Friday, February 01, 2013

Cynsational News & Giveaways

By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

Congratulations to all the winners, honorees and list makers of the current awards season!

Cheers to the hardworking committee members, and the entire children's-YA literature and publishing community, including young readers, for making 2012 such a success!

A few personal shout outs:


Hooray to my fellow former VCFA faculty member Leda Schubert, whose Monsieur Marceau: Artist Without Words (Roaring Brook, 2012) won the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children!

See Leda Schubert on Monsieur Marceau: Artist Without Words from Cynsations.


Congratulations to fellow Austinite Cynthia Levinson on the recognition for YALSA Nonfiction Award finalist We've Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children's March (Peachtree, 2012)!

See a new voice interview with Cynthia and guest post with Cynthia about the book!


Likewise, huge cheers to Toni Buzzeo on the Caldecott Honor for One Cool Friend, illustrated by David Small (Dial, 2012)! Toni and I were critique partners early in our careers. I absolutely love this picture book (my favorite of the year!), and I couldn't be more thrilled by her success.

See From Urban Legend to the Boy in the Tuxedo by Toni Buzzeo from Hunger Mountain: A VCFA Journal of the Arts.


Brava, Kelly Starling Lyons, whose Ellen’s Broom, snagged a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for Daniel Minter (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2012)! Kelly is one of the terrific people behind The Brown Bookshelf: United in Story, highlighting African American children's-YA authors and illustrators.

See also Kelly Starling Lyon's on Ellen's Broom from Cynsations.


Way to go, fellow Texan Benjamin Alire Sáenz, the Belpré Author Award winner for Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Simon & Schuster, 2012)! The book also was the Stonewall Book Award - Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award winner ("given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience") and--wait for it--a Printz Honor Book! Learn more about this novel from NPR books! Note: Ben had me at Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood (Cinco Puntos, 2004) one of my all-time favorite YA books.

More Award News

More Links

Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Paul Schmid from Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. Peek: "Finding myself unemployed with no clear direction, one day my lovely, brilliant wife suggested I call Steven Malk, a literary agent whom I had made contact with a number of years before. Steve took me on, and we floated out a postcard."

Laura Ellen on Using Criticism from Adventures in YA & Children's Literature. Peek: "Writing is extremely personal. Often we see it as an extension of ourselves and so anything said against it seems like a personal attack. It’s hard to do, but try to take ‘you’ out of the book."

Time Saving Tips When Writing Series by Elizabeth S. Craig from Mystery Writing is Murder. Peek: "The style sheets are emailed in a separate attachment from my edits, and sometimes include the email address of the copyeditor on them, in case I want to make changes to the document."

What We've Learned about Writing Fantasy by Anna Staniszewski from The Enchanted Inkpot. Peek: "The characters, plot, world, etc. might feel flimsy at first, but every round of revisions will make them stronger."

So You Want to Read Your Reviews by Elizabeth S. Craig from Writing Mystery is Murder. Peek: "In general, we should probably stay away. Your time is better spent writing the next book."

Malín Alegría: A Road Map for Bicultural Youth from CBC Diversity. Peek: "Latinos have lived in the United States for over 500 years. However, mainstream literature rarely portrays strong brown characters as the protagonists. It’s liberating to have the opportunity to write a teen drama that teens across the world can relate to because they speak to typical experiences."

Success: Is It Happening to You, Only You Don't Realize It? by Angela Ackerman from The Bookstore Muse. Peek: "The truth is, there are many indicators of emerging success, not just these biggies. They are smaller, more subtle. Many of us don’t realize what they mean when they happen."

No Crystal Stair: An Interview with Vaundra Nelson by J.L. Powers from The Pirate Tree: Social Justice & Children's Literature. Peek: "I’m no expert on the Pan-African movement. I’m just a storyteller who enjoys history. My understanding is that Lewis (like his father) found inspiration in Garvey’s commitment to blacks building their own businesses, creating their own communities, becoming self-sufficient."

Three Simple Ways to Engage on Your Author Facebook Page by Caitlin Muir from Author Media.  Peek: "Think of each photo as a digital ambassador. Choose them carefully."

Help! Unromantic Me Can't Write Romantic Scenes from DearEditor.com. Peek: " This isn’t about you, it’s about the characters. A great romantic scene grows out of the characters’ emotional connection with each other across all preceding scenes."

Cynsational Giveaways
Enter to win a paperback copy of Diabolical by Cynthia Leitich Smith from Jean's Book Nerd.

Don't miss New YA Releases & Eight Giveaways (Including Homeland by Cory Doctorow) from Adventures in YA & Children's Publishing.

This Week at Cynsations

More Personally


Highlights of the week included Liz Garton Scanlon's launch of Happy Birthday, Bunny! (Beach Lane, 2013) at BookPeople in Austin! See photo report.


Just as jazzy! The release of Janet Fox's Sirens (Speak/Penguin, 2012), likewise at BookPeople. See photo report.
With Bethany Hegedus, agent Alexandra Penfold & Greg Leitich Smith at The Driskill Hotel.

Coming soon in paperback!
Cynthia Leitich Smith Author Interview, Review & Diabolical Giveaway from JeanBookNerd.com. In-depth, at times quite personal, conversation, celebrating the upcoming paperback release of Diabolical.

Girl Meets Boy, edited by Kelly Milner Halls from Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children's Literature. Peek: "Joe (Joseph Bruchac) and Cyn are two of my favorite writers. I recognize the places they write about, and as a Native kid/teen who grew up at Nambe Pueblo, I recognize the characters they developed for their stories in Girl Meets BoyI know/knew guys like Bobby Wildcat and girls like Nancy Whitepath..."

Thanks to readergirlz for the shout outs for my upcoming releases, Feral Nights and Eternal: Zachary's Story (both Candlewick, Feb. 2013)!

As for new books, a Feral Nights sighting at ALA (photo by Stephanie Light Eames)
Personal Links:
From Greg Leitich Smith:
Cynsational Events

Join Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith (and many more!) Feb. 2 at Montgomery County Book Festival. Check out the art contest; deadline: Jan. 18.

Join Cynthia Leitich Smith, Jennifer Ziegler and more at Library Palooza 2013: That Author Thing! will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Brandeis High School in San Antonio.

2013 Novel Writing Retreat for Middle Grade and Young Adult Writers will be March 15 to March 17 at Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier. Peek: "This year's retreat will feature faculty Cynthia Leitich Smith, Lauren Myracle, and Candlewick editor Andrea Tompa."

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