New Cynsations Reporter Kim Rogers

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Kim Rogers joins the Cynsations team as a reporter covering children’s-YA writing, illustration, publishing and other book news from Indigenous authors and illustrators.

Welcome to Cynsations! Could you tell us about your vision for Native voices coverage here at the blog? Why did you decide to take on this role in the conversation of books?

First off I’d like to say that I am so excited and honored to join Cynsations.

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Guest Post: Melanie J. Fishbane on What Maud Taught Me

Melanie at Mabel’s Fables in Toronto.

By Melanie J. Fishbane

This month, Maud (Penguin, 2017) is releasing in paperback. And I feel one thing…Gratitude.

In this unstable publishing climate, not all books go to paperback.

It isn’t the natural progression it once was.

My publisher—Penguin Random House of Canada and its imprint, Penguin Teen—continue to support the book with digital ads and worked hard on the paperback edition.

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New Voice: Traci Sorell on We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

Traci & Frane in Tahlequah (Cherokee Nation Capital), June 2017

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Traci Sorell is the debut author of We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, illustrated by Frané Lessac (Charlesbridge, 2018). From the promotional copy:

Otsaliheliga (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah) is a word that Cherokee people use to express gratitude. 


Beginning in the fall with the Cherokee New Year and ending in summer,

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New Cynsations Reporter Traci Sorell

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Traci Sorell joins the Cynsations team as a reporter covering children’s-YA writing, illustration, publishing and other book news from Indigenous authors and illustrators.

Traci writes fiction and nonfiction for children featuring contemporary characters and compelling biographies for the trade and educational markets. She has been an active member of SCBWI since August 2013.

In April 2016,

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New Cynsations Reporter: Melanie J. Fishbane

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Melanie J. Fishbane joins the Cynsations team as a reporter covering children’s-YA writing, illustration, publishing and other book news originating in Canada.

Melanie J. Fishbane holds an M.F.A. in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and an M.A. in History from Concordia University.

With over seventeen years’ experience in children’s publishing,

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Guest Post: Carol Coven Grannick on Does Expecting the Worst Make You a Pessimist? Confessions of a Learned Optimist

By Carol Coven Grannick

The endings of so many wonderful stories – our own and others’ – are different than what protagonists imagine they might be.

And our lives hand us some of the same twists and turns.

As writers and illustrators, there are times we must move through more than the usual vicissitudes.

Something may go terribly wrong and leave us feeling like doors are closing,

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Guest Post: Carol Coven Grannick on “Into the Scary for the Sake of Joy”

By Carol Coven Grannick

I’ve been musing about what project I will work on next. Of my numerous ideas, which will take me into the challenging and blissful intellectual, emotional, psychological environment that I’ve been in for more than two years with my middle grade novel in verse, now on submission through my agent?

While I’ve written and revised it many, many times without having the thought of whether or not it would ever be published hovering close to me,

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Guest Post: Carol Coven Grannick on Flaws: Fatal – Or Not

By Carol Coven Grannick

Has the wisdom of time and life positively affected my ability to write flawed characters? Or is it the other way around?

I muse about this during an early summer morning’s coffee and writing time.

In much younger days, a painful flaw in a friend’s makeup would end the friendship. I could not tolerate – or truthfully, did not know how to negotiate the waters of – imperfection.

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