New Voice: Brenda Maier on Making Picture Books Do Double Duty & The Little Red Fort

New Voice: Brenda Maier on Making Picture Books Do Double Duty & The Little Red Fort

By Traci Sorell

I’m overjoyed to feature The Little Red Fort by author Brenda Maier and illustrator Sonia Sánchez (Scholastic, 2018) here on Cynsations.

This new picture book is a contemporary retelling of The Little Red Hen, featuring spunky Ruby and her three brothers who are not interested in helping her build a fort.

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

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?

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New Voice: Katie Kennedy on Learning to Swear in America

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Katie Kennedy is the first-time author of Learning to Swear in America (Bloomsbury, 2016). From the promotional copy:

An asteroid is hurtling toward Earth. A big, bad one. 

Maybe not kill-all-the-dinosaurs bad, but at least kill-everyone-in-California-and-wipe-out-Japan-with-a-tsunami bad. Yuri, a physicist prodigy from Russia,

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Author-Teacher Interview: Esther Hershenhorn

Author-Teacher Interview: Esther Hershenhorn

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Esther, welcome back to Cynsations! What’s new in your writing-teacher life?

I’m happy to report: the teaching part of my teaching-author life is taking off in all sorts of new directions this year, literally and figuratively. I continue to teach writing for children workshops at both the University of Chicago’s Graham School’s Writer’s Studio and Chicago’s Newberry Library,

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Guest Interview: Author Eric Pinder on Writing Picture Books & How to Share With a Bear

Guest Interview: Author Eric Pinder on Writing Picture Books & How to Share With a Bear

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Eric Pinder is the author of four picture books and four adult nonfiction books. His most recent release is How to Share With a Bear, illustrated by Stephanie Graegin (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015). From the promotional copy:

The perfect thing to do on a chilly day is to make a cave.

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Guest Post & Giveaway: Dianne White on Doing the Work & Not Giving Up

Guest Post & Giveaway: Dianne White on Doing the Work & Not Giving Up

By Dianne White

I haven’t always been a writer – at least not in the way I assume my friends who write must have been as children growing up.

I never wrote stories I couldn’t wait to share with my parents and teachers; I was not the kid who stapled lined pages together to write and illustrate my own books;

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