Where Books Meet Disaster: A Brief Reading List About Kids and Migration from Meg Medina. Peek: "The difficult story of migration is the Latino story, and it is the human story since time began." See also Eleven Books on Latin American Immigration and Migration from Lee & Low.
Hidden Emotions: How to Tell Readers What Characters Don't Want to Show by Angela Ackerman from Writers Helping Writers. Peek: "Fear of emotional pain, a lack of trust in others, instinct, or protecting one’s reputation are all reasons he or she might repress what’s going on inside them." See also Angela on Taking Your Character Further and Deeper with...Anger? and Character Skills & Talents: Promotion.
Drawing From Real Life to Enrich Fiction by Keith Cronin from Writer Unboxed. Peek: "...in my own fiction, I’d spent a lot of time and energy focusing on being funny or clever, but it wasn’t until I really dug deeper emotionally and explored some areas that hit very close to home that I actually succeeded in selling a book." See also Sarah Callender on Doubt, Fear and Constipation and Robin LaFevers on The Crushing Weight of Expectations from Writer Unboxed.
Submit Your Novel to New Visions Award for New Authors of Color from Tu Books. Peek: "...will be given to a middle grade or young adult fantasy, science fiction, or mystery novel by a writer of color." Deadline: Oct. 31.
What Writers Can Learn from Goodnight Moon by Aimee Bender from The New York Times. Peek: "It sets up a world and then it subverts its own rules even as it follows them. It works like a sonata of sorts, but, like a good version of the form, it does not follow a wholly predictable structure."
|a Scheider Book Award winner|
In Defense of "Real" Realism in Children's Books by Emma Barnes from An Awfully Big Blog Adventure. Peek: "...creating something entertaining and captivating out of the mundane is challenging – maybe more challenging than 'the big stuff'."
Formatting to Indicate a Mid-Scene Break by Deborah Halverson from Dear Editor. Peek: "This is more an issue of clarity than of rules."
When Happily-Ever-After Ends Between Writing Client and Literary Agent by Stina Lindenblatt from QueryTracker. Peek: "We’re quick to announce on our blogs, on Facebook, and on Twitter about signing with an agent. We’re not so quick when it comes to announcing we’ve split ways." See also Stina on Balancing Your Writing Career Against Social Media.
Diversity in Children's Books: It's a Question of Power by Mitali Perkins from Mitali's Fire Escape. Peek: "...if the adult is saying, 'This is about this,' sometimes that gets in the way of the child’s imagination."
Character Buy-In by Mary Kole from Kidlit.com. Peek: "Before we’re ready to believe that dinosaurs roam the earth again (or whatever), the character has to believe it. Only then will the reader go along with the story and feel safe suspending disbelief." See also Mary on Interiority in the Third Person.
|2013 Woodson Award Winner|
100+ Picture Book Agents from Mondays with Mandy and Mira.
Did Harry Potter Help Shape the Politics of Millenials? by Anthony Gierzynski from Slate. Peek: "Reading the books correlated with greater levels of acceptance for out-groups, higher political tolerance, less predisposition to authoritarianism, greater support for equality, and greater opposition to the use of violence and torture."
Interview with Little, Brown Editor Alvina Ling from Goodreads. Peek: "I do think that the quality of books featuring characters of color has improved (fewer stereotypical depictions, more variety), and also, if you look at the total number of diverse characters in books, I believe the numbers would be vastly improved." Note: Alvina makes an important point here; most statistics of representation reflect only protagonists.
Picture Book Builders: Published authors/illustrators Linda Ashman, Kevan Atteberry, Jill Esbaum, Pat Zietlow Miller, Jennifer Black-Reinhardt, Barb Rosenstock, Tammi Sauer, and Eliza Wheeler post twice/week about one element of a specific picture book that impresses them and, more importantly, why that element works so well. They hope aspiring picture book writers will return for inspiration again and again."
