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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Organizer Interview: Laura Pegram on Kweli Conference

Laura Pegram, Kweli Journal Executive Director 

By Traci Sorell 

I am honored to showcase Kweli Journal and its Executive Director, Laura Pegram, on Cynsations.

Kweli’s The Color of Children’s Literature Conference for Native/POC emerging writers and illustrators will take place in New York City on April 6 and April 7.

I first attended this conference in 2016 just after I sold my first picture book.

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Book Trailer: Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia

Illustrated by Frank Morrison

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Check out the book trailer for Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia (HarperChildren’s, 2017).

The first chapter comes to life as Clayton Byrd plays harmonica alongside his grandfather, Cool Papa Byrd, and the Bluesmen.

From the promotional copy:

From beloved Newbery Honor winner and three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Rita Williams-Garcia comes a powerful and heartfelt novel about loss,

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Our Story Begins

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Our Story Begins: Your Favorite Authors and Illustrators Share Fun, Inspiring and Occasionally Ridiculous Things They Wrote and Drew as Kids, edited by Elissa Brent Weissman (Atheneum, July 4, 2017) is now available for pre-order. From the promotional copy:

From award-winning author Elissa Brent Weissman comes a collection of quirky, smart, and vulnerable childhood works by some of today’s foremost children’s authors and illustrators—revealing young talent,

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Author Rita Williams-Garcia & The Surely Do Dancers

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

CSK Author Award Acceptance Speech by Rita Williams-Garcia from The Horn Book. Peek:

“…upon occasion, our histories are bound by peace and wonder as people of the planet Earth, looking up as we did on one night in the summer of 1969.

“In spite of some current rhetoric, very few of us on this soil can claim a separate and sole history.

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