Friday, December 17, 2010

Spooky News & Giveaways

Enter today to win the Cynthia Leitich Smith Grand Prize Giveaway from Book Club as part of Book Club's 31 Days of Giveaways!

The prize is:

a signed Blessed (Candlewick, Jan. 2011) ARC;

Quincie's Chicago-themed road trip journal (lined for your own notes);

and a plush toy bat with purple ears and bow tie!

To enter, you'll need to surf to the immediately preceding link answer the following questions:

(1) In the 2003 movie "Elf," what are the four main food groups that elves stick to?

(2) What did I give you last Christmas, that the very next day, you gave it away? (Hint: The name of of the carol is in the question.)

(3) Rudolf the red nose reindeer was made fun of by the other reindeer until what happened?

Surf over to answer in the comments section of today's prize post at Crissi's Blog. The winner will be randomly selected from the correct answers and awarded within 24 hours.

Good luck, and happy holidays!

See also a Cynsations interview with Cristina Brandao on Book Club at facebook. Note: Book Club is currently 12,516 members strong.

More News & Giveaways

What Children's Publishers Are Doing in the Apps Space: Houses Are Testing, Experimenting by Rachel Deahl from Publishers Weekly. Peek: "Bloomsbury is creating its first app this season, based on Carrie Jones’s YA paranormal romance series Need. A spokesperson for the house said the planned release date for the app is December, to coincide with the publication of the third book in the series, Entice (2010)." Source: Alice Pope's SCBWI Blog.

Congratulations to Paul B. Janeczko on the success of The Dark Game: True Spy Stories (Candlewick, 2010)! From the promotional copy: "Ever since George Washington used them to help topple the British, spies and their networks have helped and hurt America at key moments in history." The Dark Game is a finalist for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults and Booklist said: "With well-chosen subjects (including many women and African Americans who used their marginalized positions to gather information) and contagious enthusiasm for the spy world's 'tantalizing mysteries,' this makes a strong choice for both avid and reluctant readers alike."

Re-submissions and Re-querying: Yes or No? by Stina Lindenblatt from QueryTracker. Peek: "What should you do if you’ve queried an agent with sample pages, but by the time they’ve request the partial or full, you’ve made substantial changes to those pages?"

Figment Looks to Attract Young Writers from Publishers Weekly. Peek: "Founded by New Yorker staff writer Dana Goodyear and former New Yorker managing editor Jacob Lewis, is an online writing community aimed at attracting a membership of young people, ranging from kids to teens and older, to post, share and comment on each other’s original writing. Launched this week...." Note: I've had the opportunity to visit with Jacob on a couple of occasions and have participated in a couple of pre-launch activities on the system.

Interview with Robin McKinley on Pegasus (Putnam, 2010) by Parker Peevyhouse from The Spectacle. Peek: "I did realise [sic] that something the size of pegasi either had hollow bones or some magic to allow them to fly at all, but that kind of explanation or confirmation tends to come later in the story-telling process."

What To Expect When You're...On Submission by Elizabeth Fama from Crowe's Nest. Peek: "When your agent tells you the names of the editors on your submission list, it’s a little like learning that you’re pregnant.'"

New Agent Alert: Brianne Mulligan of Movable Type Literary Group by Chuck Sambuchino from Guide to Literary Agent's Editor's Blog. Peek: seeking "high-concept YA and middle grade fiction."

Books, Boots & Buckskin: 2011 Austin Regional SCBWI Conference Contest from ARA Carmen Oliver from Following My Dreams. Prizes include saved front-row seats. Deadline: Feb. 1. Note: conference dates are Feb. 18 and Feb. 19 at St. Edward's University in Austin; see more information.

Cover Stories: Matched by Ally Condie from Melissa Walker. Peek: "The dress is beautiful and has significance to the story, as does the bubble/glass world and the color green." Peek: "Matched was just named #1 on the Winter 2010-2011 Kid's Indie Next List. "

Too Many Cooks - How Do You Handle Conflicting Critiques? by Mary Lindsey from QueryTracker. Peek: "First, as with all criticism, do not take it personally or you cannot objectively evaluate the input. Then, consider the source. How well do you know this person? What are his/her qualifications?"

