how you can improve it before sending
it to agents or editors.”

Character Trait Entry: Persistent by Becca Puglisi from The Bookshelf Muse. Peek: “…stubbornly continuing on, despite opposition, difficulty, or danger.”

Adjusting Expectations for Conferences and Critiques by Mary Kole from Peek: “Expect great things, but don’t require them. Screw your determination to its sticking place, and get into this game to learn and grow as a writer.”

Interview: Editor Stacy Whitman of Tu Books/Lee & Low and Kimberly Pauley, author of Cat Girl’s Day Off by Ellen Oh from The Enchanted Inkpot. Peek: ” I have to say that what I loved about Cat Girl was Nat, your main character, and how you just nailed her voice. She was alive in my head as I was reading. She made me snort Diet Coke out of my nose.” Note: Comment at the link for a chance to win one of two copies.

Beware of the Perils of Social Media from Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent. Peek: “Sometimes it’s simply embarrassing (like when you accidentally send a private message to the whole world). But other times, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time can endanger business relationships and make your life very difficult for awhile.” Source: Stina Lindenblatt at QueryTracker.netBlog.

SingTel Asian Picture Book Award: to be launched at the 2012 Asian Festival of Children’s Content and “presented annually starting 2013 to an outstanding unpublished picture book with an Asian theme.” Source: Asia in the Heart, World on the Mind.

The One Thing You Should Do To Sell More Books by Nick Thacker from Mystery Writing Is Murder. Peek: “The benefits of having your work posted on another site are many. First, you’re getting exposure—for free.”

The Exclusive Query by Jane Lebak from QueryTracker.netBlog. Peek: “Here’s a thought: any agent who demands an exclusive query must feel confident that s/he is the very first agent you are going to query.”

Tips for Non-corny Romance Scenes by Deborah Halverson from Peek: “Because teens lack the words and experience to express themselves well
in romantic situations, they try to read each other’s body language and
become hyper-conscious of their own bodies. Mine that!”

Margaret J. Anderson on Publishing Out-of-Print Books as E-books by Sarah Blake Johnson from Explorations. Peek: “I do think it’s a great way to make books that might have a limited
audience available to readers. It’s hard for publishers to justify the production and storage costs for a physical book that isn’t going to jump off the shelves.” See also Debi Faulkner on the Teamwork of Indie Publishing, also from Sarah, at Through the Tollbooth.

YA Authors on Pinterest by Kirsten Hubbard from YA Highway. Peek: “It’s an easy, visually appealing way to collect book inspiration, for starters (some author pinboards are stunning).”

Associate Editor Position Available at Lee & Low. Peek: “We have an opening for an associate editor of picture books, both fiction and nonfiction. Candidate must have three (3) to five (5) years experience working with illustrated books.”

Souped-Up Story Hour by Elizabeth Bluemle from PW ShelfTalker. Peek: “One of our staff members, Juanita (aka JP), suggested enhancing our weekly Wednesday morning story hours with one special visit from a Vermont picture book author or illustrator each month.”

Cheers to Mitali Perkins for establishing Twitter Book Parties! Peek: “It’s hard to believe we’re about to throw our 250th book birthday party on twitter, and even more amazing to realize that the first one took place almost three years ago. If you’re an author with a children’s or teen book releasing from a traditional publisher, feel free to sign up. Here are the details…”

Scwartz Children’s Picture Book Category.

2012 short list for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards from the Ontario Arts Council. Winners in both the children’s picture book category and the young adult/middle reader category will be announced on May 31 in Toronto. “The Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards were established in 1976 by Sylvia Schwartz in memory of her sister, Ruth Schwartz, a respected Toronto bookseller. In 2004, the family renamed the awards to honour both sisters.” Source: Cynsations Canada reporter Lena Coakley.

The Crime Writers of Canada announced the nominees for the 2012 Arthur Ellis Awards for Excellence in Canadian Crime Writing, including the nominees for the best juvenile/young adult work. Winners (announced at a banquet on May 31)
receive a figurine of a hanged man. Source: Cynsations Canada reporter Lena Coakley.

Change of Heart by Mary Kole from Peek: “A lot of the time, climactic plot moments should rub up against these instances of deep personal change.”

How to Get a Publishing Internship (In Three Steps) by Emilia Plater from YA Highway. Peek: “The process of internship-getting wasn’t easy or simple, but it was totally doable.”

