Friday, August 28, 2009

Spooky News & Last Call: Eternal Audiobook Giveaway

National Day on Writing Testimonials: "celebrities speak to the importance of writing, the National Day on Writing, and the National Gallery of Writing." Listen to authors Glenda Burgess, Jacqueline Jules, Sarah McCoy, Katherine Paterson, Cynthia Leitich Smith, and Natasha Wing share our thoughts. Then Take Part in the National Day on Writing!

More News

Beyond the Book: Geektastic, edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci (Little, Brown, 2009) from Alvina Ling at bloomabilities. Peek: "Sure, some of the stories speak mainly to hard-core geeks, and non-geeks might not get all the references. But that's kind of the point. This is a book for geeks, by geeks; but it's also a book for past geeks and future geeks." Notes: (1) don't miss Alvina's click-t0-enlarge geek resume; (2) stories include "The Wrath of Dawn" by Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith.

An Unusual Take on Conflict from Jennifer R. Hubbard at writerjenn. Peek: "If the characters avoid direct confrontation for a while, it builds tension." Source: Nathan Bransford.

New York v. Introverts by Mary Hershey at Shrinking Violet Promotions. Peek: "Elizabeth [Law] heartily encouraged us to get over it, and recognize that our editors (and agents!) are our business partners. Business partners? Wow. That really hit me. Not demigods?"

Moving on...Sometimes It's a Necessity by Emily Marshall at Author2Author. Peek: "If you are serious about your writing, you owe it to your book to have it be the best it can possibly be when trying to query agents, and if during the querying process you learn it’s not the best it can be, I think you need to stop, make it better, and then get back to querying. But how can you determine when to stop?"

Agent Follow-Ups from Moonrat at Editorial Ass. Peek: "...ask your prospective agent what their submission plan is like before you commit to working with them."

Anatomy of a Writer's Group by Allison Whittenberg at Crowe's Nest. Peek: "If you are thinking of creating your own writers group, here are some guidelines..."

Killer Unicorns? BookKids Q&A with Diana Peterfreund Reveals All! from The BookKids Blog! by the crazy folks at BookPeople (of Austin, Texas). Peek: "I was an abstinent teen and I was sick and tired of being told that only religious people are abstinent or that I was necessarily 'saving myself' for my wedding night. The girls in my book chose not to become sexually active when unicorns weren't even around, and their reasons reflect the variety of experiences and beliefs that might shape those choices."

An Open Letter to Agents, with a Modest Proposal Regarding Submissions by Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Editor Cheryl Klein. Peek: "There are lots of pieces involved in putting an offer together, one that will be both financially and artistically sustainable and successful for both the book and the house—And none of those pieces are improved by speed." See also In response to "A Modest Proposal Regarding Submissions" from Dystel & Goderich Literary Management, then a follow up from Cheryl and a follow up from D&GLM. Source: Alice's CWIM Blog. On a related note, check out Publishing Time by Nathan Bransford - Literary Agent.

Multicultural Dialogue: Please Pass the Patate by Carmela Martino from Teaching Authors: Six Children's Authors Who Also Teach Writing. Peek: "Members of my own immigrant family speak with heavy accents and often intersperse Italian words, or Anglicized Italian, with English. If I tried to reproduce such speech in my novel, readers would have a difficult time deciphering it." Read a Cynsations interview with Carmela.

Getting Started on Twitter: A Quick Guide for Kid/YA Writers from Mitali Perkins at Mitali's Fire Escape. Peek: "I recommend using a real name if possible. Or a pen name if you use one. It's your brand, right?" Read a Cynsations interview with Mitali.

Pulverizing Writer's Block by Jo Whittemore at Jo's Journal. Peek: "Treatments for writer's block: Repeat after me. 'I can always revise." Especially if you're on your first draft, this should be your mantra. Right now, you're just nailing down the story, characters, dialogue. Revisions are going to hone and polish your work into a thing of beauty, so just concentrate on writing a rough version of the story first.'" Read a Cynsations interview with Jo.

