cynsations

Guest Post: Tom Angleberger on Children’s Literature as a Team Sport

By Tom Angleberger

I’m coming up on the 10th anniversary of Origami Yoda (Amulet, 2010) in a month or two. And it won’t be long until I hit the 20th anniversary of quitting my day job and deciding to really try being an author.

Have I learned anything? Gained any wisdom? Can I impart one piece of advice that I’ve learned?

Yes,

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New Voices: Chris Baron & Aimee Lucido on What Inspired Their Middle Grade Debuts in Verse

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Welcome to Chris Baron and Aimee Lucido! These two debut authors of middle grade novels in verse discuss inspiration, MFAs, and the mentor texts that stimulated their writing.

Chris Baron

What first inspired you to write for young readers?

I’ve certainly been writing for a long time in the more academic range of poetry,

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Survivors: Claudia Gray on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing YA Author

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Claudia Gray is a successful YA author with a long, distinguished career.

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? 

Honestly,

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Cynsational News

By Cynthia Leitich Smith, Gail Vannelli, Gayleen Rabukukk, and Stephani Eaton for Cynsations

Author/Illustrator Insights

Voices of Change by Roxanne Fequiere from Elle. Peek: Elizabeth Acevedo: “We need more writers of color who are given space beyond their first book… editors, copy editors, graphic designers….If it’s just writers, the creativity is there, but the machines behind them that get these books into the spaces they need to be in—mindfully—will be lacking.”

Jacqueline Woodson: “It’s Important to Know That Whatever Moment We’re In,

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Author Interview: Chris Barton on Writing Stories That Heal

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Sometimes a book can take you back to a particular time or place. When I read All of a Sudden and Forever: Help and Healing after the Oklahoma City Bombing by Chris Barton, illustrated by Nicole Xu (Carolrhoda, February 2020), I remembered a day that book would’ve made a big difference.

In February 2001, when President Bush dedicated the Oklahoma City Memorial Museum,

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Guest Post: Kate Messner on The Secrets to Writing Lots of Books, Promoting Them, and Still Having a Life

By Kate Messner

I’ll start this post with a confession. I don’t really have any secrets.

The truth is, when my first novel came out in 2009, I made all of the same overeager mistakes other debut writers make when that first book is released–over-promoting and dragging my wonderfully supportive family to book event after book event for an entire season.

(My daughter was nine then.

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Cynsations Return & Author Update: Cynthia Leitich Smith on Author Events, Balance, Social Media & What She’d Change About Publishing

Thank you, Cynsations readers, for joining us in the 16th year of this blog! We are so grateful to you all for reading, sharing and supporting our efforts. You’re the whole reason we’re doing this.

Thanks also to those of you who submitted questions for Cynthia over our winter hiatus. Full disclosure: Some of the wording was changed to fit the style of this blog. E.g., no profanity, even when  used in enthusiastic praise.

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Cynsational News

By Cynthia Leitich Smith, Gail Vannelli, Gayleen Rabukukk, and Stephani Eaton for Cynsations

Author/Illustrator Insights

Fall 2019 Flying Starts: Christine Day by Erin M. Fry from Publishers Weekly. Peek: “Patrick Ness—author of the Chaos Walking trilogy (Candlewick)—gave an author talk at her school. ‘He said that the only thing you really needed to do to become a writer is write and read and write some more,’ she recalls.

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A Closer Look at Nonfiction Fest with Author Susan Holt Kralovansky

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Reading the “Best of 2019” lists, I was once again struck by the number of nonfiction titles.  From picture book biographies to science and nature explorations, nonfiction covers every topic imaginable. So when I heard about the upcoming Nonfiction Fest (NF Fest), I wanted to share it with Cynsations readers while there’s still time to register for the free event.

NF Fest is the creation of seven authors,

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