cynsations

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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In Memory: Andrew Clements

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Andrew Clements, beloved and prolific author, died Nov. 28 in West Baldwin, Maine. He was 70.

Obituary: Andrew Clements by Shannon Maughan from Publishers Weekly. Peek: “Clements shared…that he credited his parents, both avid readers, with instilling a love of books and reading in him and his siblings, and noted that tech-free family summers spent at a cabin on a lake in Maine helped him ‘begin to think like a writer.’”

Frindle Author Remembered from School Library Journal.

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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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New Voices: YA Authors Kat Cho and Olivia Hinebaugh

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Today we welcome debut YA authors Kat Cho, author of Wicked Fox (Penguin Teen, 2019) and Olivia Hinebaugh, author of The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me (SwoonReads, 2019).

They discuss their paths to publication and emphasize the importance of reading to their writing apprenticeship.

Kat Cho

In terms of publishing,

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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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Guest Post: Linda Joy Singleton on Critiquing Critique Groups

By Linda Joy Singleton

My First Critique Group

When I was a new young writer, a friend invited me to her critique group. I was told to bring a chapter of my work-in-progress to share. It was a casual group open to many writers. I had no idea what to expect and was so shy that reading in front of a dozen-plus writers terrified me.

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