Cynsational News & Giveaways

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

2015 Cybils Winners from The Cybils: Children’s and Young Adult Book Bloggers Literary Awards. Congratulations to Grace Lin, Nova Ren Suma and their fellow winners!

Who Can Tell My Story? by Jacqueline Woodson from The Horn Book. Peek: “…more than wanting to write about a boy and a girl falling in love, I wanted to write about the relationship between blacks and Jews. And here, at this point, where boy met girl, where different worlds and belief systems sometimes collided, was a story I knew well. A house I had been inside of.”

Writing as Compulsion by Densie Webb from Writer Unboxed. Peek: “They’re just words, right? But, as with tics, the relief is temporary. We all know, just as my son knows, that the urge is always there, just beneath the surface, waiting to burst forth.”

Writing Kids Who Say/Do Bigoted Things by Allie Jane Bruce from Reading While White. Peek: “Who are ‘kids’ in that sentence? It usually refers to kids who aren’t marginalized along the identifier being stereotyped or mocked. And that defense then reiterates the centering of non-marginalized kids.”

LoonSong: A Writer’s Retreat will take place Sept. 8 to Sept. 12 at Elbow Lake Lodge in Minnesota. Faculty includes “seasoned writers [Will Alexander, Kathi Appelt, Marion Dane Bauer, Kekla Magoon, Katherine Paterson], marketing specialists [Steve and Vicky Palmquist], an agent [Ruben Pfeffer] and an editor [TBA] who will help you grow your career, develop new approaches to craft and think deeply about the writing life.” Note: In partnership with the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults.

Seven Core Values to Celebrate During Black History Month from Lee & Low. Peek: “…celebrate both Black History Month and African American culture all 365 days of the year.”

Kirby Larson and Audacity Jones to the Rescue from Janet Fox. Peek: “There are so many terrific stories from history, stories that haven’t been told because they’re about children/young adults, especially girls. I have found my passion in trying to share these stories in a such way that today’s readers find connections.”

Diversity In Book Awards: A Conversation by Daniel Kraus from The Booklist Reader. Peek: “Shortly after the annual Youth Media Awards, novelist Ashley Hope Pérez (herself a fresh awardee: a Printz Honor for Out of Darkness) contacted me about helping facilitate a conversation she wished to have about diversity in kidlit—a hot topic these days, though Pérez specifically wanted to talk about it in terms of awards and best-of lists.” See also How Independent Booksellers Handsell & Merchandise Diverse Books by Judith Rosen from Publishers Weekly.

Marrying Story Structure & Character Arcs by Joanna Roddy from Project Mayhem. “To have this internally-driven structure woven into the externally-driven one allows for complexity, ingenuity, and well-rounded characters amidst a satisfying story.”

The Unlikeable Girl Narrator 101 by Cori McCarthy from Through the Tollbooth. Peek: “So let’s look at these characters that rub us the wrong way or steal our hearts, and then decide whether or not your UGN is making your story stronger or less appealing.”

Outstanding International Books: Presenting the 2016 USBBY Selections by Terry Hong from School Library Journal. Peek: “Humor, empathy, and creativity all pave the way toward encouraging readers to search beyond boundaries, become more engaged global citizens, and just enjoy good books.” See also Notable Books for a Global Society from the International Literacy Association.

28 Days Later: A Black History Month Celebration of Children’s Literature

This Week at Cynsations

Cynsational Giveaways

The winners of signed copies A Tale of Highly Unusual Magic by Lisa Papademetriou and handwritten character letters were Annette in Idaho and Cathy in New Hampshire. The winner of a signed copy of The Radiant Road by Katherine Catmull was Cathy in New Hampshire.

More Personally

Cory Putnam Oakes, Jo Whittemore & Mari Mancusi at BookPeople in Austin

I’m pleased to announce that Carmen Oliver at The Booking Biz is coordinating my (non-publisher-sponsored) children’s-YA author events. We’re now accepting invitations for 2017; see:

Register for the 2016 Austin SCBWI Regional Conference, scheduled for May 14 and May 15. Congratulations to diversity scholarship winners Noah Weisz and Annette Gulati!

Those seeking bookish fun this weekend in Austin should swing by the first ever children’s book fair at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Personal Links

Black Comic Book Festival
Dark Side of Rom Coms
“Star Wars” Episode 8 Starts Filming
Penguins March at Kansas City Zoo
27 Vintage Pictures of Austin
Gender, Bias & Coding
Creating Ads That Don’t Objectify Women
What Superheroes’ Homes Look Like

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