Survivors: Kelly Starling Lyons on Thriving as a Long-Time Actively Publishing Children’s Author

By Traci Sorell

I love books that celebrate multigenerational family gatherings and connections between family members of all ages. Going Down Home With Daddy (Peachtree, 2019) combines rich language by Kelly Starling Lyons and spectacular illustrations by Daniel Minter.

When you sit with the book, you easily see why it garnered starred reviews, effusive praise and made The Horn Book’s Calling Caldecott list.

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Guest Post: Linda Joy Singleton on Critiquing Critique Groups

By Linda Joy Singleton

My First Critique Group

When I was a new young writer, a friend invited me to her critique group. I was told to bring a chapter of my work-in-progress to share. It was a casual group open to many writers. I had no idea what to expect and was so shy that reading in front of a dozen-plus writers terrified me.

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SCBWI’s Third Annual Literacy Initiative Gives Books to Readers in Need

From SCBWI:

The members of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators joined forces once again as part of the organization’s annual SCBWI Books For Readers literacy initiative to collect, curate, and donate new books created by its members to one of its two 2019 recipients: REACH in Norfolk, Virginia.

Their carefully curated library of books was officially donated at the SCBWI Books For Readers/REACH Literacy Celebration on Nov.

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New Voices: Brian Weisfeld & Alicia D. Williams Share How the Children Around them Inspire Their Writing

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Brian Weisfeld’s novel with Nicole C. Kear, The Startup Squad (Imprint, 2019) and Alicia D. William’s novel Genesis Begins Again (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy, 2019) were both inspired by the children around them. They’ve shared their inspirations and insights they’ve gained along their writing journeys. Welcome, Brian and Alicia!

Brian Weisfeld

What was your initial inspiration for writing this book?

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New Voices: Gita Trelease & Jodie Lynn Zdrok with YA Debuts Set in Paris

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Gita Trelease, author of Enchantée (Flatiron Books, 2019) and Jodie Lynn Zdrok, author of Spectacle (Tor Teen, 2019) both set their magical, historical novels in Paris. They share their inspirations, moments along their writing journeys, and advice for fellow writers.

Gita Trelease

What first inspired you to write for young readers?

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Author Interview: Annie Boochever on Alaska Native Civil Rights Hero Elizabeth Peratrovich

By Traci Sorell

Rarely do we see biographies of Native people post-1900, so the biography of Elizabeth Peratrovich, Fighter in Velvet Gloves (University of Alaska Press, 2019), by Annie Boochever with Roy Peratrovich, Jr. (Tlingit) is a welcome addition in children’s literature.

The book recently represented the state of Alaska at the National Book Festival in Washington,

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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.

Meredith Davis is the co-author of Her Own Two Feet: A Rwandan Girl’s Brave Fight To Walk (Scholastic,

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SCBWI’s Third Annual Literacy Initiative Gives Books, Builds Dreams, and Offers Hope to Readers In Need

The members of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators join forces once again as part of the organization’s third Annual SCBWI Books For Readers book drive and literacy event to collect, curate, and donate new books created by its members to one of its two 2019 recipients: the Madison Reading Project in Madison, Wisconsin. (The other is REACH in Portsmouth, Virginia.)

The SCBWI Books for Readers literacy initiative grew from the organization’s desire to create an opportunity for its members to make an important impact in the lives of readers,

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New Voices: Former Teachers Bea Birdsong & Vivian Kirkfield Discuss Their Storytelling Journeys

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

I am thrilled to get to introduce Cynsations readers to Bea Birdsong and Vivian Kirkfield, two former teachers turned writers.

With their background in education and having spent years reading to children, it is no wonder that their passion is writing the absolute best stories that they can for kids.

Bea Birdsong

In terms of publishing,

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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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