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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Native Voices: Kevin Noble Maillard on Writing Fry Bread

By Kim Rogers

Today, I’m excited to welcome Kevin Noble Maillard to Cynsations. Kevin is a professor of law at Syracuse University, a journalist, and a member of the Seminole Nation. His debut picture book Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story is illustrated by Pura Belpré-award winner and Caldecott Honor-recipient Juana Martinez-Neal (Roaring Brook/Macmillan, Oct. 2019 ).

What was your initial inspiration for writing Fry Bread?

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HarperCollins Children’s Books Launches Heartdrum, A New Native-Focused Imprint

New York, NY (November 19, 2019) – HarperCollins Children’s Books announced today the launch of Heartdrum, a new Native-focused imprint led by award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith (Muscogee Creek), and Rosemary Brosnan, Vice President, Editorial Director, HarperCollins Children’s Books.

Launching in Winter 2021, Heartdrum will offer a wide range of innovative, unexpected, and heartfelt stories by Native creators, informed and inspired by lived experience, with an emphasis on the present and future of Indian Country and on the strength of young Native heroes.

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Author Interview: Cate Berry on Making Connections

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Today we’re chatting with Austin author and Vermont College MFA alumnx Cate Berry about her new picture book Chicken Break, illustrated by Charlotte Alder (Feiwel & Friends, 2019) and her creative marketing efforts to promote the book.

Congratulations on the release of Chicken Break! It’s an adorable bedtime counting book. Before we talk about all your eggscelent marketing efforts,

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Author Interview: P.J. Hoover on Writing (& Publishing) the Stories You Love

 

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Author P.J. Hoover‘s latest book, The Hidden Code (CBAY Books, 2019), is a fast-paced adventure thriller. From the promotional copy:

Eleven years ago, Hannah Hawkins’ parents disappeared while traveling abroad. Presumed dead, Hannah and her uncle are shocked when a letter from her mom arrives right after Hannah’s sixteenth birthday.

By piecing together cryptic hints from the note and other clues left behind,

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