Cynsational News & Giveaways

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Interview with Sharon Gibney by E.M. Kokie from The Pirate Tree. Peek: “As a teen, I didn’t see very much at all being written about mixed race identity — particularly in fiction that teens are reading. And I definitely didn’t see transracial adoption being dealt with in a nuanced, complex way that felt real to me as a young person living through that experience.”

Writing Enslaved Narratives by Don Tate from The Brown Bookshelf. Peek: “…as a kid, I never saw that depicted in books, so I didn’t know. Had I known, I might not have felt so ashamed every time the topic of slavery came up in sixth-grade history class.” See also Writing About Family & Freedom by Kelly Starling Lyons.

Best Policies for a Streaming Author Visit from ALSC Blog. Peek: “Streaming visits allow authors to connect with more readers and are easier on your budget- sometimes your author will even speak for free!”

Adventures of a Debut Author: A Tweet Cheat Sheet from Debbie Gonzales. Peek: “Check out how easy it is to support a friend in 140 characters or less.” See also Five Ways to Use Instagram as an Author by Tee Morris & Pip Ballantine from Jane Friedman.

Interview: Kevin Henkes by Roger Sutton from Media Source. Peek: “I do love the time between when I’ve finished a book and when that book comes out in print. I use that time to come up with an idea for the next book, so I don’t mind it being stretched out.”

Call for Nominations: 28 Days Later from the Brown Bookshelf. Peek: “Nominations are now being accepted for our ninth annual 28 Days Later campaign, a Black History Month showcase honoring emerging and established children’s book creators and their amazing literary contributions.”

Parrotfish Needed an Update: The Rapidly Changing Language of Transgender Awareness by Ellen Wittlinger from The Horn Book. Peek: “I’ve known for several years that there were words in the book no longer considered correct and, in fact, that there was one word currently deemed offensive.” See also Recommended Books on Transgender Lives and Telling the Stories of the Transgender Community by Gwen Glazer from the New York Public Library.

Five Things I Learned on Deadline by Chandler Baker from Chuck Sambuchino at Writers Digest. Peek: “It’s easy to panic on deadline. In fact, panic is the default. Sometimes I think I live in a perpetual state of panic with a little voice in my head screaming in terror.”

How to Decide How Many Point of View Characters Our Book Needs by Marcy Kennedy from Angela Ackerman at Writers Helping Writers. Peek: “One technique we can use for figuring out what’s best for our individual story is to write down all the potential point-of-view characters we might want to use, and then ask ourselves the following questions.”

“Reading Aloud Binds Us Together in Unanticipated Ways” by Kate DiCamillo for The Washington Post. Peek: “I wanted to let people know that we can all — young and old — connect more deeply through stories. But oddly, what happened is that as I worked to deliver the message, the message was delivered to me.”

This Week at Cynsations

Cynsational Giveaways

The winners of Surviving Santiago by Lyn Miller-Lachmann are Jess in Ohio and Donna in California.

More Personally

Greg with cakelustrator Akiko White.

Last Sunday Greg Leitich Smith successfully launched Borrowed Time (Clarion, 2015) to a standing-room-only crowd at BookPeople in Austin. See Greg’s event report.

See also Borrowed Time Mixed Paleontology and Fantasy by Sharyn Vane from the Austin American-Statesman. Peek: “…a slam-dunk for dinosaur aficionados and will appeal as well to those who are fans of literary time travel and outdoorsy adventure.”

Effective immediately, Cynsations will go on winter holiday hiatus while I update my official author website for a 2016 relaunch. Keep up with children’s-YA book news and resources at Twitter @CynLeitichSmith and facebook.

Congratulations to Neil Shusterman, winner of the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature, for Challenger Deep (HarperCollins)!

Congratulations to the WNDB Inaugural Walter Dean Myers Grant Recipients!

Thank you to Kim Bogren for recommending my picture book Jingle Dancer (Morrow/HarperCollins, 2000) at Words Reflected.

Link of the Week: Perfect Websites for Shopping for Book Lovers & Geeks by Naomi Bates from YA Books & More.

Personal Links

Slippery Words Talks to Violent Ends Contributors
Texas Book Festival Seeks Literary Director
Things I’ll Never Say: Author Roundup
How “The Hunger Games” Changed Hollywood 
Open Letter to Teachers About Images of American Indians
Singapore: Lights for the Deaf & Rings for the Blind