Friday, April 06, 2012

Cynsational News & Giveaways

By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

Congratulations to Cynsations U.K. reporter Siobhan Curham on the release of Dear Dylan from Egmont U.K.!  See Siobhan Curham on Daring to Dream.

Writers as Weight Lifters: Keeping Characters Off Balance by Karen Henley from Janet Fox at Through the Wardrobe. Peek: "Some writers are reluctant to hurt their protagonists, which creates a boring story. Some writers throw every problem in the world at their characters, which makes the story either unbelievable and cartoon-ish or unrelenting and burdensome. So how do we create believable tension?"

Writers and the World of Start-ups by Lindsey Lane from The Meandering Lane. Peek: "...writers and people who do start-ups (start-uppers?) have a lot in common. Both of us invest huge amounts of time, energy and resources in a vision, as yet unformed, with the belief that what’s in our heads is worthy of existing in the world and touching many, many lives."

The Pacific Coast Children's Writers Whole Novel Seminar from Oct. 5 to Oct. 7 near Santa Cruz, California. Peek: "This 10th annual event features in-person, partial or full novel critiques by editor Simon Boughton (senior vice president and publisher of Roaring Brook Press, First Second, and Farrar, Straus & Giroux), agent Emily Sylvan Kim (Prospect Agency), and/or agent Joe Monti (Barry Goldblatt Literary). Collegial, open-clinic format for 16 advanced/published writers. Concurrent Teen Readers and Writers Workshop, and a Novel Writers Retreat, plus a post-workshop Faculty Mentor Program. Priority/Early Bird applications due May 15 (teens: June 25). Full manuscripts due in summer; shared with peers."

Monster List of Picture Book Agents by Heather Aryis Burnell from Frolicking through Cyberspace. Peek: "As a picture book writer, I know it can be difficult to track down which agents represent picture book authors. Not author/illustrators (how I wish I could illustrate!), but authors only."

Character Thesaurus Entry: Optimistic by Becca Puglisi from The Bookshelf Muse. Peek: "In a world full of naysayers, the optimist brings light and hope and can be a safe haven for your hero in a difficult time."

Dealing with the Doubts from Jodi Meadows: Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy. Peek: "So I wondered, Am I broken? Has the pressure broken my writing brain?"

A Select Bibliography of Works About Young Adult Dystopia by Amy H. Sturgis from Redecorating Middle Earth. See also Queer Characters in Dystopian YA by Lee Wind from I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell Do I Read.

Cynsational Author Tip: Keep reading. Don't settle for a dated mental framework of the conversation of books from the time you broke into the industry. The only constant is change. Be part of it.

How I Got Into Publishing by Tu Books/Lee & Low editor Stacy Whitman from CBC Diversity. Peek: "At a Chicago SCBWI event, I met Anita Silvey who ended up being one of my publishing teachers in grad school and she suggested that if what I really wanted was a lateral mid-career move into children's books, the children's literature master's program program at Simmons College was the best way to go."

Motivation or Commitment: Only One Is Necessary by Kristi Holl from Writer's First Aid. Peek: "...when motivation starts to fizzle out, you need rock solid commitment to keep you moving ahead on your writing goals."

The Malaysian Booth at the 2012 Bologna Children's Book Fair from PaperTigers.org. Peek: "Malaysia has lots to celebrate in the world of kidlit including the fact that the current President of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), Mr. Ahmad Redza Ahmad Khairuddib, is Malaysian!"

Interview with Robin LaFevers of Grave Mercy: His Fair Assassin (Book One) by Ellen Oh from The Enchanted Inkpot. Peek: "...the hardest part was giving myself permission to write it in the first place. Because, as you say, it has religion and romance and politics, it doesn’t exactly scream young adult novel." Note: Grave Mercy has Cynsations' highest recommendation.

Self-Publishing Your Children's-Teen's Work by Maureen Johnson. Peek: "When you take someone who’s learning and you rubber stamp their work as done, you aren’t actually doing them any favors. Really."

Anneographies highlights picture book biographies for children. New posts daily, featuring books on the subjects' birthdays!

We Can Learn About Ways to Stop Bullying from Teens in the Civil Rights Movement by Ann Angel from The Pirate Tree: Social Justice and Children's Literature. Peek: "It’s really no surprise that nonfiction stories can serve to teach history through the eyes of young heroes. It should be no surprise that these young heroes can influence today’s students to consider the good and imperfect in own world and that these stories can open them to becoming the voices for a better world."

Congratulations to Carmen Oliver on signing with Erzsi Deak of Hen & Ink Literary, and congratulations to Erzi on signing Carmen!

Falling for the Storyteller by Cathy C. Hall from Wow! Peek: "You have to get out from behind your laptop, change out of your PJs, and take your stories to the masses."

Plan to Celebrate


TD Canadian Children’sBook Week will take place from May 5 to May 12, and close to 35,000 children, teens and adults will participate in activities held in every province and territory across the country. There will be 116 free, public readings taking place across Canada, so to find out who is on tour, order bookmarks and posters, or to download this year’s free Book Week theme guide, go to The Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s website. Source Cynsations Canada reporter Lena Coakley.


ALA National Library Week will take place from April 8 to April 14. April is School Library Month. April 12 is Support Teen Library Day.

See also El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day) on April 30.

Cynsational Giveaways


Enter to win one of two Robot Zombie Frankenstein! prize packages.

