Cynsational News & Giveaways

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Writing While Black/Writing While Indigenous: Two Voices Speak on Literature, Representation & Justice from Zetta Elliott. Peek: “I am an Aboriginal woman who comes from the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia. I write YA novels and picture books, and I teach law at a university. I’m often told that being a writer and a law academic is a strange combination, but there is a powerful connection between law and storytelling.”

#OwnVoices: Why We Need Diverse Authors in Children’s Literature by Kayla Whaley from Brightly. Peek: “I have a lifetime of experiences — positive, negative, neutral, and complicated mixtures of all of the above — to draw from when I write a fuller, more authentic wheelchair-using character.” See also CBC Multicultural Statistics for 2015 from the Cooperative Center of Children’s Books AKA CCBlogC.

Plotting 101: How Decoding Rejection Letters Can Help You Identify Problems with Your Writing Method by Martina Boone from Adventures in YA Publishing. Peek: “…find a character you know and love, a story that inspires you deeply, and a problem that is universal enough to interest a lot of different people…” See also Getting the Pacing Right by Becca Puglisi from Writers Helping Writers.

Writing India/India Ex-Pat Community: Did I Get It Right? from Uma Krishnaswami. Peek: “…here are some questions I’ve found helpful when reading what I will call an outsider manuscript….”

Simon & Schuster Creates Imprint for Muslim-Themed Children’s Books by Alexandra Alter from The New York Times. Peek: “The books won’t emphasize theology or Islamic doctrine, Mr. Chanda said, but will highlight the experience of being Muslim through their characters and plots.”

Common Writerly Beginner Tics by Kimberley Griffiths Little from Natalie Aguirre at Literary Rambles. Peek: “It’s very easy to write one or more chapters about what happened to your character before diving into the actual story that the novel is about. Readers want to see your MC in an immediate scene or problem, even if it’s a small problem.”

Put Interested Editors on Hold While Seeking An Agent? by Deborah Halverson from Peek: “Should one of the editors offer a contract before you sign with an agent, update the agents. They’ll likely review your submission quickly.”

Cynsational Awards

This Week at Cynsations

Cynsational Giveaways

More Personally

Grab the Feb. issue of O!
See Jackie Woodson‘s quote!

I’ve spent the past work joyously reading and offering feedback to my Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA advisees for  winter 2016.

It’s not until just now, once that first round is finished, that I feel like I can settle into the semester.

Today, I’ll be busy catching up on daily correspondence and responsibilities that were set aside during grading (in potential news, this includes finishing up submissions for a couple of anthologies). I’ll keep you updated.

Link of the Week: 28 Days Later: A Black History Month Celebration of Children’s Literature from The Brown Bookshelf.

Personal Links

Peek at the Poster for Children’s Book Week (May 2 to May 8)
Butterbeer and More: What to Eat at New Harry Potter Theme Park
Seven Fascinating Films About Writers
What It’s Really Like to Work in Hollywood (If You’re Not a Straight, White Male)

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