Friday, February 25, 2011

Cynsational News & Giveaways

2010 Agatha Award Nominees from Sisters in Crime. The attendees of Malice Domestic 23, which will take place April 29 to May 1 in Bethesda, Maryland, will vote on the awards by secret ballot. The winners will be announced at the 2010 Agatha Awards banquet on April 30.

Best Children's/Young Adult:


Finalists for the 2010 Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy from Publishers Weekly Genreville:
2011 Golden Kite Winners from Alice Pope at Alice Pope's SCBWI Blog:


More News

Why Brick-and-Mortar Still Matter by Shannon Hale from Squeetus Blog. Peek: "Without handselling, it's harder for new authors to get published. How often do you buy a debut author's book online? A new book is much more likely to be sold by a person in a store, where it can be propped up in a display or handed to a reader by a bookseller. "

Cynsational Tip: Think before you tweet. If blogs, for all of their blessings, are a PR landmine, then Twitter is the same tenfold. It's so easy, so fast. Be especially careful of controversial topics or those where, for you, emotion runs high.

Magical Realism: Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary by Kimberley Griffiths Little from The Spectacle. Peek: "...a story where the author creates a very normal, regular world, populated with ordinary, regular people (no Vampires or Centaurs, Klingons or Doctor Octopus) but adding a touch—mind you, just a touch—of something surreal, fantastic or bizarre that turns the story upside down while staying very much grounded in that regular world setting."

Interview With Erica Sussman, senior editor at HarperTeen by Robison Wells from Crowe's Nest. Peek: "First impressions are absolutely the most important in our process. If I’m concerned that a manuscript won’t be able to immediately wow the room in it’s original state, but I love it and see a place for it, the best thing for me is to be able to take it through a revision and then show the even-stronger-manuscript to the team at Harper."

An Agent's View: Talking with agent Jennifer Laughran by R.L. LaFevers from Shrinking Violet Promotions: Marketing for Introverts. Peek: "Booksellers are evangelists for books that they love and handsell them to (often initially reluctant) customers. This is basically the same thing I do now, just on a different scale." See also Jennifer on Creating the Editor Submission List.

Writing in the Woods: a retreat for children's-YA writers May 15 to May 21 at Good Earth Village in Spring Valley, Minnesota. Peek: "We provide a safe, supportive writing environment and promise to nurture you and treat your art kindly. Our energy and practices are drawn from a deep well: over sixty years of cumulative teaching and writing experience and more than sixty children’s books among us." Enrollment limited to eight experienced writers through application; two graduate credits available through Hamline University. Faculty: Marsha Wilson Chall, Phyllis Root, and Jane Resh Thomas. See details.

Agent Erin Murphy and author Audrey Vernick on Elevating Your Quiet Book to the Next Level from Donna Gephart at Wild About Words. Peek: "There’s no easy way to define 'quiet books,' but if you’ve gotten the 'too quiet' comment in rejection letters, this advice is for you."

Tiny Satchel Press: seeks "...to provide readers with characters who are diverse: we are committed to providing books whose characters come from all racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds, characters with a broad representation of gender or sexual orientation, characters who come from a range of religious and secular backgrounds---that is, characters with whom all our readers---boys and girls of any race or ethnicity or sexual orientation---can identify and relate." See also Victoria Brownworth: The Activist Writer from Lambda Literary.

Goal vs. Fighting for Something Positive by Darcy Pattison from Fiction Notes. Peek: "When you have a flat scene, look for something positive for the character to fight for. Often, you’ll find more than one thing and that’s often good because it involves more struggle. The process of resolving the conflict will be interesting for the reader, it will keep them reading."

Attention: High school students/English teachers! Teen writers are encouraged to enter the Hunger Mountain Young Writers Contest. Three first place winners will receive $250 and publication! Three runners-up will receive $100 each. Note: I'm honored to be this year's judge. See link for more information. Hunger Mountain is the Vermont College of Fine Arts journal of the arts.

The 2011 winner of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award is: The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane by C.M. Millen, illustrated by Andrea Wisnewski (Charlesbridge, 2010), and the honor book is Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen (Houghton Mifflin, 2010). Peek: "This annual award goes to the best book of children's poetry published in the United States in the preceding year. It is co-sponsored with Lee Bennett Hopkins himself along with the University Libraries, the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, and additional sponsor, Pennsylvania School Librarians Association." Source: Syliva Vardell at Poetry for Children.

Editor Interview: Andrea Tompa and Kaylan Adair from Candlewick Press by Danielle Smith from There's a Book. Peek from Andrea: "Across all genres, I’d love to see more submissions featuring diverse characters—characters who aren’t necessarily white, straight, thin, or able-bodied—without diversity necessarily being the focus of the story."

Action Is Character by Rachelle Gardner from Rants & Ramblings on Life as a Literary Agent. Peek: "When you decide to have a character “tell” about themselves either in narrative or in dialogue, it’s most fun if we can see where their telling contradicts what we know about them from their actions."

Kidlit Apps: Curating Children's Book Apps and Digital Content: a new blog from literary agent Mary Kole. Peek: "I do think we should try limit ourselves, though, for now, to developers who have brought an app to market before. As we know in novels, it’s one thing to have a great concept, but execution is a whole other matter." See also Picture Book Apps--Shorter is Sweeter by Ruth Sanderson from e is for book.

