Cynsational Winter 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!

This blog is now officially on winter hiatus. We will return after the ALA Midwinter Conference in 2020 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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Editor Interview: Louise May on I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Today we welcome Lee & Low editor Louise May to Cynsations to share her insights into poetry anthologies, working with Lee Bennett Hopkins, and I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage, edited by Lee (Lee & Low, 2019).

Congratulations on I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage! The book has received excellent reviews.

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Native Voices: Christine Day on I Can Make This Promise

By Kim Rogers

I had the pleasure of interviewing Christine Day (Upper Skagit) for Cynsations. Her debut middle grade novel, I Can Make This Promise (HarperCollins 2019), was inspired by her own family history and tells the story of twelve-year-old old Edie who discovers her family secrets and finds her own Native American identity.

What were the challenges (literary, research, psychological, logistical) in bringing I Can Make This Promise to life?

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Author Interview: Kate Hosford on Poetry & Science in A Songbird Dreams of Singing: Poems About Sleeping Animals

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Author Kate Hosford‘s latest book, A Songbird Dreams of Singing: Poems About Sleeping Animals, illustrated by Jennifer M. Potter (Running Press, 2019), explores the sleeping habits of 17 different animals through poetry and exposition. The book piqued my curiosity, and I’m very exited to share a peek at Kate’s process with Cynsations readers.

Poems about sleeping animals are delightfully specific.

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Guest Post: Abigail Hing Wen on Character Development the Brutally Hard Way

By Abigail Hing Wen

After twelve years of writing and hundreds of rejections as I learned to write, I can’t quite believe my first novel is coming out in just eight weeks.

My biggest struggle had always been my characters. I read dozens of character craft books and asked for advice from character gurus like Coe Booth and Sandra Nickel.

Even as a student at Vermont College of Fine Arts,

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Survivors: Kelly Starling Lyons on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Children’s Author

By Traci Sorell

I love books that celebrate multigenerational family gatherings and connections between family members of all ages. Going Down Home With Daddy (Peachtree, 2019) combines rich language by Kelly Starling Lyons and spectacular illustrations by Daniel Minter.

When you sit with the book, you easily see why it garnered starred reviews, effusive praise and made The Horn Book’s Calling Caldecott list.

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SCBWI’s Third Annual Literacy Initiative Gives Books to Readers in Need

From SCBWI:

The members of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators joined forces once again as part of the organization’s annual SCBWI Books For Readers literacy initiative to collect, curate, and donate new books created by its members to one of its two 2019 recipients: REACH in Norfolk, Virginia.

Their carefully curated library of books was officially donated at the SCBWI Books For Readers/REACH Literacy Celebration on Nov.

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Cynsational News

By Cynthia Leitich SmithGayleen RabukukkStephani Eaton and Gail Vannelli for Cynsations

Author/Illustrator Insights

Katherena Vermette Interview by James Feder from Kirkus Reviews. Peek: “‘Indigenous teachings,’ she explains, ‘have a very different take on the wolf and what it does.’ Rather than something threatening and dangerous, wolves, like many other animals in these traditional stories,

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