|Indies Choice YA Book Award Winner|
Winners of the Indies Choice and E.B. White Read-Aloud Winners Announced from the American Booksellers Association. Peek: "All of the Indies Choice and E.B. White winners and honor recipients are being invited to the Celebration of Bookselling Author Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, June 5, at BookExpo America."
On Top of the Hen House -- Meet My Agent by Carmen Oliver from Following My Dreams...One Word at a Time. Peek: "...she wasn't exactly connecting with the main character. Hold everything. That's huge!" Note: feeling stuck? Do a careful read of Carmen's feedback and revision process.
Día Initiative Extends Its Literacy Outreach by Sally Lodge from Publishers Weekly. Peek: "(Pat) Mora decided to combine the idea of honoring children with literacy advocacy, a subject she is passionate about. She created Día, now a year-long, family literacy initiative based at the ALA’s Association of Library Services to Children."
Calling all cats! Model call! Send author-illustrator Ruth Sanderson a few photos of your cat - action is best - no more than three - and she might make him/her one of the cat characters in A Castleful of Cats (Random House, 2013). Be sure to include your cat's name, as Ruth will mention all the models on the dedication page. You'll also receive a free signed book, if she features your cat. Email photos to ruth at ruthsanderson dot com.
Editor Week for a Non-N.Y.C. Literary Agent by Mandy Hubbard from Pub(lishing) Crawl. Peek: "At almost every conference, authors want to know: does it matter if an agent is based outside of New York? Are New York agents better, more connected, more… something?"
|2012 RITA Nominee|
Point of View in Queries by Mary Kole from Kidlit.com. Peek: "...you should discuss your plot and characters, and then introduce yourself and do your breezy sign-off in the first person." See also Mary on Biographical Information in a Query.
Cynsational Author-Blogger Tip: ask yourself, "What is the reader takeaway? How can the information I'm sharing apply to someone else's life/art/dreams?" Not every post will be a grand-slam, but just being more aware of readers will increase the odds of attracting/satisfying them.
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Writing Middle Grade and Were Willing to Ask, featuring editor Molly O'Neill, from Dystel & Goderich. Peek: "...the best books, even when they’re not deal with the end of the world or magic, aren’t really 'quiet.' They may be a smaller story, with very real, relatable stakes. But if the story is constructed well, and the voice is strong, the writer can make us care very much what happens in these more everyday struggles." Source: April Henry.
Defining Genre: The Problem with "Dystopian Romance" as a Label by Phoebe North from Intergalactic Academy. Peek: "Will women who write YA sci-fi have to try twice as hard to justify their genre credentials? Will they have to squeeze in an explosion to counterbalance every kiss lest their work not be seen as worthy of meriting intergender appeal?" See also On the Rights of Reading and Girls and Boys by Hilary Rappaport from The Horn Book.
Highlights Founders Workshops: A Novel Experience by Janet Fox from Through the Wardrobe. Peek: "There was plenty of time between one-on-one consults and group workshops for participants to work in their cabins or to walk in the gorgeous countryside or to socialize. The TA’s were given time to be available for consults and evenings were for the most part free." See also Interview: the Highlights Foundation and Patricia Lee Gauch from Cynsations.
|Recommended by CBC|
In Honor of Beverly Cleary's 96th Birthday by Jodi Chromey from BookRiot. Note: required reading.
A Thrilling Fantasy with Roots in Real Life: An Interview with R.L. LaFevers by Heather Seggel from BookPage. Peek: "While you won’t find assassin nuns in any history book, Ismae’s job takes her to Brittany and Duchess Anne, who really did rule the region at the ripe old age of 12. That the characters in this story are teens is entirely faithful to the roles they occupied in society, “doing really big, important, cool things” as military and political leaders."
Procrastination Means You Won't Get Things Done by Melissa Wyatt from And if I come to ledges... Peek: "There are plenty of other writers out there who are writing and getting things done. So if you want to be one of those people, you must do this on your own. There is simply no way around this."
Taming the Dreaded Synopsis by Jane Lebak from QueryTracker.netBlog. Peek: "...the synopsis is primarily a selling tool. It will give a quick overview of your entire novel from soup to nuts, proving to the agents and editors that you understand story structure, that your story has both a plot arc and a character arc, and that you know how to pull together a satisfying ending."