Writing Through Interruptions by Kristi Holl from Writers First Aid. Peek: "So few of us live on a deserted island. Most writers--probably 90% or more–have to deal with distractions and interruptions."

The Annual KidLitosphere Conference: "The Kidlitosphere Conference is an annual gathering of the Society of Bloggers in Children's and Young Adult Literature. The 2009 conference will take place in Washington, DC, on Oct. 17. While sessions are not scheduled for Friday, a Library of Congress visit is currently in the planning stages. An informal outing in DC will be scheduled for Sunday as well." Source: The Brown Bookshelf.

Spooky Notes

Are you sponsoring a children's/YA book giveaway/contest? Did you post an in-depth interview with an author, illustrator, editor, agent, or other book professional? Did you just compile, say, an annotated bibliography of books set in Mexico? Or on the civil rights movement? Did you pour a week into writing an article about craft, publishing, or the literature community that uplifts/inspires/informs? Did you launch your own new author/illustrator site or blog? Or have it professionally redesigned?

I'm looking for substantive links to share. Please let me know, so I can pass your good news onto my readers and hopefully send some visitors your way. Send the title of the link, the URL, and/or a brief description or quoted excerpt (in the fashion of the links shown above).

Note: round-ups usually appear on Fridays, so a contest that's, say, announced Monday and closed Wednesday of the same week is not a great fit for me.

More Personally

Interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith from Jen Wardrip at Authors Unleashed (the blog of TeensReadToo). Peek:

"You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your teen readers. What would it be?

"Don't lose yourself in another person. Everyone loves love, but don't forget to love and honor yourself, too. It's okay to choose to stand strong on your own."

We're Going to Need Bigger Bookshelves... by Greg Leitich Smith at GregLSBlog. Peek: "We just discovered that the post office has been holding incoming packages addressed to our PO Box without letting us know they were being held (No, we don't know why). Yesterday, we went to pick up our mail, and discovered three months worth of review copies. (That's six postal bins worth)." Note: we're on it!

Reminder: I'm still on deadline on Blessed (Candlewick, 2010) until after Labor Day weekend. Please hold off on sending any optional e-correspondence. Note: if your interview answers are due or you're sending a news release/link of interest to Spookycyn readers, this does not apply to you! Thanks so much!

Last Call for August Giveaway

Enter to win one of two copies of the new Eternal audiobook (Listening Library, 2009)! One copy will be reserved for a teacher, librarian and/or university professor of children's-YA literature, and one will go to any Cynsations reader!

To enter, email me (scroll and click envelope) with your name and snail/street mail address and type "Eternal audio" in the subject line (Facebook, JacketFlap, and MySpace readers are welcome to just message me with the title in the header). Deadline: Aug. 31! Reminder: teachers, librarians, and professors should ID themselves in their entries!

Austin Events

Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults Day in the Lone Star State: acclaimed authors Kathi Appelt and Sharon Darrow will lead a conference on the craft of writing for young readers on Oct. 2 and Oct. 3 at Teravista (4333 Teravista Club Dr.) in Round Rock, which is located just 20 minutes north of Austin. Note: open to alumni and all other serious writers for young readers! Participants are incoming from nation wide. Spots are filling fast--only 7 more spots available!--register today! See more information. Read previous Cynsations interviews with Kathi and Sharon.

"The Main Elements of Story: Plot, Character, Setting, and Theme" with National SCBWI Speaker Chris Eboch sponsored by Austin SCBWI is scheduled for Oct. 10. Attendees will receive a $10 discount when registering for the local January 2010 conference. Seating is limited. Registration opens July 6. Note: Austin SCBWI events often sell out. From the author site: Chris has a new series, Haunted, debuting August 2009 [from Simon & Schuster/Aladdin] with two books: The Ghost on the Stairs and The Riverboat Phantom.