Cynsational News & Giveaways

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Sometimes the “Tough” Teen Is Quietly Writing Stories by Matt de la Peña from NPR. Peek: “My professor said something I will never forget when I went and talked to her the following week. Even in the harshest and ugliest of circumstances, she explained, there’s still hope.”

Getting the Writing Done: Crunch Times by Kristi Holl from Writer’s First Aid. Peek: “Check for emergency email first thing in the morning, answer any from editors, and leave the rest till the end of the writing day.”

Book Marketing: The Basics by Jane Friedman from Scratch. Peek: “Remember that a comprehensive book-marketing campaign uses a combination of tactics to reach readers.” See also The Difference Between Marketing & Publicity by M.J. Rose & Randy Susan Meyers from Jane Friedman.

On Writing, Depression and Gaining Control by April C. Rose from YA Highway. Peek: “I was able to shape my characters into the pieces of me I wished I could be.”

Ten Steps to an Overnight Success, or How It Only Took a Decade to Get Paid by Michaelbrent Collings from Writers Helping Writers. Peek: “Fiction writers are, for the most part, freelance writers whose annual takes — even if they are ‘professionals’ (i.e., occasionally paid) — is much, much lower.”

Why So Serious? by Keith Cronin from Writer Unboxed. Peek: “…I wonder whether we’re drawn to such things because up until just a century or two ago, our own day-to-day lives were filled with far more violence, hardship and darkness than many of us now experience, so perhaps it addresses some psychological/emotional void we’re feeling.”

Top Tips for a Scary Story by Jonathan Stroud from Nerdy Book Club. Peek: “While you’re spending a little time picking out the finer points of your characters, you can intersperse a few subtle hints about your ghostly set-up.” Source: Jen Robinson.

Preparing for a Panel by Elizabeth S. Craig from Mystery Writing Is Murder. Peek: “A good panel is the result of good moderation.”

Keeping It Real: Female Protagonists in YA Lit by Jenn Walkup from YA Highway. Peek: “Very often, especially in first person point of view, the female protagonist is on the journey of her story until she falls in love. Then she becomes very passive and it’s all about the love interest, the romance, and the rest of the story often falls away.”

Four Ways to Make Librarians Love Your School Visits by Toni Buzzeo from School Visit Experts. Peek: “Whether the librarian is the one to reach out to you, or you are the first to establish contact, the impression you make in your first and ongoing communications will set the tone of the visit.”

Inside Stories about Memorable Books by Diane Roback from Publishers Weekly. Peek: “We asked 20 prominent editors to recall a personally meaningful children’s book project.”

On Gender and Boys Read Panels by Anne Ursu from Terrible Trivium. Peek: “When we give panels on boys and reading with only (or even predominantly) male authors, we tell boys they are only supposed to like books by men. (This will be surprising to J.K. Rowling and Suzanne Collins.)” See also Consternated About Gender and Middle Grade Books from Charlotte’s Library.

Who’s Story Is It Anyway? Keeping Kids in the Spotlight by Joseph McGee from Project Mayhem. Peek: “Children want to read about other children in the role of the protagonist, as the hero. In this sense they can both relate, and inject themselves into the story.”

This Week at Cynsations

A Dino A Day Strikes Back

A Dino A Day Strikes Back

Surf over to GregLSBlog for A Dino A Day Strikes Back, featuring author Greg Leitich Smith and shot at various landmarks around Austin, Texas!

It’s a dinosaur T-shirt celebration of the paperback release of Chronal Engine (Clarion, 2013) and new editions of Ninjas, Piranhas and Galileo and Tofu and T.rex (IntoPrint, 2013)(originally published by Little, Brown).

Day 1: Palmer Events Center (Austin Marathon Expo)
Day 2: Texas Memorial Museum (Exterior/Statuary)
Day 3: Waller Creek Boat House
Day 4: Hartmann Prehistoric Garden
Day 5: UT Alumni Center
Day 6: O. Henry House and Museum
Day 7: Santa Rita No. 1 oil rig
Day 8: Texas Memorial Museum (Interior/Fish)

See also the Chronal Engine Activity Kit.

Cynsational Giveaway

The winner of One
Word Pearl (Charlesbridge), signed by illustrator Hazel Mitchell and a
signed giclee print from the book
is Jeri in Colorado and the runner-up (who won a signed copy of the book) is Penny in Texas.

More Personally

Thanks again to everyone who showed up to celebrate the Illumine Awards and to support the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation. See photo report.

For those who asked for a full shot of my dress for the Illumine Award benefit.

Thank you, KidlitCon, for gracious enthusiasm at my Saturday morning keynote! See reports from fellow faculty at Finding Wonderland, Semicolon, Jen Robinson’s Book Page, Stacked, MotherReader (and more), Charlotte’s Library. See also Session Recap: Blogger Burnout: Suggestions for Getting Your Groove Back from Jen Robinson’s Book Page. Note: if I missed your roundup, write me with the link and I’ll post it next week.

At KidLitCon with Lee Wind from I’m Here. I’m Queer. What the Hell Do I Read?

Bloggers assemble at KidLitCon!

More bloggers assemble at KidLitCon!

With P.J. Hoover at Barnes & Noble Round Rock

Thank you to Annemarie O’Brien and her class at Pixar for their kind attention during last night’s online author visit.

Congratulations to Lupe Ruiz-Flores on signing with Mira Reisberg of Hummingbird Literary Agency, and congratulations to Mira on signing Lupe!

Personal Links

 Cynsational Events

Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith will speak at the Florida Association for Media in Education Conference Nov. 20 to Nov. 22 in Orlando.

Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith will teach from June 16 to June 20 at Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers in Sandy, Utah. Note: details are still emerging.