Cynsational News & Giveaways

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Why Picture Books Are Important by Kelly Bingham from Picture Book Month. Peek: “Picture books teach us – young and old alike – lessons about ourselves, our world, our feelings, our realities.” See also Chris Barton on Why Picture Books Are Important.

You’re Such a Character by Jael McHenry from Writer Unboxed. Peek: “Even if you do want to tell your readers all about your life, they’re not likely to be interested. You’re going to be selecting details regardless. So it’s not too much of a stretch to give some thought to those details, and what you’re going to emphasize, and what’s going to fall by the wayside.”

Is It Ready to Send Out? by James Mihaley from Project Mayhem. Peek: “Obviously it makes sense not to submit a ragged manuscript but in my opinion writers often hold onto their novels far too long before sending them to agents.” See also Micro-Level Revision by Kimberley Griffiths Little from Adventures in YA Publishing.

Reading Paired Texts to Increase Student Engagement by Jill Eisenberg from Lee and Low. Peek: “Pairing a news article with a book on a similar topic or theme offers students greater context and a sense of relevancy for the content they are learning, and perhaps a jolt to the creeping apathy over a curriculum students had little input in selecting.”

Considerate Craft: Pitching Diverse Characters by Amy from Pub Hub. Peek: “Short answer is it’s up to the writer, and there are lots of choices, including leaving it out of the query. After all, the full complexities of a character or person cannot be summed up in a couple paragraphs.”

Interview: Stacy Nyikos and Waggers by Adi Rule from the VCFA Launch Pad. Peek: “Word count helps keep me on task. At 500 words, all of them play double duty. Dialogue reveals plot, and if I choose correctly, also reveals character.”

Hope for Non-Artists Submitting Concept Books by Deborah Halverson from Dear Editor. Peek: “If you have an opportunity to submit directly to an editor, she likely wouldn’t acquire it until she gets an illustrator to commit.”

First Person Point of View: Building Kinship with the Reader by Jim Hill from Project Mayhem. Peek: “First person narratives work by bringing the reader inside a private club for two. Reader and protagonist become confidantes in a shared adventure.”

Industry Q&A with FSG Editor Grace Kendall from CBC Diversity. Peek: “If I’m editing a book featuring a culture, heritage, or place that I feel unfamiliar with, I will definitely enlist the help of an expert or someone intimately experienced with the subject matter at hand. I do this most often with nonfiction titles, even if the author might be considered an expert in the field or has had an expert read over their work.” See also What? Me Worry? by Charlesbridge Editor Yolanda Scott. Note: includes bibliography of picture books that deal with anxiety.

Patience Or How To Wait and Wait and Wait by Donna Janell Bowman from EMU’s Debuts. Peek: “What I have learned is that hovering over the calendar, waiting for a response from an editor, or an impending book release, can be maddening. Forget patience! Just stay busy!”

About Native American Heritage Month, Thanksgiving and Children’s-YA Literature by Debbie Reese from American Indians in Children’s Literature. Peek: “In schools across the country, Native peoples appear in the curriculum at specific times of the year. Like this month. November. Thanksgiving. Coincidentally (?), November is Native American Month.”

Cynsational Screening Room

The We Need Diverse Books Indiegogo campaign is ongoing — check it out and signal boost!

Happy Picture Book Month!

Cynsational Giveaways

This Week at Cynsations 

More Personally

K.A. Holt, Salima Alikhan, Lindsey Lane, Anne Bustard, Liz Garton Scanlon, Cynthia Leitich Smith
celebrating new releases by K.A. and Chris Barton at BookPeople in Austin.
Cheers to Sam Bond on the release of Cousins In Action: Operation Tiger Paw!

Ready for a rockin’ take on Feral Pride (Candlewick, 2015), just in from Kirkus Reviews? See:

Look for Feral Pride in the Candlewick Catalog!

“…the wickedly funny, quickly paced style is anchored by the novel’s underlying theme of the marginalization of people and its effects, both those obvious (‘Our legal rights are slippery,’ explains Kayla) and more insidiously subtle (like the wedge driven between Clyde, a werepossum/werelion hybrid, and his human girlfriend, Aimee, because of her father’s prejudice). …witty, smart and moving—sure to satisfy…”

Congratulations to Lee Wind on signing with Danielle Smith of Red Fox Literary and to Danielle for signing Lee!

Personal Links

Arthur Slade‘s graphic novel Modo: Ember’s End is in the house!
  • Why Writers Love Low-Residency MFA Programs
  • Joy Preble on Stuff People Say to Authors
  • Donald Maas on the Meaning of Everything
  • Marion Dane Bauer on Why I Don’t Want to Die at Age 75
  • How Going Electronic Changed Dictionaries
  • 16 Habits of Highly Sensitive People 
  • The What Ifs that Haunt “Ghostbuster” Ernie Hudson
  • Brief History of Racial and Gender Diversity in Super Hero Movies
  • Transgender Model Lea T Stars in Big Beauty Campaign
  • Joss Whedon on Sexism
  • U.S. Racial Diversity by County
  • Shedd Aquarium Teaches Orphaned Pup How to Be an Otter 
  • Cynsational Events

    Cynthia Leitich Smith will speak on a panel “Where Are the Heroes of Color in Fantasy & Sci Fi Lit?” from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 15 at YALSA’s YA Literature Symposium in Austin.

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