Cynsational News & Giveaways

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

So You Want to Write for a Living from Marion Dane Bauer. Peek: “You want your writing to be your work, your primary work. What does it take to make that happen?”

KidLitopia: official site of writer/editor Shannon Barefield, this haven of support for kidlit writers features biography, blog, editorial services, and free downloads. Shannon donates five percent of her income to literacy nonprofits.

What’s in a Name? by Daphne Grab from Crowe’s Nest. Peek: “I flew home thinking about what it might have been like to
grow up Daphne Grahb.  Would I have
been more elegant and dignified?”

Author Insight: An Expanding Audience from Wastepaper Prose. Peek: “Teens are no longer the sole audience for Young Adult fiction. Has the fact that more adults are reading the genre impacted the way you write?”

The Problem of Conflicting Feedback by Carmen Martino from Teaching Authors.  Peek: “…latch on to the feedback that feels ‘right’ or ‘true’ first.”

Time Management:Time for Creativity by Gail Gauthier from Original Content. Peek: “More creative work is done, he claims, by those people who can tolerate the creative discomfort and stick with a problem longer.”

Turning a Self-Published Book Into a Traditional Publishing Contract: Some Hard Numbers
from Janet Reid, Literary Agent. Peek: “…be realistic about what
self-publishing is, and what it can accomplish. And more important what
it can not accomplish.” Source: April Henry.

Let’s Hear it for the Boys (& Girls) by Kathy F. from Stellar Four. Peek: “Just because the girl doesn’t outrank the boy doesn’t mean that he is
inferior or less important. Also, acknowledging that a woman has skills
and may be better suited to take the lead in a situation is not a
reflection on the loss of masculinity, it shows using your brain to go
for the winning strategy.” Source: Bookshelves of Doom. See also Guys Talking to Guys (Or This is What Makes Us Boys) by Deena from Author2Author.

Want Lines from Mette Ivie Harrison. Peek: “A ‘want-line’ is what the character wants right now, and it drives every
scene. While a primary goal can be the want-line in many scenes, it can
also be set aside for the scene at hand.” See also Part 2. Note: inspired by the wisdom of Holly Black.

Set Goals Now for 2013 by Kristi Holl from Writer’s First Aid. Peek: “…how will you get from where you are to where you want to be?” See also Kristi on Writing for the Christian Market.

How Children See the World: Picture Book Advice from the 17th Texas Book Festival by Carmen Oliver from Hen & Ink. Peek: “They may not have the verbal sophistication to describe the art but they know how to convey the right feeling.” Don’t miss Part 2.

Physical Attributes Thesaurus: Eyes by Becca Puglisi from The Bookshelf Muse.

Literary Agent Interview: Agent Elena Mechlin of Pippin Properties
from Writer’s Digest. Peek: “…in terms of fiction, certainly my
tastes run more literary, contemporary, or historical rather than sci fi
or fantasy.”

Over and Over
by Crescent Dragonwagon from The Horn Book. Peek: “As I write these
words today, Charlotte is ninety-seven and I am fifty-nine. I see to her
care. When she wrote Over and Over, she was forty-two and I was four,
and she saw to mine. It is also fall, maybe her last on this
green-and-gold spinning globe.”

Round Two of Kidlit Cares: Super Storm Sandy Relief Effort from Joanne Levy. Peek: “…an online talent auction to benefit the Red Cross relief effort for
Sandy.” Agents, marketing pros, editors, authors, art directors, and illustrators have donated various
items/services (signed books, critiques, Skype visits, consultations) to be auctioned off to the highest bidder, with donations being
made directly to the Red Cross disaster relief fund. Note: Scholastic is Donating One Million Books and Teaching Resources to Schools and Libraries Affected by Hurricane Sandy, and Simon & Schuster is also donating, including to shelters.

Old Fairy Tales for New Readers by Nikki Loftin from ALSC Blog. Peek: “…I have hope – that books like mine and so many other authors who are
re-imagining fairy tales, will lead curious young readers (and even
their teachers and librarians) back to the old stories, and ignite a
passion for them.”

What are Awesome Gate-Crashing Authors Thankful for This Year? compiled by Pamela K. Witte from Ink and Angst. Contributors include Cynthia Leitich Smith.

See also Cool Writing Links from Stina Lindenblatt and Publishing Pulse from

Cynsational Giveaways

The winners of author-signed copies of Eighth Grade Is Making Me Sick by Jennifer L. Holm, illustrated by Elicia Castaldi (Random House, 2012) were Alicia in Alabama and Bernice in Illinois.

The winner of a bookplate-signed copy of League of Strays by L.B. Schulman (Abram/Amulet, 2012) was Lauren in North Carolina.

Check of the Class of 2k12’s Epic End-of-the-Year Giveaway and enter to win a copy of the Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market 2013 from Kristi Valiant. See also New YA Lit in Stores & Giveaway of Elemental by Anthony John from Adventures in YA & Children’s Publishing.
This Week at Cynsations

Austin Scene

First off, check out 2014 Children’s-YA Books by Austinites. See also the 2013 list!

This week’s event highlight was the launch party for Dear Teen Me, edited by E. Kristin Anderson and Miranda Kenneally (Zest, 2012) at The Book Spot in Round Rock, Texas. The theme was homecoming. See author interview with EKA. Photos by Dave Wilson Photography; used with permission.

E.K. Anderson & Nikki Loftin
Bethany Hegedus & Salima Alikhan
Cynthia & Greg Leitich Smith
Frances Hill Yansky & Brian Yansky
Jo Whittemore
Mari Mancusi, Mary Lindsey & Nikki Loftin
Nikki Loftin, Jessica Lee Anderson & Cynthia Leitich Smith
Stephanie Pellegrin & Jenny Moss
Back: Jo Whittemore, Don Tate, P.J. Hoover, front: Jessica Lee Anderson & K.A. Holt

In other exciting news, Jeff Crosby and Shelley Ann Jackson gave a terrific presentation on picture books at the Austin SCBWI meeting at BookPeople.

Photo by Mark G. Mitchell; used with permission.

More Personally

I unveiled the cover of my upcoming graphic novel Eternal: Zachary’s Story, illustrated by Ming Doyle (Candlewick, Feb. 2013). Gorgeous, don’t you think? Please also note that the Feral Nights ARC giveaway is still ongoing.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2012 National Book Awards, particularly Goblin Secrets by William Alexander (McElderry) and The Round House by Louise Erdrich (Harper).

Personal Links

Cynsational Events

Cynthia Leitich Smith will sign from noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 1 at The BookSpot in Round Rock.

2013 Novel Writing Retreat for Middle Grade and Young Adult Writers will be March 15 to March 17 at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Study with Cynthia Leitich Smith, Lauren Myracle and Candlewick editor Andrea Tompa.

Extended Three-Session Intensive Workshop: Harold Underdown and Eileen Robinson will be running a three-part revision intensive in Westport, Connecticut, over three Saturdays in January, February, and March. Peek: “Bring your picture book, nonfiction, or
novel manuscript and get multiple rounds of feedback as well as revision techniques.”

2 thoughts on “Cynsational News & Giveaways

  1. An amazingly full and helpful post. Thank you.

    There's a competition at Write to Done: the 7th Annual Top 10 Blogs for Writers contest. Cynsations should be in that top 10!

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