Thank you for your interest!

Before writing,  please note:

Book Blurbs

Cynthia is not currently open to requests for book blurbs.

Authenticity/Sensitivity Reads

Cynthia does not provide authenticity/sensitivity reads (for a fee or otherwise).

Book Rights Queries

ALL rights queries must be directed to:

Ginger Knowlton
Curtis Brown, Ltd.
Ten Astor Place
NY, NY 10003

Cynsations Team & Queries

Cynsations blog contributors and featured subjects must be members of the children’s-YA literary community (writers, illustrators, editors, agents, booksellers, teachers, librarians, publishing professionals, etc.). For blog-related queries, do not use the form below. Use this address without spaces instead: CynsationsIntern @

Our staff is (from right to left, top to bottom): Publisher Cynthia Leitich Smith; Editor-in-Chief/Author’s Assistant Gayleen Rabakukk; Managing Editor Stephani Martinell Eaton, Intern Suma Subramaniam; Intern; Bree Bender, Industry News Reporter Gail Vannelli, and the Cynsational Reporters.

Heartdrum Queries

Cynthia is the author-curator of Heartdrum at HarperChildren’s, which is in partnership with We Need Diverse Books. Native and First Nations writers and writer-illustrators are welcome to query her directly via the form below. Native and First Nations illustrators are also invited to reach out. Learn more about Heartdrum.

Check out the Heartdrum Brochure from HarperCollins for about the imprint and a peek at winter-summer 2021 releases.

Please consult standard industry manuscript format guidelines and the Heartdrum imprint submission guidelines before sending. We are centering contemporary and recent historicals, including genre fiction and nonfiction, as well as Native and First Nations writers and illustrators. Our focal formats are fiction and nonfiction picture books as well as middle grade and YA novels.

The writing should be for young readers as an audience, not writing for adults that is inclusive of a young characters and/or childhood reflections. You may want to read and study children’s-YA books by Native and First Nations book creators to study as mentor texts.

If your manuscript is a fit, please type “Heartdrum” at the beginning of the subject line below, followed by your title and byline.

For example: Heartdrum: Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith

In the body of the message, include your query for the manuscript (plot summary) along with a professional bio, including tribal affiliation(s), any website or social media links, and, if you’re an illustrator or author-illustrator, a link to your portfolio.

Due to volume, queries or submissions of manuscripts and/or art that do not fall within the focus of the Heartdrum imprint will be deleted without a response.

If you’re more generally seeking a children’s-YA publisher, consult the CHILDREN’S WRITERS & ILLUSTRATORS MARKET 2020: THE MOST TRUSTED GUIDE TO GETTING PUBLISHED, edited by Amy Jones (Writer’s Digest Books) and consider joining the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. Also be sure to check out Writer Resources.

    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Subject (required)

    Your Message