Cynsational News & Giveaways

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Kathi Appelt on Writing for the Long Haul from Janni Lee Simner at Desert Dispatches. Peek: “…whenever I come face to face with the ancient goddess Story, I still feel small in her presence.”

Advice for Young Writers (With Some Help from Buffy) by E. Kristin Anderson from Write All the Words! Peek: “Why rush it when you can take your time, develop your craft over the course of several novels, and eventually figure out what you’re great at? I mean, you wouldn’t learn to bake one day and expect open a bakery within a month, would you?”

Writers Don’t Waste by Brian Yansky from Brian’s Blog: Diary of a Writer. Peek: “Sorry characters, I will think, and then put them through hell. Sometimes we have to put our characters through hell.”

Interview with Literary Agent Emily Keyes of L. Perkins Agency from Debbie Ridpath Ohi at Inkygirl. Peek: “I love a lot of types of middle grade. I wouldn’t say no to fantasy, but I’m leaning toward contemporary these days. Or science fiction.”

Can You Make a Living from Writing? by Chris Eboch from Project Mayhem. Peek: “…I can’t just write what I want, when I want. I have to find ways to make money, while also considering how best to advance my overall career and find time for the writing I love.”

Tips on Writing Multicultural Picture Books/Biographies by Don Tate
from writermorphosis. Peek: “There’s nothing wrong with a white author who chooses to write about a Black person, or on the topic of slavery or civil rights. However, no matter how liberal or open-minded an author may think they are, they still view the world through the lens of their own culture, experiences, privilege.”

Five Wrong-Headed Reasons for Not Writing Diverse Characters in Science Fiction by Karen Sandler from Rich In Color. Peek: “…you might come to the conclusion that only white people can write white people, only woman can write women characters, only children can write about children, ad infinitum, ad nauseum. Which of course is nuts.”

Depression and Writing by Ginger Johnson from Quirk and Quill. Peek: “He administered an abstract-reasoning test to 115 undergraduates and found that even non-depressed students felt lousy after taking the test: ‘the anatomy of focus is inseparable from the anatomy of melancholy.'”

Playing Make-believe: World Building & World Crafting by Emma Dryden from Our Stories, Ourselves. Peek: “Whether fantasy or realism, crafting the worlds of our stories is really akin to setting up the worlds we created as children playing make-believe, only this time we’re responsible for creating worlds rich enough, believable enough, and inviting enough for readers to join us, to journey with us, to stay there with us.”

Searching for Our Jeremy Lin by Matt de la Pena from CBC Diversity. Peek: “What children’s books need is a Jeremy Lin moment–someone or something that shatters our traditional thinking of what can become a megahit in children’s books and turns everything we think we know on its head.”

Six Reasons Google+ Beats Facebook for Author Platform Building by Marcy Kennedy from Jane Friedman. Peek: “Why would you want to bother with a less popular site when you have a limited amount of time for social media?”

Finding Your Unique Author Voice…Like Everyone Else by J.J. Hensley from Mystery Writing Is Murder. Peek: “My voice is the sum of 38 years
of reading, working, talking, listening, watching television, and observing. Is that what people mean by finding that voice?”

Honesty Is My Policy: Publishing is Not “Neat” by Tara Lazar from Writing for Kids. Peek: “…these casual writers think having a published book would be ‘neat’. And it’s not neat. It’s hard work.”

High-Stakes Plotting by Elle Cosimano from The Greenhouse Literary Agency. Peek: “Heightening stakes is not about increasing the value of the physical things our characters want or stand to lose. It’s about tying those things to a deeper yearning – assigning each gain and loss a devastating or life-changing emotional impact.”

When Platform-Building Bites Back by Elizabeth S. Craig from Mystery Writing is Murder. Peek: “I used to blog every day until my schedule got so crazy that I cut back to four days a week.”

2013 Arthur Ellis Awards, Presented by the Crime Writers of Canada, from Bookshelves of Doom. The winner was Becoming Holmes: The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His Final Case by Shane Peacock (Tundra, 2012). See also honor books.

700 Reader Project Mayhem Giveaway: “…prizes from agents Marietta Zacker (Nancy Gallt) and Stephen Fraser (Jennifer de Chiara Lit). …illustrator Kevan Atteberry will be critiquing one lucky illustrator’s online portfolio. Cynthia Leitich Smith and Stephen Messer have graciously donated
a 10-page critique to two lucky writers! Project Mayhem authors Paul Greci, Marissa Burt, Michael Winchell, Matt Rush, Michael Gettel-Gilmartin, Hilary Wagner, James Milhaley, Lee Wardlaw, Chris Eboch, and Dianne Salerni will all be giving critiques as well!”

Cynsational Giveaways

This Week at Cynsations

 More Personally

It’s always fun to get a little national ink! The following PW article offers a terrific overview of the current landscape for marketing YA via social media and quotes me. Check it out:

Teenage Tweetland by Karen Springen from Publishers Weekly. Peek: “YA authors and
publishers reach out to young readers where they live: online and on
their smartphones.”

And now for a peek at my latest adventures in the world of books:

Speaking at Cedar Park (TX) Public Library with Mari Mancusi, Emily McKay & Tracy Deebs
Here we are again!
Talking to YA readers after the panel
Greg Leitich Smith & BookPeople‘s Mandy Brooks celebrate Octopus Alone by Divya Srinivasan
Divya signs her new release

Personal Links

Cynsational Events

Join Cynthia Leitich Smith from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. June 7 at Northeastern State University (Broken Arrow campus) for a discussion of the Tantalize series, the Feral series and the writing process. See more information.

Join Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith at 11 a.m. June 11 at Lampasas (TX) Public Library.

Join authors Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, Nancy Werlin and ICM Partners literary agent Tina Wexler at a Whole Novel Workshop
from Aug. 4 to Aug. 10, sponsored by the Highlights Foundation. Peek:
“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.” Special guests: Curtis Brown
agent Sarah LaPolla, authors Bethany Hegedus and Amy Rose Capetta