Innate Identity versus Imagine "The Other" from Karen Sandler. Peek: "Based on who I am, how well can I get into this character’s head? How authentically can I write her identity, her culture?" See also Are We Ready for Unstoppable Characters of Color? by Sharon G. Flake from CBC Diversity.
Cynsational Screening Room
Jean Reidy is holding a contest with the grand prize being a first pages critique from a New York editor! Until high noon on Sept. 26, children's author Jean Reidy will be holding a contest on her blog. The grand prize is a critique, from a New York editor, of the first five pages of your picture book, middle grade or young adult novel. The contest benefits Reach Out and Read Colorado. See more information.
This Week at Cynsations
- New Voice Rachel M. Wilson on The Sale, Marketing & Don't Touch
- In Memory: Walter Dean Myers
- Cynsational News & Return
- Kathi Appelt & Rita Williams-Garcia at The Writing Barn & BookPeople
|With fellow Austin authors Sam Bond and Bethany Hegedus|
|Chatting books with Belle at Epcot!|
This Book Is for You by Cynthia Leitich Smith from BookPeople's Modern First Library. Peek: "When we imagine the books our children will hug, what do the covers look like? The heroes? What do heroes look like?"
Dedication Delights from Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature. Note: Includes the story behind Kathi Appelt's dedication of The Underneath (Atheneum, 2008) to me and Greg Leitich Smith.
Links of the Week: Lower 9th Ward Librarian Wins First Lemony Snicket Prize, J.K. Rowling Sends "Dumbledore"-Penned Letter to Texas Shooting Survivor, Matt de la Pena on Secrets Spawned of Machismo, Matchmaking & MySpace and The Writers' Retreat.
|Happy 100th birthday to my literary agency, Curtis Brown, Ltd.!|
- Nine Fictional Homes We Wish Existed in Real Life
- America's 10 Most Unique Libraries
- Eleven Beautiful Friendships Between Classic Authors
- Fourteen Absolute Best Kids' Bookstores (Chosen by Teachers)
- Seventeen Music-Themed YA Books
- Thirty Magical Photos of Children Playing Around the World
- Thirty-Nine Villain Motivations
- Cake Wrecks: Classic Children's Books
- J.K. Rowling Writes Short Story about Hogwarts Reunion
- London's Books About Town Project
- 'Hunger Games' Teaser: The Mockingjay Lives
- Revenge of the Girl Geeks
- Having a Body Talk with My Teenage Self
- "Frozen" Director to Adapt A Wrinkle in Time for Disney
- Marvel's New Thor is a Woman
- Steve Rogers Being Replaced as Captain America by Sam Wilson (The Falcon)
- How (Some of) History's Most Brilliant People Scheduled Their Days
- Sci Fi & Fantasy's Best Fictional Librarians
- Could Humans Discover Alien Life in the Next 20 Years?
- First Woman to Win Mathematics' Highest Award
- Scientists Share Favorite Sci Fi Books & Movies
- Secrets of the Creative Brain
- Why Readers, Scientifically, Are the Best People to Fall in Love With
- Writing By Moonlight
Austin SCBWI Fall Workshop: Research for Fiction, Nonfiction & Historical Fiction Writers will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Laura's Library in Austin. Speakers include: Carolyn Yoder, senior editor at Calkins Creek Books, the U.S. history imprint of Boyds Mills Press, and senior editor at Highlights magazine, along with authors Cynthia Levinson, Greg Leitich Smith, and author-librarian Jeanette Larson.
Divya Srinivasan will speak and sign Little Owl's Day at 3 p.m. Sept. 20 at BookPeople in Austin.
Lindsey Lane will speak and sign Evidence of Things Not Seen at 2 p.m. Sept. 21 at BookPeople in Austin.
Greg Leitich Smith will speak and sign at Tweens Read Sept. 27 at South Houston High School in Pasadena, Texas.
Cynthia Leitich Smith will speak on a panel "Where Are the Heroes of Color in Fantasy & Sci Fi Lit?" from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 15 at YALSA's YA Literature Symposium in Austin.