The Elements of Sexual Tension by Marissa Meyer from The Enchanted Inkpot. Peek: "Sexual tension is what keeps us readers involved with a couple’s ongoing struggles. It keeps us whipping through the pages, hoping for a touch, a kiss, a proclamation. It’s what makes us tear our hair out every time that touch, kiss, or proclamation is postponed . . . again."

6 1/2 Tips to Help You Create Picture Books with HeART by author-illustrator Janeen Mason from Donna Gephart from Wild About Words. Plus, comment at the link for a chance to win Gift of the Magpie (Pelican, 2011).

Seven Places to Find Free Money for Your Writing by Zachary Petit from Promptly at Writer's Digest. Peek: "Now, obviously roping a grant or fellowship is never as easy as waiting in line to pick up your check or plane ticket; you have to find a fitting program, carefully draft an application, submit, triumph in a hidden but brutal campaign against other applicants, etc., etc. But the end result can be the same: Free money (or time) for your writing career." Source: Phil Giunta.

From Highlights Foundation

Join authors Laura Ruby and Anne Ursu for the Whole Novel Workshop for Fantasy from May 1 to May 8 near Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Laura and Anne will discuss issues of craft along with issues specific to the genre, including:

• using physical details to build a vivid fantasy world;
• defining your magical system without losing a sense of wonder;
• ensuring your characters are as interesting as your world;
• communicating your world through your storytelling; and
• finding the right narrative voice.

Applications must be submitted by Feb. 25. For more information, contact Jo Lloyd at 570-253-1192, e-mail jo.lloyd@highlightsfoundation.org or request an application online. Applicants will be notified of acceptance by March 15.

Cynsational Screening Room

Congratulations to April Lurie, whose stage adaptation of her terrific tween novel, Brothers, Boyfriends & Other Criminal Minds (Delacorte, 2007), has been playing at the Zach in Austin.



Attention teens! You can help win up to $3,000 for your library. See video below and more information.



YA A to Z Conference

YA A to Z Conference, sponsored by the Writers' League of Texas, will be April 15 and April 16 at the Hyatt Regency Austin (208 Barton Springs Road). Cost: $279 WLT Members, $349 Nonmembers (through March 15).

Confirmed editors/agents:


Confirmed authors:


More Personally

Enter to win one of five copies of Blessed from Young Adult Books Central. Watch the trailer below for the answer to the entry question and then go to YABC to fill out the entry form.



Author Insight: Right Book, Right Time by S.F. Robertson from Wastepaper Prose. Note: I offer my thoughts on the subject, along with 14 other youth literature authors.

Friday Favorites: a favorite book recommended by Cynthia Leitich Smith from Debbi Michiko Florence at One Writer's Journey.

Authors of the Week: L.K. Madigan and Dori Hillestad Butler.

Links of the Week: Authors & Bloggers Give Back to Texas Teens by Jen Bigheart from I Read Banned Books; Arthur Slade on His Facebook Ad Campaign.

Cynsational Events

"Jeanette Larson: Loving the Librarian" will be at 11 a.m. March 5 at BookPeople in Austin. Sponsored by Austin SCBWI. Peek: "Librarians can do a lot to help writers and illustrators do their work and get their books into the hands of readers. Learn the secrets of librarians from a 'semi-retired' librarian who continues to work with librarians across the country to improve services to patrons and the community. While she has written extensively for libraries, her first children's book, Hummingbirds: Facts and Folklore from the Americas (Charlesbridge, 2011), has just been published and she is seeing the world from the other side of the library shelf!" Jeanette's book launch will follow at BookPeople at noon and include refreshments and sample art pieces. See also an interview with Jeanette and Adrienne Yorinks by Donna Bowman Bratton at Writing Down the Kidlit Page.

12th Annual Southwest Florida Reading Festival will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 19 in Fort Myers, Florida. Note: speakers include Cynthia Leitich Smith.

Book Now for 2011-2012

It's two YA authors for the price of one! Book now for the 2011-2012 school year and beyond!

"From Classics to Contemporary:" a joint presentation offered by Cynthia Leitich Smith, author of the Tantalize series (inspired by Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897)) and Jennifer Ziegler, author of Sass & Serendipity (inspired by Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (1811)).

The authors will discuss how they were inspired by these classics, why Stoker and Austen's themes are still relevant to teens/YAs today, the ongoing conversation of books over the generations, and much more.

Contact Dayton Bookings for more information and to schedule.

6 comments:

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

Great post as always - and THANKS!!!

Cynthia Leitich Smith said...

My pleasure! Thanks for your terrific article.

The1stdaughter said...

Wow! What an incredible resource! Thank you so much for putting it together and including my interview as well. Thank you!!!

Cynthia Leitich Smith said...

Glad to do it--thank you for your efforts! I scan the web weekly. It's exciting to find a gem and pass it on to my readers.

BookGeek said...

Talk about a catch up post! Looks like I have a lot to read in addition to my blogroll :) Thanks for this Cynthia!

Cynthia Leitich Smith said...

My pleasure, BookGeek! Happy reading!

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