Cynsational News & Giveaways

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

We Need to Talk about the Mid-list by Ellen Caldecott from An Awfully Big Blog Adventure. Peek: “No-one ever sets out to become a mid-list writer, such dreams would be more getting texts from friends saying ‘I was in Coventry Waterstones and they don’t have your book’; being able to reserve your book only via the inter-library loan system; typing in the early hours before you go off to your day job.”

Meograph Launches 4D Storytelling Platform by Joyce Valenza from School Library Journal. Peek: “The intuitive, browser-based interface prompts users to create moments by setting up dates (and times if they are meaningful) and locations and then adding media and links to external articles.”

Join Shana Burg on the Laugh with the Moon Blog Tour from The Pirate Tree: Social Justice and Children’s Literature. Peek: “…I knew the next book would be set in Malawi. I was passionate about sharing stories about the people I’d met there–people who are resourceful and resilient and manage to laugh despite the extreme poverty, people who taught me so much.” Note: Attention Central Texans! Shana will be signing at 2 p.m. Aug. 4. at Barnes & Noble La Frontera Village in Round Rock.

Character Crisis by Amy Goldman Koss from Amy Koss Blog Thang. Peek: “…am I to tell them that if they want readers to recognize and sympathize with their characters they should write caricatures?” Amy has joined the faculty of the 41rst Annual SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles.

Writing and Selling Sci-Fi & Fantasy for Kids and Teens through Live Webinar registration, featuring literary agent John Cusick of Scott Treimel NY, from Writer’s Digest Shop. Peek: “What makes some stories stand out, and others unsuccessful, cliché, or—worst of all—left buried in the slush pile? How can you define your craft to create novels at once lasting and fresh? How does writing for kids and teens differ from writing for adults? How can you capture the attention of an agent in this rich and extremely competitive market? In other words, how can you give your story the best chance to get published?”

Alex Sanchez on LGBTQ and Controversial YA Lit from Adventures in YA & Children’s Publishing. Peek: ” I believe our responsibility as adults is better carried out not by teaching young people what to think but rather how to think. One powerful way to do that is through stories.”

Two Words by Annemarie O’Brien from Quirk and Quill. Peek: “Mining our childhood memories for material and translating them truthfully onto the page opens up the kind of vulnerability in our
writing that pulls readers in.”

How Long Should It Be? by Arthur Plotnik from QueryTracker.netBlog. Peek: “…form is key.”

On Having Figured Out the Twist from John Green. Peek: “I stand with Rosenblatt in celebrating anticipation over surprise.”

Andy Sherrod on Boy Readers from Janet Fox at Through the Wardrobe. Peek: “…the activity is as important as the gender of the main character.”

Promoting Your Book Starts with Your Query by Nicola Furlong from Adventures in YA and Children’s Publishing. Peek: “Writing good queries is hard; it’s both art and craft.”

2012 Kidlit Con Registration Has Opened from educating alice. Peek: “at the New York Public Library no less, Sept. 28 to Sept. 29, 2012.” If you can get there, go! It’s free.

Time Out for Monsters Book Birthday Party: Jean Reidy is celebrating the release of her latest picture book Time Out for Monsters! with month-long party and she has something for everyone, including Time Out for Teachers – Free Skype Visits and Resources for Teachers and Librarians for the 2012-13 School Year, Tales from the Time Out Corner – A fun video contest (through 8/31/12) with a chance to win $100 and more. A Time Out for Picture Books Critique Contest, a GoodreadsGiveaway and more.

On My Week Without Exclamation Marks by Larissa Theule from Quirk and Quill. Peek: “I went a week without using exclamation marks. Not a single happy stick
and dot in any emails, text messages, or reminder notes to myself or
anyone else.”

Interview with Author Lisa Yee by Marjorie Coughlan from PaperTigers. Peek: “I think that most kids (and adults) feel like an outsider at some point
in their life. But because we don’t talk about this, many think that
they are the only person who is invisible.”

Essays on Education, Reading, Teaching and Literacy by Professor Nana from The Goddess of YA Literature. See L is for Literacies, Content and Content, E is for Environment, and more.

Attention, Austinites! BookPeople is hiring — full-time, evenings and weekends. Fill out this application by 11 p.m. Aug. 5.

Cynsational Giveaways

 The winner of Starcrossed by Josephine Angeline (HarperTeen, 2011) was Gaby in Georgia.

New curriculum guide for Think Big!

The winner of Think Big by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Vanessa Newton (Bloomsbury, 2012) was Katie in Maryland.

The winners of two sets of Ron Koertge’s bestselling books were Dawn in Illinois and someone who has yet to claim the prize (check your email!), and the winner of a first chapter critique by Ron was Christina.

The winner of Goddess Girls Super Special: The Girl Games by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams (Aladdin, 2012) was Margaret in New York.

This Week at Cynsations

Cynsational Screening Room

Bookmark: We Believe in Picture Books! at Reading Starts Here! from Candlewick Press.

More Personally

Diabolical is now available from Walker Books in the U.K.; see more info!

Congratulations to the SCBWI 2012 Amazon Work in Progress Grant Winners, Runners-up, and Letter of Merit Honorees, including fellow Austinite Donna Bowman Bratton.

Donna at Varian Johnson‘s Saving Maddie launch!

Even More Personally

Last week’s highlight was a trip to nearby Round Top, Texas, which is one of the top small arts towns in the world. If you love craftsmanship, fine antiques, and the visual and performing arts, this is a must-see destination, which attracts visitors from around the globe.

Greg and I stayed at The Belle of Round Top Bed & Breakfast Retreat Center.
Here’s a peek at our room. The B&B has our highest recommendation!
Brazos Belle Restaurant in nearby Burton; a world-class dining experience (really).
And we saw “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Shakespeare at Winedale.

See Greg’s report, The Play’s The Thing.

Personal Links:

From Greg Leitich Smith

One thought on “Cynsational News & Giveaways

  1. Another wonderful round-up! Interesting article on characterization from Amy. The B&B pictures were very cool. Thanks for sharing them, and thanks for including Adventures in YA & Children's Pub. 🙂

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