Each includes: a signed book, plus build-a-bot foam stickers, robot chest panel iron-ons, and other kid-sized story-related bling: a Robot Zombie Frankenstein mini-notebook; a Robot Zombie Frankenstein pirate hat, eye patch and hook; a Robot Zombie Frankenstein pirate superhero-in-disguise disguise; Robot Zombie Frankenstein pirate superhero-in-disguise outer space invader glow-in-the-dark stars; and a Robot Zombie Frankenstein pirate superhero-in-disguise outer space invader chef hat and apron.

To enter, comment on this post (click previous link and scroll) and include an email address (formatted like: cynthia at cynthialeitichsmith dot com) or a link to an email address. Or you can email Cynthia directly with "Robot Zombie Frankenstein!" in the subject line. Author-illustrator sponsored. Eligibility: U.S./Canada. Deadline: 11:59 CST April 23.

Note: Robot Zombie Frankenstein (Candlewick, 2012) is a spring Indiebound Kids' Next Pick.



Enter to win a signed copy of  A Million Suns by Beth Revis (Razorbill, 2012)!

To enter, comment on this post (click immediately previous link and scroll) and include an email address (formatted like: cynthia at cynthialeitichsmith dot com) or a link to an email address. Or email Cynthia directly with "Million Suns" in the subject line. Author-sponsored. Eligibility: U.S. only. Deadline: midnight CST April 17.


Last call! Enter to win a signed advanced reader copy of The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy by Nikki Loftin (Razorbill, 2012) and some sinister sweet swag.

To enter, comment on this post (click immediately previous link and scroll) and include an email address (formatted like: cynthia at cynthialeitichsmith dot com) or a link to an email address. Or email Cynthia directly with "Sinister Sweetness" in the subject line. (If you're on LiveJournal, I'm also taking entries via comment at the Cynsations LJ.) Author-sponsored. Eligibility: U.S./Canada. Deadline: midnight CST April 9.



Enter for a chance to win Angel Burn and Angel Fire, both by L.A. Weatherly (Candlewick, 2012).

To enter, comment on this post (click immediately previous link and scroll) and include an email address (formatted like: cynthia at cynthialeitichsmith dot com) or a link to an email address. Or email Cynthia directly with "Angel Burn & Angel Fire" in the subject line.

Author-sponsored. Eligibility: U.S./Canada. Deadline: midnight CST April 16.

The winner of  Chronal Engine by Greg Leitich Smith (Clarion, 2012) and a T-rex puppet was Heidi in Utah. The runners-up were Penny in Florida and Cindy in Vermont.

The fifth and final winner of an ARC of Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood was Selena in Wisconsin.

ARC Giveaway: Blackwood by Gwenda Bond from The Book Smugglers. Eligibility: international. Deadline: 11:59 p.m. April 7.

This Week's Cynsations Posts
More Personally

Quiet but productive week here. I've been critiquing private student manuscripts and have just shifted my focus to preparing for upcoming author events. By the way, Fall 2012 is now closed to student applications. If you are interested in private study in spring 2013, please contact me for more information. Spots are quite limited.

My thoughts are with those in Dallas who lost homes to tornadoes. Also, my best wishes on Good Friday, Passover and Easter to those who observe them.



Cynsations - Blog of the Month from Sunshine Smile Publications. Peek: "The blog is hosted by NYT bestselling and award-winning author Cynthia Leitich Smith, with the assistance of intrepid reporters from around the globe."

Bookieholics gives Diabolical 4.5 out of 5 and says: "This was probably my favorite book out of the whole saga. It had lots of action in it, and was just really entertaining!"

Girl Meets Boy, edited by Kelly Milner Halls by Sarah Jamila Stevenson from Finding Wonderland. Peek: "One of my favorite pairs of stories was the Bruchac/Smith pairing—the voice was so strong in both, whether it was Cynthia's Native American basketball star longing for something more than just a clumsy pawing by some oafish dude, or Bruchac's short, thoughtful martial artist who's just a little scared to make that leap into the unknown territory of love."

Don't miss this week's interview with actor Jesse Bernstein, who performed the voice of "slipped" angel Zachary for the Eternal audio book.

Even More Personally


As a long-time fan of Julia Roberts and Nathan Lane, I enjoyed "Mirror Mirror" last Sunday.


Personal Links
From Greg Leitich Smith
Cynsational Events


Cynthia will appear at the Texas Library Association Annual Conference:
  • April 18: 1 p.m. to 1:50 p.m. "Connecting Teens and Authors: Teen Book Festivals and Awesome Author Visits." 
  • April 20: 8 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. "Introducing the Spirit of Texas Reading Programs." 
  • Author signing coordinated by Candlewick Press and TLA. See program for details. 
Note: Greg Leitich Smith also will be signing at the conference. See more information.

Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith will appear at A Festival of Authors, which will take place from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. May 12 at Reagan High School in Northeast Austin.

Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith will appear June 30 at Bastop Public Library in Bastrop, Texas.

Interested in taking a class with Cynthia this summer?

3 comments:

Becca Puglisi said...

Looking forward to making my way through this list. The Name of the Star is on my desk as we speak, next on my list of books to read. Can't wait to see what other gems I find from this awesome post. And thanks for the shout out!

Becca @ The Bookshelf Muse

Linda - Nickers and Ink said...

Let's hit the library! Intriguing selection of books I have not seen before.

Popping in as an A to Z Blogging Challenge participant. Please feel free to visit and comment on any of my blogs as well, leaving a link to your own post, so my readers can find you too!

You can click my name/icon for links to all six A to Z blogs! Happy A-to-Z-ing!

Cynthia Leitich Smith said...

Sounds like your to-be-read stack is a forever work in progress (as it should be!). Enjoy!

Thanks for popping by, Linda! I'll zip on over and check it out.

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