In Memory: Jerry Wermund

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Our deepest sympathies to the friends, family, colleagues, and readers of Texas children’s author and poet Jerry Wermund, who died July 15 at age 94. He’s pictured above at a Texas Library Association conference.

A founding member of Austin’s SCBWI chapter, Jerry was a geologist who began writing for children after retiring from the Bureau of Economic Geology at The University of Texas at Austin.

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New Voices: Meredith Davis & Nicole Valentine On Being An Author

By Gayleen Rabakukk

I’m thrilled to introduce two debut authors to the Cynsations audience today. I met both at Vermont College of Fine Arts several years ago while we were all working on MFAs in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Both write middle grade, but their books are very different, illustrating the depth and diversity that exists in children’s literature.

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New Voices: Austin Authors Jennifer Coleman & Dan Marvin on Inspiration & Apprenticeships

By Gayleen Rabakukk

I’m very excited to share the writing journey of two Austin debut picture book authors today. Jennifer Coleman is the author of The Texas Nutcracker, illustrated by Wade Dillon (Pelican, 2018) and Dan Marvin is the author of But I Don’t Eat Ants,

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New Voices: Samantha M. Clark & Melanie Sumrow on Writing Communities

New Voices: Samantha M. Clark & Melanie Sumrow on Writing Communities

Samantha M. Clark and Melanie Sumrow

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Today I’m excited to share the publishing journeys of two Texas middle grade authors, Samantha M. Clark and Melanie Sumrow.

Both are members of the Electric Eighteen debut author group and both are passionate about community involvement as a component of publishing success.

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Querying Alternative: Author Lindsay Leslie & Editor Charlotte Wenger on Twitter-Pitching Manuscripts

Querying Alternative: Author Lindsay Leslie & Editor Charlotte Wenger on Twitter-Pitching Manuscripts

Learn more about Lindsay Leslie

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Submitting queries can sometimes feel like tossing a bottled message into the ocean: you’re not sure when or if you’ll get a reply.

Through social media authors now have additional avenues for connecting with publishing gatekeepers.

I recently interviewed upcoming debut 

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Career Achievers: Jennifer Ziegler on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Children’s-YA Author

Career Achievers: Jennifer Ziegler on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Children’s-YA Author

Learn more about Jennifer Ziegler.
Image by Sam Bond Photography.

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

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? 

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Profiles of Persistence: Lisa Bierman, Meredith Davis, and Jill Donaldson on Committing Long-Term to Children’s Writing

Profiles of Persistence: Lisa Bierman, Meredith Davis, and Jill Donaldson on Committing Long-Term to Children’s Writing

By Carol Coven Grannick

Part One: The Writer’s Heart

Many hard-working, committed, persistent, and resilient writers forge ahead with their writing journeys in spite of obstacles, disappointments, “almost-there” moments and plenty of what I call “Beautiful, buts.”

This two-part interview explores the experience of being a long-time, determined writer who has not yet had a book published.

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Author Interview: Samantha M. Clark on Being a SCBWI Regional Advisor & the Austin Chapter

Author Interview: Samantha M. Clark on Being a SCBWI Regional Advisor & the Austin Chapter

Learn more about Samantha M. Clark,
photo by Sam Bond.

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Today we take a peek behind the curtain at the planning and preparation required to organize a successful Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators chapter.

I chatted with Austin’s Regional Advisor,

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New Voice: Cate Berry on Penguin & Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime!

New Voice: Cate Berry on Penguin & Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime!

By Traci Sorell

I’m so pleasured to feature my interview with Cate Berry, debut picture book author of Penguin & Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime, illustrated by Charles Santoso (Balzer + Bray, 2018).

Publishers Weekly described it as “…a buoyantly subversive antibedtime tale,” and I couldn’t agree more.

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