New Voices: Jacquetta Nammar Feldman & Sean Petrie: From Poetry to MG Novels

By Gayleen Rabakukk

I’m thrilled to welcome two Austin/VCFA authors with debut middle grade novels. I met Jacquetta Nammar Feldman at an intensive at The Writing Barn, and Sean Petrie and I were Vermont College of Fine Arts students at the same time. It’s very exciting when passages you’ve read in a workshop become a published book!

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Guest Post: Laura Sibson on Finding a Writing Process That Fits Each Book

By Laura Sibson

Hello! I am thrilled to be here as a guest reporter chatting with you about the writing process and how it changes for each book. I wondered if this was only true for me, but it turns out that lots of other authors experience the same phenomenon. In this post, I’ll share with you the distinctions in drafting my manuscripts and over the next few days,

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Author Interview: Jennifer Ziegler on Word Play and Developing Characters

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Today I’m thrilled to welcome fellow Austin author and friend Jennifer Ziegler to the Cynsations blog for a chat about writing and teaching. Her latest middle grade novel, Worser (Margaret Ferguson Books/Holiday House, 2022) has received several starred reviews and lots of positive buzz.

Tell us about your new release,

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Writing Chapter Books: Claudia Mills Chats About the “Between-ness & Betwixt-ness” of Chapter Books

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Today we continue our focus on chapter books by talking with Claudia Mills, author of more than 60 books for young readers, including dozens of chapter books.

What appeals to you about writing chapter books?

Oh, so many things! But if I were to distill them into one,

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Guest Post: Charlotte Sullivan Wild on Creating Love (When Work Isn’t Enough)

By Charlotte Sullivan Wild

Hard work, persistence.
I’ve always believed in them.

It’s there in my first picture book The Amazing Idea of You, illustrated by Mary Lundquist (Bloomsbury, 2019), which celebrates the journey from potential to fruition, be it for seed, tadpole, child or idea:

Hidden in this apple
is the idea of a tree
wrapped tight
in this shiny seed.

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Picture Book Biographies: Bethany Hegedus Explores Social Emotional Learning in Nonfiction

By Gayleen Rabakukk

At Cynsations this week we’re taking a deep dive into picture book biographies by interviewing eight debut biography authors. But first, today we’re kicking things off by featuring Bethany Hegedus, author of five published picture book biographies and more on the way.

Earlier this year I attended an SCBWI workshop where you discussed Social Emotional Learning.

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Native Voices: Traci Sorell on Writing With & About Community

By Kim Rogers

Today, I’m excited to welcome back Traci Sorell, former Cynsations reporter and award-winning author. Traci’s book Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer, illustrated by Natasha Donovan, was published by Millbrook Press in March. Her book We Are Still Here: Native American Truths Everyone Should Know,

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Native Voice: Brian Young on Writing Healer of the Water Monster

By Kim Rogers

Today, we’re chatting with Navajo author Brian Young. Brian is a film maker and personal trainer. His debut middle grade novel is Healer of the Water Monster (Heartdrum, 2021). From the promotional copy:

“When Nathan goes to visit his grandma, Nali, at her mobile summer home on the Navajo reservation,

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