Cynsational News & Giveaways

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Author Insight: Writerly Conveniences from Wastepaper Prose. Peek: “Outside of the internet, what’s your biggest writerly convenience?”

Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Stephen Savage by Jules from Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. Peek: “Linoleum block printing and the computer. Sketchbooks are an integral part of my process, too, and I usually have a pocket sketchbook with me at all times. I find that my best ideas start as thumbnails in those books.” See also Laying a Foundation for a Great Picture Book.

Five Bad Things Radio Guests Do (& Seven Ways to Rock on Radio) from Jane Friedman. Peek: “Although many experienced hosts are adept at ‘plugging’ whatever you want promoted, some aren’t. So it’s up to you to mention that information a few times throughout the interview.”

Three Vs of Fiction: Vision by Darcy Pattison from Fiction Notes. Peek: “Three things are essential in today’s crowded marketplace: vision, voice and vulnerability. In this three-part series, we will examine these essentials.” See also Three Vs of Fiction: Voice.

How’s the Weather in Your Middle Grade? by Dawn Lairamore from Project Mayhem. Peek: “As a lover of stories…I embrace tempestuous weather and all the exciting and mysterious possibilities that come with it.”

Resolved: Writing Is a Job by Ann Patchett from The Washington Post. Peek: “I don’t know why this struck me as such a radical concept, but it did — time spent working equals output of work. Amazing!” See also A Real Job by Cory McCarthy from Through the Tollbooth.

Are You Listening? by Jeanette Larson from ALSC Blog. Peek: “…following a pretty thorough and interesting history of children’s audiobooks, Burkey deals with the question, Why Listen?, before moving on to an overview of the path written material follows as it becomes an audiobook.”

Ask About the Numbers by Kristi Holl from Writer’s First Aid. Peek: “…if the stories you are given to write are longer or take more thought, your ‘production’ quotas will look lower to others. Find a way to be okay with this, or it will plague you throughout your career.”

Writers and Resolutions by Ash Krafton from QueryTracker.netBlog. Peek: “While promoting gets my stories out, it does seem like I spent more time on promoting than I did on writing new ones.”

What Makes a Strong Author’s Visit — A Teacher’s Perspective by Jillian Terry from Angela Ackerman at The Bookshelf Muse. Peek: “Let’s take a look at some of the ways how an author could make their visit to a classroom benefit students.”

Bringing the Past Into the Future by Mary Kole
from Peek: “If an event or relationship doesn’t progress from what has already been established, you are not using it to its full potential.”

Lalicki to Retire from HarperCollins by Diane Roback from Publishers Weekly. Peek: “Executive editor Rosemary Brosnan has been promoted to editorial director.”

Jacqueline Woodson Wins 2013 Charlotte Zolotow Award by Professor Nana from The Goddess of YA Literature. Peek: “Each Kindness, written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by E. B. Lewis, is the winner of the sixteenth annual Charlotte Zolotow Award for outstanding writing in a picture book. The award is given by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, a library of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and will be formally presented on April 6, 2013 in Madison…”

Anneographies: Picture Book Biographies from Anne Bustard:
celebrating the subjects’ birthdays with books. Highly recommended,
especially to teachers, school librarians, and writing students of the
picture book and/or picture book biography.

Power Writing: Strategies to Help You Reach Your Goals and Watch More Bravo TV by Karen Rock from Harlequin Heartwarming. Peek: “Hide. Seriously. Find a spot in the house where you won’t be located, sniffed out, or hollered to. I’ve even written in the backseat of my garage-parked car during NFL playoffs.”

John Cusick joins Greenhouse Literary. Peek: “John Cusick joins us from Jan 14 as a new U.S. agent, developing his own client list in middle grade and young adult, both fiction and nonfiction. John was previously an agent with Scott Treimel in New York. And Greenhouse is now moving strongly into picture books for the first time…open to submissions from both U.S. and U.K. picture book authors from next week.”

Cynsational Giveaways

Don’t miss Retrospective Headdesk from Laini Taylor; source: Gwenda Bond.

See also New YA Lit Releases and Five Giveaways from Adventures in YA & Children’s Publishing.

This Week at Cynsations

More Personally

This week’s highlight was a Twelfth Night Party for the Austin children’s-YA writer community at Nikki Loftin‘s house in Dripping Springs, Texas.

With Frances Yansky.
With Nikki, Salima Alikhan & Donna Bowman Bratton

Congratulations to my dear friend Meredith Davis, VCFA grad and founder of Austin SCBWI, for signing with signed with literary agent Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Trident Media Group, and congratulations to Alyssa for signing Meredith!

Congratulations to Alex Brown, Mary Louise Sanchez, and Sandra Headen, winners of the On-the-Verge Emerging Voices Award from SCBWI!

Congratulations to fellow Austin YA author Varian Johnson, celebrating five years in print for My Life as a Rhombus (Flux, 2008)!

Personal Links

Cynsational Events

Watch the Chronal Engine LEGO Trailer

Join Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith Jan. 19 at Young Adult Keller (Texas) Book Festival (YAK Fest). See more information from I Read Banned Books.

Join E.B. Lewis at 4 p.m. Feb. 10 at BookPeople from Austin SCBWI. Note: “food, drinks, and conversation.” Space is limited, RSVP required. See link for more information.

Highlights Foundation’s Whole Novel Workshop: applications are being accepted for the workshop from March 3 to March 9 with Candlewick editor Kaylan Adair, and writers Alan Gratz, Alexandria LaFaye, and Tami Lewis Brown. Special guest is editor Molly O’Neill, with Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books. For more information about the Whole Novel Workshop, contact Jo Lloyd at 570.253.1192, email or visit to request an application.