Cynsational News & Giveaways

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

C.K. Kelly Martin on Reconnecting with Your Lost Love of Writing from Adventures in YA and Children’s Publishing. Peek: “…no matter how much we love to write, rejection can take a heavy toll, riddling us with doubt and draining our creative energy.”

Just Begin It by Brian Yansky by Brian’s Blog: Diary of a Writer. Peek: “You have to start a manuscript to finish one.”

Post NaNo Revisions: The Agents’ Perspective by Kristin Halbrook from YA Highway. Peek: “Here to give you more insight, encouragement and advice as you dive into
the next phase of crafting your fabulous new novel are six fantastic
agents, each well-versed in the after-effects of Nano.”

Taking on Procrastination by Gail Gauthier from Original Content. Peek: “Real procrastination, the hardcore stuff, involves individuals choosing to do something that will, essentially, harm them, meaning not doing the work toward a goal that would benefit them.” See also the Dynamics of Change by Kristi Holl from Writer’s First Aid.

The Caldecott Medal Infographic from School Library Journal.

Visual Editing: Color Coding Your Way to a Clearer Manuscript by Danyelle Leafty from QueryTracker.netBlog. Peek: “Going through your manuscript and color coding it can be time intensive, but has proven, for me, to be one of the most thorough ways of pushing small cracks and flaws out into the surface and highlighting the bigger problems with neon lights.”

Picture Book Biographies with First-Person Point of View from Donna Bowman Bratton. Peek: “…welcome to the world of picture books where good storytelling often trumps general rules of nonfiction literature. These are all well researched, compelling, lovely books worth paying attention to.”

A Few Handy (Writing) Rules of Thumb and Why You Might Not Use Them by Mette Ivie Harrison. Peek: “Make sure that there is some conflict in the first chapter, even if it isn’t the major conflict of the book.”

Author Insights: Reading Turn-ons and Turn-offs from Wastepaper Prose. Peek: “What always compels you to pick up a book? Do you have a reading turn-off that guarantees you’ll put one down?”

So You Have 50,000 Words, Now What? by Lee Bross from YA Highway. Peek: “You’re not going to climb Everest in your underwear with no supplies to speak of, so why would you send out a jumble of words to an agent or an editor without making sure they are the best they can be?” See also My Three-Point Revision Checklist from Anna Staniszewski.

Guest Editor Stacy Innerst: The Risk of Illustration Notes in Picture Book Manuscripts from Peek: “I prefer to have the opportunity to have an unencumbered first impression of the story, no matter how spare the text might be.”

Hunger Mountain – Science Fiction/Fantasy Issue: featuring articles by Nikki Loftin, K.A. Holt, Greg Leitich Smith, and Meredith Davis. Peek: “Our goal for this issue is to bring some of that literary science fiction and fantasy to our readers.”

Cynsational Screening Room

Check out the trailer for Monsieur Marceau: Actor Without Words by Leda Schubert,
illustrated by Gerard DuBois (Roaring Brook, 2012).

Cynsational Giveaways

The winner of Rootless T-shirt and a signed, personalized copy of Rootless by Chris Howard (Scholastic, 2012), and bookmarks was Heather in Ontario.

See also New YA Lit in Stores & Two-book Giveaway from Adventures in YA & Children’s Publishing.

This Week at Cynsations

A Dino a Day: A Chronal Engine Celebration

Amy’s Ice Creams

Greg Leitich Smith continues his celebration of the holiday season by modeling his 2012 release, Chronal Engine (Clarion) and his wardrobe of dinosaur T-shirts at Austin landmarks.

Remember? Every day a different rockin’ dinosaur T-shirt at a different super-fantastic Austin locale.

Please brighten his week (and mine, too) by clicking through, leaving a comment, and/or passing on the link(s). Please also feel free to compliment the photographer (cough) — ha!

More Personally

New hair cut — long layers
With my stylist Barbara Morin at Sirens Salon in Austin
Research for the novel on deadline!

Introductory Chapter Books to Match Diverse Young Readers (including Indian Shoes by Cynthia Leitich Smith (HarperCollins, 2002)) from The New York Times. See also Young Latino Students Don’t See Themselves in Books by Motoko Rich from The New York Times.

Mission Dancers Awe Frenchtown Students
by Daniel Martynowicz from Valley Journal. Peek: “So what do Native
American dancers and more than 100 Frenchtown second-graders have in
common? Jingle Dancer, a children’s book by Cynthia Leitich Smith, Ying-Hwa Hu, and Cornelius Van Wright.”

The first review of Feral Nights (Candlewick, 2013) is in! Kirkus Reviews cheers, “…dialogue that sparkles with wit, filled with both literary and pop-culture references. (‘You’re saying that you and my sister perform exorcisms on vomiting children with rotating heads?’)…playful, smart tone.”

Congratulations to Varsha Bajaj! From Publishers Marketplace: “Varsha Bajaj‘s debut novel Passage to Bollywoood, in which an American thirteen year old discovers the father she never knew is a famous Bollywood movie star yet when she travels to India to meet him she must hide her identity from the press for one slip-up could jeopardize his career and their new-found relationship in this Princess Diaries meets Flipped Bollywood-Style, to Kelly Barrales-Saylor at Albert Whitman, by Jill Corcoran at The Herman Agency.”

Happy 90th birthday to children’s author Barbara Brooks Wallace!

Personal Links

Cynsational Events 

Advanced Writing Workshops — Simon & Schuster Editor Alexandra
Penfolds, Deconstructing Children’s Literature Characters
Jan. 18 to Jan. 20 at The Writing Barn in Austin. Application deadline: Dec. 1.

Austin SCBWI Regional Conference Early-Bird Registration Deadline: Dec. 19. After that, the price goes up $25.

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.”

Sneak Peek at New Year’s Workshops from the Highlights Foundation. Peek: “‘Whole Novel Workshop: Young Adult’ with Cynthia Leitich Smith, Greg Leitich Smith, Nancy Werlin. Founded in 2006, the Whole Novel Workshop is specifically designed for writers of young-adult novels. This unique program offers the one-on-one attention found in degree programs, but without additional academic requirements, lengthy time commitments, or prohibitive financial investments. Our aim is to focus on a specific work in progress, moving a
novel to the next level in preparation for submission to agents or publishers. Focused attention in an intimate setting makes this mentorship program one that guarantees significant progress.”

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