Cynsations

Giveaway: 10th Anniversary of Cynsations

Speaking at KidlitCon 2013

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Today marks the 10th Anniversary of Cynsations!

The blog launched on Nov. 12, 2004; and featured children’s author Chris Barton, talking about consolidation and marketing.

There was no introductory post and no images–until Blogger introduced that option.

Thanks so much to each of you for reading and sharing your thoughts!

This is a condensed excerpt from a keynote I delivered at the 2013 KidLitCon in Austin:

I embraced the earliest days of the kidlitosphere for two reasons:

First—with all the optimism of a 20-something but not a word on the page—I quit my law job in downtown Chicago to write children’s-YA books full time.

A favorite book from childhood.

For me, children’s-YA literature had been a great blessing, and I committed my life to it.

I take my own writing to heart (and sometimes to play), but my plan was bigger than that.

It included the community. It included you.

It included everyone who plays a role in the connection of books to kids.

I got busy, writing and reaching out—by mentoring, teaching, advocating in person and online.

I began in part by, in 1998, establishing a substantive children’s literature resource site and launching a monthly e-newsletter that went out to a little over a thousand people and featured two author interviews along with a handful of recommended links.

My blog, Cynsations, launched in 2004. It likewise casts a broad net, emphasizing the craft of writing, the business of publishing and the writer’s life.

Wanting to offer something positive to children’s-YA lit lovers, to the big wide world, that was my reason one.

Reason two?

My first book.

American Indians are vastly underrepresented in the body of literature for young readers and in the industry more broadly.

When I entered the field, the literary depictions of Indians were almost uniformly historic, New Age-y, and/or inaccurate.

It was time to help change perceptions or I’d never be able to publish many of the stories I wanted to write.

By putting myself out there via tech, I was able to send the message that Native people are multidimensional. And that we have a past, a present and a future.

With that in mind, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Cynsations, I’m giving away a copy of Jingle Dancer (Morrow/HarperCollins, 2000). Author sponsored. Eligibility: international.

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26 thoughts on “Giveaway: 10th Anniversary of Cynsations

  1. No questions- just appreciation. I'm fairly new-ish to the kid lit scene here in Austin and your blog was one of the first that I was directed to find more information and craft articles.
    Thank you for your blog!

  2. Congratulations on your tenth anniversary! Your blog was one of the first I turned to when I started writing seriously, and it continues to be a source of inspiration and reading ideas. Many thanks for all your work!

  3. No questions here…
    I've been following this blog for some time, and every visit I learn something new or read something of interest regarding children's books — it's very much appreciated!
    – Tanja

  4. Congratulations, Cynthia! Cynsations has long been a friendly, informative, and appreciated voice in the kidlitosphere – like a particularly comfy couch from one's first apartment that one takes with them forever and never wants to lose. It might have a new slipcover, but your site's still one of the best places to hang out and get comfortable… and yes, I have now TOTALLY worn out the metaphor and run it into the ground.

    Happy 10 years! Thanks for being you.

  5. Big Congrats on 10 years of blogging and thank you for everything you do for the children's and YA literature community!! Cynsations was here before many of us even knew what a blog was, and you have provided consistent quality content for an entire decade. Thanks especially for supporting and promoting the work of under represented minorities. 🙂

  6. Wow, 10 years!!! Congratulations, Cynthia!!! 🙂 And I didn't know you were of Native American heritage. My uncle (through marriage) was part Cherokee, though physically you'd never detect it with his blue eyes and fair skin.

    I used to love attending the Pow-Wow each year, getting a taste of the heritage. I loved the dancing and it was hard to resist all the wares for sale!

    Thanks for the giveaway! Enjoy your big day! 🙂

  7. Mazel tov, Cyn!
    Given all you've done for our Children's Book World, and your body of work across formats and genres, I'm thinking YOU and this Anniversary should have been included in today's Writer's Almanac email! 🙂
    The entry opened with Ron Koertge's poem Sidekicks and noted the anniversary of the first meteor shower noted in North America.
    You've been beside so many of us, making sure we get where we want to be going and helping us shine.
    Thank you!

  8. 10 years of keeping things fresh is no small feat, Cyn. Thanks for hanging in there. This has been one of my go-to blogs for most of my career. Congrats!!!

    Jill Esbaum

  9. I'm so honored and humbled by all the kind words. You all may count me your forever fan.

    Wendy asked about how I chose the books/authors/illustrators, etc. to feature. Sometimes I contact them. Sometimes they touch base with me. It's organic. But the emphasis is always on upbeat and informative contributions with real takeaway for Cynsations readers!

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