Cynsational Summer Hiatus

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Thank you, Cynsational readers, contributors, reporters, webmaster, and most of all, Cynterns, for your support, generosity and enthusiasm for our ongoing conversations!

Thsi blog is now officially on summer hiatus. We will return in the fall with more inspiration, insights and information on children’s-YA writing, illustration, literature and publishing.

In the meantime, keep up on all those topics with me on Facebook

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New Voices: Creative Rulebreakers Among the Notable 19s

By Traci Sorell

For those of us newer to the field of children’s literature, the numerous writing rules for various age groups and in different genres can feel overwhelming.

As one who appreciates the guidelines but also creatively breaks them when necessary, I am thrilled to welcome a group of rulebreakers to Cynsations.

Members of the Notable 19s, all débuting their first picture books this year,

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New Voices: Vivian Elbee & Hannah Holt on Persistence

By Traci Sorell

Today we’re chatting with picture book authors Viviane Elbee and Hannah Holt, both members of the Epic Eighteen debut group.

Viviane Elbee

Viviane Elbee, debut picture book author of Teach Your Giraffe to Ski (Albert Whitman, 2018), crafts a story that according to Kirkus Reviews “conceals a how-to for conquering one’s fears.”

Illustrated by Danni Gowdy and told in second person,

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Guest Post: Lisa Papademetriou on Writing Tools

By Lisa Papademetriou

What are we to make of the knowledge that we share DNA with a banana?

No, I’m not kidding. All life on earth evolved from a single-celled common ancestor—our genes and banana genes are over 60 percent identical.

I love thinking about this because stories are the same. The cellular structure that underlies the vast majority of fiction is descended from an ancient ancestor,

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New Voices: Margaret Greanias & Melissa Stoller on Writing Craft Resources

By Traci Sorell

Today Cynsations features two debut picture book authors, Margaret Chiu Greanias and Melissa Stoller, both members of the Epic Eighteen group.

Margaret Chiu Grenias

Maximillian Villianous, the debut picture book of author Margaret Chiu Greanias, centers on Maximillian, a young monster who does not fit in with his ill-mannered family.

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Guest Post: Nanci Turner Steveson on Writing Mirrors

By Nanci Turner Steveson

My third middle grade novel, Lizzie Flying Solo (HarperCollins, 2019), came out a few weeks ago. It took me 13 years to get that book just right.

It was the manuscript my agent signed me for in 2010, but back in the heyday of Harry Potter [by J.K. Rowling, 1997-2007] and all things commercial,

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New Voices: Christy Mihaly & Jessie Oliveros on Their Paths to Publication

By Traci Sorell

Today, we have two award-winning Epic Eighteen debut authors, Christy Mihaly, author of Hey, Hey, Hay: A Tale of Bales and the Machines that Make Them, illustrated by Joe Cepeda (Holiday House, 2018) and Jessie Oliveros, author of The Remember Balloons, illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte (Simon & Schuster, 2018).

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