You Mean I've Got to Write Another One? by Sarah Davies from The Greenhouse Literary Agency. Peek: "You may have put months, if not years, into that first book; if you write another you could be on a much tighter deadline and under contract. All of which means the stakes can suddenly feel a whole lot higher."
The winner of a signed advanced reader copy of The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy by Nikki Loftin (Razorbill, 2012) and some sinister sweet swag is Jackie in Maryland!
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.
Last call! 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.
Last call! 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.
Enter to win Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems by Kate Coombs, illustrated by Meilo So (Chronicle, 2012) from Book Aunt in conjunction with ReaderKidz. To enter, write a haiku "about an ocean animal or some other maritime topic" and share it as a comment in this post (click immediately previous link and scroll); be sure to leave contact information and/or check back. Winner will be chosen and announced at the end of April. See also an interview with Kate and A Letter to Readers by Kate from ReaderKidz.
This Week at Cynsations
- Ruth Sanderson on The Princesses are Dancing Again (fairy tales)
- Mara Rockliff on Writing the Longer Picture Book
- SCBWI Bologna International RA & Author Interview: Kathleen Ahrens
- Margie Gelbwasser on Writing What You Know...Except When You Don't
- Book Trailer: Jacob Wonderbar for President of the Universe
- Lizzie K. Foley on Remarkable, Characters Within, Writing Humor & Landing an Agent
- Interview: the Highlights Foundation and Patricia Lee Gauch
Christopher Cheng as a new international reporter, covering Australia, New Zealand and Asia! See details.
On a related note, the SCBWI Bologna 2012 interview series is now posted in its entirety here at Cynsations. Highlights include interviews with author Christopher Cheng, author-app creator Sarah Towle, author-illustrators Barbara McClintock, John Shelley, Paul O. Zelinsky, Bruce Degen, marketing consultant Susan Raab, and agent Erzsi Deak, among others. Special thanks to all the contributors, especially Angela Cerrito for coordinating this series with SCBWI Bologna and Cynsations.
|At LBJ State Park by Jeanette Larson.|
I received a lovely note informing me that Holler Loudly, illustrated by Barry Gott (Dutton, 2010) has received the 12 annual St. Mary's Book Award from St. Mary's International School in Tokyo. The librarian says: "Thank you for creating books that boys love to read. We truly love Holler Loudly here in Japan."
What else? Baby Earth in Round Rock, Texas will kick off storytime on April 26 with Holler Loudly!
|A souvenir from children's-YA author Bethany Hegedus's recent wedding.|
This tabletop decoration is a book bouquet made out of novels by fellow Austin children's-YA authors. Looking for a Central Texas venue for your celebration, workshop, or writers' retreat? Or just a lovely place to stay in South Austin? Check out The Writing Barn.
|The possibilities are limitless...|
Huge congratulations to Greg Leitich Smith on the sale of Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn to Roaring Brook Press!
From Publishers Lunch: Greg Leitich Smith's "Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn," about three friends at a motel in Cocoa Beach, Florida, after a manned space launch at Kennedy Space Center is scrubbed due to the appearance of a UFO over Cape Canaveral, to Deirdre Langeland at Roaring Brook Press, for publication in fall 2013, by Ginger Knowlton at Curtis Brown (world English).
Congratulations also to Greg, whose newly published novel, Chronal Engine (Clarion, 2012), is a Junior Library Guild Selection.
- Austin, Texas Teen to Become First America to Graduate from Premier Russian Ballet School
- Kathi Appelt: A Sweet Memory
- Clark and Bratton Nominees for Joan Lowery Nixon Memorial Award
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 18: 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. signing in the author area.
- April 19: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. signing in the Permabound booth #1529.
- April 20: 8 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. "Introducing the Spirit of Texas Reading Programs."
See YART's list of authors signing at the conference (PDF). See also Austin authors-illustrators at TLA.
Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith will appear at A Festival of Authors, in celebration of 100 Years of School Libraries in Austin, 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?
- Try the 13 Annual Conference of Writing & Illustrating for Young Readers from June 18 to June 22 in Sandy, Utah (apply for the WIFYR Writing Competition & Fellowship Award);
- the Southampton Children's Literature Conference from July 11 to July 15 in Southampton, New York;
- or the 17th Annual Postgraduate Writing Conference from Aug. 13 to Aug. 19 at Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier.
- See more of Cynthia's upcoming events.
|More about the Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrel at TLA!|