Author Snapshot: Charlotte Nicole Davis

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Charlotte Nicole Davis is the debut author of The Good Luck Girls (Tor Teen, Oct. 1, 2019).

How would you describe your writing apprenticeship and transition to an actively publishing author? What were the surprises, challenges and strategies that have defined your experience along the way?

The biggest surprise—and challenge—was probably how much my writing process had to adjust to working on a deadline.

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Cynsations Intern: Gail Vannelli on Loving Literature

By Gail Vannelli

Long ago, a four-wheeler that started to swirl hit a car with a mother and four-year-old girl. And that girl, in a hospital, smelly and white, lay confused and alone, with her leg wrapped up tight in a cast in a sling pulled up high in the air, where it linked to all kinds of weird gadgets up there. And she wept and she whimpered each night and each day for her mother to please come and whisk her away.

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Agent-Author Interview: Jacqueline Lipton – New Agent at Storm Literary Agency & Author of an Upcoming Legal Handbook for Writers

By Robin Galbraith

I’m excited to share Jacqueline Lipton‘s journey from lawyer to children’s writer to lliterary agent.

How and why did you become an agent?

I’ve been interested in agenting for a long time, after someone suggested it to me many years ago as a way to merge my interests in law and business with my interests in writing and publishing.

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New Voice: Nora Carpenter on Yoga Frog

By Robin Galbraith

September is yoga month!

So as a former preschool teacher I was thrilled to interview Nora Carpenter about her fantastic new picture book Yoga Frog, illustrated by Mark Chambers (Running Press Kids, 2018). From the promotional copy:

Frog loves to practice yoga. And he will inspire kids to enjoy doing yoga, too. Follow Frog’s yoga flow,

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Cynsations Intern: Stephani Eaton on The Joy of Writing

Stephani Eaton, photo by Tanya Odom

By Stephani Eaton

When I was in second grade, I wrote a poem about an impending storm that pleased my dad so much that he hung it in his office. It stayed there for years.

I recently asked if he remembered what it said and he rattled off: “This dark and rainy noon will soon pass the sunset of time.”

I had to laugh at the melodrama of my seven-year-old self.

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New Voice: Adrienne Kisner on Dear Rachel Maddow

By Robin Galbraith
for Cynthia Leitich Smith‘s Cynsations

Adrienne Kisner is a Vermont College of Fine Arts alum and a hilarious fellow classmate, so I jumped at the chance to interview her about her funny and heart-wrenching debut YA novel,  Dear Rachel Maddow (Feiwel & Friends, 2018). From the promotional copy:

Brynn Harper’s life has one steadying force—Rachel Maddow.

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New Voice: Jessie Janowitz on Finding a Literary Agent & The Doughnut Fix

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Jessie Janowitz is the debut author of The Doughnut Fix (Sourcebooks, April 2018). From the promotional copy:

Tristan isn’t Gifted or Talented like his sister Jeanine, and he’s always been okay with that because he can make a perfect chocolate chip cookie and he lives in the greatest city in the world. 


But his life takes a turn for the worse when his parents decide to move to middle-of-nowhere Petersville–a town with one street and no restaurants.

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Guest Post: Agent-Author Tracy Marchini on Page Turns in Picture Books

By Tracy Marchini

I’ve been thinking a lot about page turns in picture books recently, and all of the amazing things they can do, including:

  • Show the passage of time 
  • Create humor 
  • Dictate pacing 

Show the passage of time 

Using page turns to show the passage of time is probably the usage that everybody is familiar with.

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Author-Teacher Interview: Gene Luen Yang on Writing, Teaching & the Hamline MFA Program

Lean more about Cartoonist and Teacher Gene Luen Yang.

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Welcome to Cynsations. We last spoke to Dean Mary Francoise Rockcastle about the Hamline MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults back in 2006.

When did you join the faculty? What appealed to you about teaching in a low-residency program?

I joined the faculty of the Hamline MFAC program in the summer of 2012.

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Guest Post: Ann Jacobus: Critique Group Makes Frances Lee Hall’s Publishing Dream Come True

By Ann Jacobus

It’s an unusual moment when our writing group is in full agreement. But in this case, we knew we had to bring our friend Frances Lee Hall’s wonderful middle grade story to young readers.

The question was how?

Frances Lee Hall

We had all just attended her memorial service. Frances died suddenly on Nov. 26, 2016.

She had also been through hell and high water,

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