New Voices: Melissa Coffey & Kristin Wauson on SCBWI’s Role in their Journeys

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Featured image: Melissa Coffey signing advance copies at the 2022 Texas Library Association Conference.

Today I’m pleased to welcome two Austin authors to Cynsations, Melissa Coffey and Kristin Wauson. Melissa is the debut author of Fridge-Opolis, illustrated by Josh Cleland (Little Bee Books,

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New Voices: Jacquetta Nammar Feldman & Sean Petrie: From Poetry to MG Novels

By Gayleen Rabakukk

I’m thrilled to welcome two Austin/VCFA authors with debut middle grade novels. I met Jacquetta Nammar Feldman at an intensive at The Writing Barn, and Sean Petrie and I were Vermont College of Fine Arts students at the same time. It’s very exciting when passages you’ve read in a workshop become a published book!

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In Memory: Betty X Davis

By Lindsey Lane

On January 5, 2022, Betty X Davis vacated her seat at the front row of our BookPeople launches. At one hundred and six years old, still quoting Shakespeare at length and spouting snippets of French, it seemed like she might live forever. But alas, she slipped away, quietly, as one does when they’ve been to an excellent party,

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Guest Interview: Liz Garton Scanlon & Carol Kim on Finding the Story You’re Meant to Write

By Liz Garton Scanlon

The Austin chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is particularly vibrant, and among its many offerings is a mentorship program named for Cynthia Leitich Smith!

I have been the program’s mentor twice, most recently working with the wonderful Carol Kim.

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Picture Book Biographies: Gloria Amescua & Carol Kim Discuss Mentors on the Path to Publication

By Gayleen Rabakukk

We’re wrapping up our picture book biography series with two more Austin authors, Gloria Amescua, author of Child Of The Flower-Song People: Luz Jiménez, Daughter Of The Nahua, illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh (Abrams, 2021) and Carol Kim, author of King Sejong Invents an Alphabet,

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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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