2010 YA Books Central Reader's Choice Nominations from YABC. Peek: "This year, YABC is hosting our own Reader's Choice Awards for 2010! We'll be collecting your nominations until Sunday, Dec. 19. Then, on Monday the 20th, we'll open the voting for your favorites...." Note: picture book, middle grade, and YA author and book categories. Go nominate!

What Makes a Great First Page? by Alvina Ling from Blue Rose Girls. Peek: "I can definitely gauge how talented a writer is based on the first page. In fact, because authors know the first page is so important, they tend to spend a lot of time revising that first page (if they're smart!)."

GregLSBlog Favorites of 2010 from Greg Leitich Smith. Note: book pics from picture books through YA. Here's a peek (above) at his middle grade choices.

World Building Through Character by Anna Staniszewski from annastan. Peek: "Build as you go, allowing your characters to lead you."

Whether to Give Up on a Project by Jennifer R. Hubbard from writerjenn. Peek: "Sometimes the magic leaves a project. We don't get to the ending, or maybe we don't get to turn that early draft into the book it could be."

Where Do I Go From Here?: 3 Literary Agents, 3 Opinions: a one-day workshop from Andrea Cascardi of Transatlantic Literary Agency, Anna Olswanger of Liza Dawson Associates, and Ann Tobias of A Literary Agency for Children's Books from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 6 at The New York Open Center, 22 East 30th Street, New York NY 10016. (This event is not affiliated with The New York Open Center.) Fee: $295.00 to February 6, $325.00 thereafter (lunch included). Group size is limited; previous workshops have sold out.

Lindsey Scheibe: new blog from an Austin-based YA writer, represented by Mandy Hubbard of D4E0 Literary Agency. Peek: "For now, I hope to put up three blogs each week. One personal. One writing focused. One highlighting writing related blogs or sites that I admire and find enlightening." More about Lindsey: "She volunteered with Makarios the past two years, as well as visited their missionary school in the Dominican Republic where they service Haitian and Dominican children."

Do What You Do Well by Brian Yansky from Brian's Blog - Writer Talk. Peek: "The truth was maybe one or two could write beautiful prose (and this was in a large group of talented writers). Most just didn’t have that gift. But instead of struggling to develop what gifts they did have they got caught up on language because that was what all the teachers praised most."

Cynsational Screening Room

Check out the book trailer for Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus (Egmont, 2010). Anna lives in Austin, Texas; and Shadow Hills is her debut novel.

Austin Scene

Austin SCBWI members gathered last week at Opal Divine's Marina for fajitas and holiday cheer.

Author-illustrator Don Tate with illustrator Erik Kuntz.

Authors Jessica Lee Anderson and Margo Rabb.

More Personally

I'm honored to announce that my essay, "Isolation," will appear in Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories, edited by Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones (HarperTeen, fall 2011). A percentage of the book's proceeds will go to a national anti-bullying program. See also Anthology to Compile Authors' Personal Stories About Bullying by Sally Lodge from Publishers Weekly.

Cynthia Leitich Smith: Children's Book Author Interview by Aaron Mead from Children's Books and Reviews. Note: I talk about my writing, life on line, and offer advice to beginners. Peek: "A picture book is like a puzzle, getting just the right combination of words and elements. A novel is more like an endurance trek, uphill in the rain, carrying a rhino on your back. I love both."

Great Gifts for the Paranormal Romantic by Madeline from BookKids at BookPeople in Austin. Suggestions include Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007, 2008) and Eternal (Candlewick, 2009, 2010) and more by other nifty YA fantasy authors.

Thanks also to Katiebuggy129 for this writing project video on Eternal! Cynsational readers--I love the songs and comments! Great voice and humor! Wow!

And the Christmas train is chugging around the kitchen table.

Link of the Week: Bags get bookish: 'intellectual' clutch bags by Olympia Le-Tan from Fashion Telegraph. Source: April Henry.

Please note that I'm in the deadline cave and restrain from sending any non-critical messages.

Spooky Events

Save the Date! Joint Launch Party: Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick) and Night School by Mari Mancusi (Berkley) book party and signing at 2 p.m. Jan. 29 at BookPeople in Austin. Read a guest post by Mari on Kids Don't Read Like They Used To...And That's a Good Thing (on connecting books to technology). Don't miss the Night School blog tour!