Survivors: Louise Hawes on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Children’s-YA Author

Learn more about Louise Hawes.

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

In children’s-YA writing, maintaining an active publishing career is arguably an even bigger challenge than breaking into the field. 

Reflecting on your personal journey (creatively, career-wise, and your writer’s heart), what bumps did you encounter and how have you managed to defy the odds to achieve continued success?

I’d say the first and most severe “bump” in my writing life was…success!

Continue Reading Survivors: Louise Hawes on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Children’s-YA Author »

Author Interview: Louise Hawes on The Language of Stars

By Louise  Hawes

From the promotional copy of The Language of Stars by Louise Hawes (McElderry, 2016):


Sarah is forced to take a summer poetry class as penance for trashing the home of a famous poet in this fresh novel about finding your own voice.


Sarah’s had her happy ending: she’s at the party of the year with the most popular boy in school.

Continue Reading Author Interview: Louise Hawes on The Language of Stars »

Author Interview: Louise Hawes on Black Pearls: A Faerie Strand

Louise Hawes, a North Carolina resident, is the author of two short fiction collections, Anteaters Don’t Dream and Other Stories (University Press of Mississippi, 2007) and Black Pearls: a Faerie Strand (Houghton Mifflin,2008). Her novels include The Vanishing Point (Houghton Mifflin, 2004), Rosey in the Present Tense (Walker, 2001), and Waiting for Christopher (Authors Guild, 2006). She is a faculty member of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program.

Continue Reading Author Interview: Louise Hawes on Black Pearls: A Faerie Strand »

Author Interview: Louise Hawes on The Vanishing Point

The Vanishing Point by Louise Hawes (Houghton Mifflin, 2005). From the catalog copy: “In lush, glowing prose, Louise Hawes’s historical novel draws readers into the life and art of sixteenth-century Bologna with a compelling account of Lavinia Fontana, arguably the most famous female painter of the Italian Renaissance. Here readers will find a coming-of-age story filled with quest, complication, and catastrophe as well as miracles and hope. Although the novel is set four hundred years ago,

Continue Reading Author Interview: Louise Hawes on The Vanishing Point »

Guest Post: Cate Berry on VCFA at Bath Spa University

By Cate Berry

Looking back on your undergraduate years, do you have remorse? What got away?

Mine is easy. I regret not spending a semester abroad.

Enter my grad school: Vermont College of Fine Arts. I graduated this July with an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, but not without savoring a wonderful and rich residency in Bath Spa,

Continue Reading Guest Post: Cate Berry on VCFA at Bath Spa University »

Cynsational News, Giveaways & Hiatus

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Cynsations is now on summer hiatus until early fall 2016.
In the meantime, keep up with children’s-YA literature, writing & publishing news at facebook and Twitter. Thanks for your
readership and support! Note: Please hold off on sending correspondence, interview/post materials & queries until after June 1.

Congratulations to Gwendolyn Hudson Hooks and Colin Bootman on the release of Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas (Lee &

Continue Reading Cynsational News, Giveaways & Hiatus »

Young Adult Realism, Titles A-L

THE ADVENTURES OF BLUE AVENGER by Norma Howe (Holt, 1999). When David decides to take on the name “Blue Avenger,” he’s well equipped to romance his lady, reunite her with her father, break up pee wee mischief, and—above all —find the secret recipe to non-weeping lemon meringue. Is it real, or is Blue living a comic book life? We’re not sure. But it’s definitely a funny and thoughtful story. Ages 10-up.

After Ever AfterAFTER EVER AFTER by Jordan Sonnenblick (Scholastic,

Continue Reading Young Adult Realism, Titles A-L »