Cynsational News & Giveaways

Emma at her launch party signing Jan. 30 at BookPeople in Austin

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Congratulations to Emma Virjan on the release of What This Story Needs Is a Hush and a Shush (HarperChildren’s, 2016)! From the promotional copy:

What this bedtime needs is a pig in a wig, brushing her teeth, combing her hair, and going to sleep with her pink teddy bear.

All Pig wants to do is sleep, but the farm animals are keeping her awake! Will she ever find some peace and quiet?

More News & Giveaways

Diversity in Reviews: Behind the Scenes with SLJ’s Gatekeeper by Kiera Parrott from Reading While White. Peek: “How do I, sitting in a potentially powerful and privileged spot within the publishing ecosystem, ensure that our reviews not only shine a light on a diverse array of authors, illustrators, and subjects, but also surface stereotypes, cultural inaccuracies or insensitivities, or other problematic elements in text or illustrations?”

What Does Children’s Literature in India Look Like? by Apoorva Sripathi from The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Peek: “Indian titles attempt to rethink stereotypes with relevant story lines, inclusion of words from regional languages (example, amma and appa instead of Mum and Dad), and scenes set in the Indian milieu.”

Reconciling the Tug-of-War Between Teaching and Writing by Ryane Nicole Granados from Women Who Submit. Peek: “Being a writer who teaches or a teacher who writes means I have to train those around me to respect my time, and I have to learn to ask for help when the craziness of the world comes careening down upon me.”

¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! / Olinguito, from A to Z! : Descubriendo el bosque nublado / Unveiling the Cloud Forest from Lee & Low. Peek: “Next I prepared all the shades of acrylics
that I would need for the spread and stored them in small clear jars. Each section of a color required several thin coats to achieve the rich look I was looking for.”

The Older Writer by Juliet Marillier from Writer Unboxed. Peek: “…my first few years as a published writer, the roller-coaster feeling of that time, the steep learning curve, the need to make both business and artistic decisions without fully understanding what they meant, I think I had career hopes and ambitions that were rather different from my current ones.”

Author Spotlight: Katherine Catmull from The Writing Barn. Peek: “…publishing is not an endpoint but the art of a long process.”

Reflecting on Representation: Zetta Elliott and Edith Campbell from Zetta Elliott. Peek: “If there are 3000 novels published for young readers in the U.S. each year, then should we really be celebrating the publication of 30 Black-authored novels? And of those 30 authors, only two were making their debut in 2015?” See also Where Are the Diverse Children’s Books? Dr. Sarah Park Dahlen and Matt de la Pena by Tracy Mumford from MPR News.

SCBWI Bologna Interview Series

Martha M. Rago

Martha M. Rago, executive creative director for Random House/Golden Books, will be participating in the upcoming SCBWI Bologna Showcase at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. She will be offering one-on-one portfolio critiques for illustrators who sign up in advance.

Stay tuned to for dates and times of the illustrator portfolio critiques and more information about the SCBWI Showcase at the Book Fair.


This Week at Cynsations

Cynsational Giveaways

More Personally

In the past week, I had the honor of participating in conversations about topics dear to me.

I joined Daniel José Older and Sabaa Tahir in answering questions on Diversity in YA Fantasy from Maggie Reagan from Booklist. Peek:

“The fantastical veil gives these kids the necessary distance, the perspective to relate and care. This is true for teens who we’d consider underrepresented in youth literature. It’s also true for those who see protagonists like themselves all the time. All of them need to see that diverse characters, diverse people, can be heroes that everyone cheers.”

Shifting to format, see Writers on Writing: Cynthia Leitich Smith on Short Stories from Crazy QuiltEdi. Peek:

“My top pick would be Moccasin Thunder: American Indian Stories for Today, edited by Lori M. Carlson (HarperCollins, 2005), with the caveats that I’m among the contributors and that I dearly wish there was a more current collection of shorts
by Native authors.”

Today, by 5 p.m. central, apply for the Austin SCBWI Scholarship for Creators of Diverse Characters.

Personal Links

LEGO Unveils Its First Disabled Character
Typewriter Rodeo: Valentine Poems
This Is Your Child’s Brain on Reading
Rare Wild Jaguar in Arizona
#Women Not Objects
Lost Lion Population Found in Ethiopian Park
Linda Hogan Wins Thoreau Prize for Nature Writing
The Art of the Perfect Book Cover
Feral Hogs Spotted Near Round Rock (TX) Outlet Mall
U.S. Generals Want Women to Register for Draft
Why Aren’t More Black Students Identified As Gifted?
BookPeople Hiring Director of Marketing and Publicity 
Discussion Guide: Watch Out for Flying Kids: How Two Circuses, Two Countries, and Nine Kids Confront Conflict and Build Community by Cynthia Levinson
Want to End Prejudice? Watch a Sitcom

More about children’s author Crystal Chan