Cynsational News & Giveaways

Find out Helen’s misconception!

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Author Insight: Publishing Misconceptions from Wastepaper Prose. Peek: “What was the biggest misconception you had about publishing before you got a book deal?”

What Every Middle Grade Writer Should Know About Middle Graders by Lee Wardlaw from Project Mayhem. Peek: “Young middle graders have a strong sense of moral justice, hence their indignation when bedtime for them is 9 p.m. p.m. and older siblings get to stay up till 10 p.m.”

Three Ways Cause & Effect Can Help Build Your Story by Martina from Adventures in YA & Children’s Publishing.

Researching Your Novel: Dos and Don’ts by Carolyn Kaufman from QueryTracker.netBlog. Peek: “The reality is that when you keep researching far beyond the things that you needed to know, you’re not doing it for your story anymore.” See also Updating Ideas to Create Something New by Celia Rees from Adventures in YA & Children’s Publishing.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Your Art by Kristin Briana Otts from YA Highway. Peek: “I lost my job, when I looked into freelance writing; but I decided to
stick with waiting tables, because that was what I knew. I was afraid to
try – afraid to fail – so I stuck with work that was safe even though
it made me unhappy.” See also When It Feels Like You’ve Given Up the Dream by Kaitlin Ward from YA Highway.

Shining the Spotlight: 2013 Honorees from The Brown Bookshelf. Peek: “…we are proud to announce the honorees for our sixth annual 28 Days Later campaign, a Black History Month celebration of emerging and established children’s book creators of color. As is tradition, a stand-out author or illustrator will be saluted each day during February.”

Author Interview: Liz Garton Scanlon by Carmen Oliver from One Word at a Time. Peek: “We bring so much energy to birthdays, but little ones – turning 1 or 2 or 4 or 5 – must be so confused. They don’t know the traditions, the rituals, the rules. What would happen, I wondered, if one of them just asked? And we answered?” Note: Central Texans! Join Liz for the launch of Happy Birthday, Bunny! (Beach Lane, 2013) at 2 p.m. Jan. 26 at BookPeople in Austin.

Amazon Children’s Publishing Names Two Imprints by Shannon Maughan from Publishers Weekly. Peek: “Two Lions will be home to picture books, chapter books and middle-grade fiction, and Skyscape will be devoted to titles for young adults, encompassing works from both established authors and new voices. Margery Cuyler is editorial manager for Two Lions, and Tim Ditlow is editorial manager for Skyscape.”

Cynsational Author Tip: Lift up! Lift up! Lift up your craft, your books, yourself as well as those around you and their efforts, too. Don’t fall victim to the temptation to dismiss, minimize, sneer or cast aside what is yours or what springs from someone else. Don’t push others down to raise yourself; rise on the strength of your own spirit and take others with you to new heights!

What’s Hindering You? by Kristi Holl from Writer’s First Aid. Peek: “Are there things (activities, hobbies, interests, bad habits) that you need to dump if you’re going to make a successful journey as a writer in 2013?”

2013 Advanced Writing Workshop: Sara Zarr — Emotional Pacing from April 19 to April 21 at The Writing Barn in Austin. The weekend, a combination of lecture, exercises and workshop will address these questions: How do we get characters to grow and change in ways that make readers forget they’re reading a book, and instead draw them into inhabiting a world full of people as real as themselves? How do we take characters on the emotional part of their journey and not only the physical one? Application deadline: Feb. 7. From the Writing Barn’s operations manager Bethany Hegedus: “The goal of the Advanced Writer Weekend Workshop Season is for dedicated and productive writers to continue to study craft, read and analyze current books, have in-depth conversation, and to come away from the intensives with insights into works-in-progress and to renew and reinvigorate writing inspiration. Led by award-winning authors, editors, and agents, these application-only workshops with limited attendance will be on par with MFA-level programming.” See a report on the previous WB workshop, featuring agent Alexandra Penfold and check out the upcoming November workshop with Francisco X. Stork.

More on the workshop with Alexandra Penfold.

Award News

Cynsational Giveaways

The winners of Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor (Little Brown, 2012) are Lauren in North Carolina, Jenn in Wyoming, and Lillian in Ohio.

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

Cynsational Screening Room

Check out the Snuggle Mountain children’s book app trailer; story by Lindsey Lane, art by Melissa Iwai, book trailer by Erik Kuntz.

This Week at Cynsations

More Personally

Last weekend’s highlight was YAK Fest
in Keller, Texas! Huge thanks to the dynamic planners, volunteers,
attendees, and everyone who contributed to making it such a success! See my event photo report from earlier this week!

With Cory Putnam Oakes, Krissi Dallas and Greg Leitich Smith

Cynthia Leitich Smith’s Great Resources for Writers and Illustrators by Lee Wind from The Official SCBWI Blog. Peek: “Cynthia Leitich Smith is a powerhouse.” Note: Jeepers. Thanks, Lee!

What I’m Reading Feral Nights by Cynthia Leitich Smith from P.J. Hoover at Roots in Myth. Peek: “The wit and humor that Cynthia manages to pull off each and every time she writes a book amazes me. I find myself laughing out loud in the most unexpected places as a perfectly placed bit of humor slips into her story.”

Personal Links

Cynsational Events

Hey, Guys & Dolls, it’s a book party! Join Janet Fox at 7 p.m. Jan. 29 at BookPeople in Austin for the launch of Sirens. Come in 1920s costumes. Prizes for best gangster and snazziest flapper. See more information. Note: see also the Liz Garton Scanlon event for Happy Birthday, Bunny! at 2 p.m. Jan. 26 at BookPeople (listed above)!

Join Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith (and many more!) Feb. 2 at Montgomery County Book Festival. Check out the art contest; deadline: Jan. 18.

Join Cynthia Leitich Smith, Jennifer Ziegler and more at Library Palooza 2013: That Author Thing! will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Brandeis High School in San Antonio.

2013 Novel Writing Retreat for Middle Grade and Young Adult Writers
will be March 15 to March 17 at Vermont College of Fine Arts in
Montpelier. Peek: “This year’s retreat will feature faculty Cynthia
Leitich Smith, Lauren Myracle, and Candlewick editor Andrea Tompa.”

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