What About Historical Fiction? by J. Anderson Coats from Cari’s Book Blog. Peek: “…if you like dystopian secondary worlds like these girls seemed to, let
me tell you something: the best-kept secret about history is that the
past is the ultimate secondary world.”

Process Talk: Leda Schubert and Bonnie Christensen on The Princess of Borscht by Uma Krishnaswami from Writing with a Broken Tusk (Part One and Part Two). Peek from Leda: “The dream-come-true part is that Bonnie and I were in a writing group
back then, and when I read the draft, she wanted to illustrate it.”

Happy 20th Birthday, Junie B. Jones! Check out the new Junie B. facebook page!

Should You Focus on Writing or Your Platform? by Jane Friedman from Writer Unboxed. Peek: “…general guidelines to help any writer understand how to balance writing with platform building.”

Character Relationships: Three Adjustments to Make by Darcy Pattison from Fiction Notes. Peek: “When a first draft is slightly off in the Show-Don’t-Tell of a relationship, how do you correct the relationship?”

Cynsational Giveaways

Enter to win a giveaway package celebrating The Veil by Cory Putnam Oakes (Octane, 2011). The giveaway package includes: a signed copy of The Veil; a Cable Car tin full of Ghirardelli chocolates; a tin of illy coffee (medium roast); a “Caffeine Gives Me Annorasi Powers” mug (extra large, to hold extra caffeine for extra powers); and “I *HEART* Luc” stickers. Note: Cory says: “Ghirardelli Square and caffeine are both very important in The Veil.”

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 Veil” in the subject line. Author-sponsored. Eligibility: U.S. Deadline: midnight CST May 7.

Enter to win a signed, personalized copy of Puzzled by Pink by Sarah Frances Hardy (Viking, 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. Author-sponsored. Eligibility: U.S. Deadline: midnight CST May 2. Note: Plan your own Puzzled by Pink Birthday Party, featuring party plans, tips, crafts, activities, printable invitation and more!

Congratulations, Elizabeth & Patricia!

The winners of the prize packages celebrating Robot Zombie Frankenstein! by Annette Simon (Candlewick, 2012) were Elizabeth in Georgia and Patricia in California.

Poetry lovers! Enter to win a signed copy of A Suitcase of Seaweed and/or one of three signed copies of The Declaration of Interdependence, all by Janet Wong, from Jama Rattigan’s Alphabet Soup. Deadline: noon EDT April 28.

YA readers! P.J. Hoover at Roots in Myth is giving away a copy of Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber (Houghton Mifflin). Eligibility: U.S. Deadline: 12:01 a.m. May 5.

This Week at Cynsations

More Personally

I’m thrilled to have been named the first Spirit of Texas featured author for high schools at last week’s conference of the Texas Library Association in Houston. See my full report on the conference.

If you are a middle school/high school author or illustrator from Texas, currently living in Texas or having published a book set in Texas, don’t miss the information on registering for the SPOT speaker directory under “notes.”

Thanks again to TLA, especially YART/the SPOT committee, the Permabound team, Candlewick Press, my co-panelists, and everyone who came to my signings and panels! Congrats again to SPOT middle school author, Andrea White!

Remember Shayne Leighton, creator of several of my book trailers, including the most recent one for Diabolical? She and Frantisek Mach have launched Kino Pictures, offering photography, music videos, web design, film production & development, and graphic design. Congratulations Shayne and Frantisek!

Don’t miss: Writing Links from Children’s & YA Lit Resources. Learn more about agents, editors and publishers, promotion, publishing, and more. See also Inspiration in Writing Children’s & YA Books.

Personal Links:

From Greg Leitich Smith:

Cynsational Events

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 and Greg Leitich Smith this summer?

3 thoughts on “Cynsational News & Giveaways

  1. Oh my gosh thank you SO much for another awesome giveaway! This swag pack looks so awesome; I especially love the cable car filled with chocolates. 🙂 The Veil looks like an amazing book, and I have heard such good things about it. I can't wait to read it, and it would be awesome to be able to win it! I also adore the "Caffeine Gives Me Annorasi Powers" mug. Who wouldn't want to use that in the morning? Thanks again for this fun competition, and best of luck to everyone! 🙂
    My email address is: skittles2200 at sbcglobal dot com

Comments are closed.