Survivors: Lisa Wheeler on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Children’s Author

Learn more about Lisa Wheeler.

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?

I think the biggest bump (aside from pre-publication days when I was gathering all my rejections) came during the recession.

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Guest Interview: Emma Walton Hamilton on Picture Book Summit

By Cate Berry

The third annual Picture Book Summit online writing conference will be Oct. 7.

To find out more about this opportunity, which not only allows, but encourages attendance in pajamas, I interviewed one of the founders, Emma Walton Hamilton.

What prompted you to start the Picture Book Summit?


Jon and Laura Backes Bard,

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In Memory: Amy Krouse Rosenthal

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Children’s Author and Filmmaker, Dies at 51 by Sam Roberts from the New York Times. In addition to 28 children’s books and two memoirs, she also wrote many essays, including the recent You May Want to Marry My Husband, published just 10 days before her death. When her obituary was published March 13, 2017, the Times reported it had been read online 4.5 million times.

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Guest Post: Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick on Co-Writing Picture Books

By Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick

Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick

“Writing is a solitary occupation and one of its hazards is loneliness.” – Joyce Carol Oates

“The writing life is essentially one of solitary confinement.” – Will Self

“Writing is an antisocial act.” – Martha Grimes

Writing.

Solitary, lonely, antisocial – except for when it’s not.

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New Voice: David A. Robertson on When We Were Alone

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

David A. Robertson is the first-time children’s author of When We Were Alone, illustrated by Julie Flett (Portage & Main Press, Jan. 6, 2017)(available for pre-order). From the promotional copy:

When a young girl helps tend to her grandmother’s garden, she begins to notice things about her grandmother that make her curious.

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Guest Post: Carolyn Dee Flores on Achieving Deeper Color in Illustration Using Oil on Cardboard

By Carolyn Dee Flores

Illustrators bear witness.

Nothing could be more important.

One hundred years from now, when someone wants to know what it was like to be a seven-year-old girl in New York City on her birthday – or what it was like to be a Mexican-American child growing up in Texas – they won’t go to a reference book and look it up.

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Guest Post: David Jacobson on Trusting the Illustrator & the Publishing Process

By David Jacobson

For the last eight years, I have worked for a small Seattle book publisher called Chin Music Press.

I’ve done everything from fact checking and copy editing to developmental- and line-editing, from setting up book tours to reading through the slush pile (a task I actually enjoyed).

But during all that time, my name never appeared on the cover of a book.

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Author Interview: Debbie Levy on I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Happy Election Day! Go vote!

We welcome author Debbie Levy to talk about her new picture book biography. 

From the promotional copy of I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark, illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley (Simon & Schuster, 2016):

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent her lifetime disagreeing . . . with creaky old ideas.

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Author-Illustrator Interview: Ambelin Kwaymullina on Justice, Hope & Her Creative Family

Sample chapter from Candlewick Press

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

The second of a four-installment dialogue with Ambelin and Cynthia.  

Our focus is on the creative life and process,
speculative fiction, diversity, privilege, indigenous literature, and books for young readers.

Yesterday, Ambelin spoke on ethics, the writing process and own voices.

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Author Interview: Monique Gray Smith on My Heart Fills With Happiness & Advice for Beginning Writers

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Today I’m honored to feature Monique Gray Smith, “a mixed heritage woman of Cree, Lakota, and Scottish descent” and the author one of my favorite new titles–my official go-to gift book for 2016.

What put you on the path to writing for young readers?

I never set out to write for young readers and to be honest,

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