Heart and Spirit: An Interview with Lisa Jenn Bigelow

By Carol Coven Grannick

As an author, poet, and chronicler—and clinical social worker—my writing tends to explore social-emotional learning (SEL). While I deeply value the STEM and STEAM frameworks (and poetry and stories!) my own commitment and abilities lean toward creating work that handles issues that promote and build on SEL, without which STEM and STEAM learning cannot thrive.

I love exploring writers’ and illustrators’ inner lives—what builds and maintains emotional resilience?

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

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Anne Bustard is a successful children’s author with a long, distinguished career.

In children’s-YA writing and illustration, 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-artist’s heart), what bumps did you encounter and how have you managed to defy the odds to achieve continued success?

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Survivors: Laura Ruby on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Author

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Laura Ruby is a successful author with a long, distinguished career.

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?

My first book—a middle grade ghost story—was sold all the way back in 2001 and was released in 2003,

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Guest Post: Kate Messner on The Secrets to Writing Lots of Books, Promoting Them, and Still Having a Life

By Kate Messner

I’ll start this post with a confession. I don’t really have any secrets.

The truth is, when my first novel came out in 2009, I made all of the same overeager mistakes other debut writers make when that first book is released–over-promoting and dragging my wonderfully supportive family to book event after book event for an entire season.

(My daughter was nine then.

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Cynsations Return & Author Update: Cynthia Leitich Smith on Author Events, Balance, Social Media & What She’d Change About Publishing

Thank you, Cynsations readers, for joining us in the 16th year of this blog! We are so grateful to you all for reading, sharing and supporting our efforts. You’re the whole reason we’re doing this.

Thanks also to those of you who submitted questions for Cynthia over our winter hiatus. Full disclosure: Some of the wording was changed to fit the style of this blog. E.g., no profanity, even when  used in enthusiastic praise.

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Guest Post: Carol Lynch Williams on Writing Craft, Perseverance & Writing Life

By Carol Lynch Williams

I’ve always been a writer.

The first thing I wrote, and produced, was a play. There were two members of the cast (myself and my younger sister), and one member in the audience. My grandmother, Nana.

I don’t think I was much more than seven years old.

Still, I composed a musical score. (I could sing it for you right now.

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Guest Post: Author Christina Soontornvat on the Downs (and Eventual Ups) of Making It Past that Debut Year

By Christina Soontornvat

“You’re on fire!”
“Rockstar!”
“You’re killing it!”

Those are the types of comments that came across my social media feed last fall as I posted screenshots of my most recent book deal announcements.

Due to publishing’s funky and unpredictable timing, I had back-to-back announcements two weeks in a row: one for my middle grade nonfiction about the Thai Cave Rescue and another for my new chapter book series,

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Survivors: Liz Garton Scanlon on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Children’s Author

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Liz Garton Scanlon is a successful children’s author with a long, distinguished career.

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? 

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Guest Post: Susan Kralovansky on Transitioning from Librarian to Children’s Book Author

Susan Kralovansky at a school visit. 

By Susan Kralovansky

I love books. I love the smell of new books, the brittle pages of old books, and I love collecting the books of my favorite authors.

As a child, I spent all my free time at the public library. In fact, I spent so much time there that I gave myself the job of Children’s Room Library Assistant,

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Intern Insights: How to Set Up a Halloween Book Project

By Robin Galbraith
for Cynthia Leitich Smith‘s Cynsations

The Problem



Like many writers, I have a lot of books.

One of my favorite social activities is going to a friend’s book signing and buying their fabulous book. I also love keeping up with the newly published children’s and young adult offerings and buying those amazing books.

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