Friday, April 08, 2011

Spooky News

Folktales and Fairy Tales--for Teens by Chris Eboch from The Spectacle. Peek: "To update a traditional folk or fairytale, she (Natalie M. Rosinsky) suggests setting the story in a new location. You might also change the point of view, for example telling a princess story from the prince’s viewpoint. Humor is another bonus."

7 Rs of Positivity for the Unpublished Novelist by Lydia Sharp from Writer Unboxed. Peek: "Writing fiction is emotionally taxing work. When you’re feeling especially low, remove yourself from everything." Source: An Englishman in New Jersey.

Vermont College of Fine Arts invites published authors with teaching experience to apply for part-time visiting faculty positions in its highly-acclaimed MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults program. The College seeks a number of prospective faculty members who can be hired in the coming years to meet expected growth. Faculty positions require presence, readings, lectures, and leading workshops on campus for 11-day residencies every six months. Faculty oversee independent study work for the six months between residencies, thus allowing educational work to be interwoven with the activities of home, community, and personal artistic practice. Applications will be reviewed on criteria including publications, teaching experience, literary nominations and awards, and education. An advanced degree is preferred but not required.

5 Tips for a Successful Reading by Marianna Swallow from Chuck Sambuchino at Guide to Literary Agents. Peek: "When presenting, reading from plain paper is easier than reading from a book. And when you do, speak from your gut." Note: with books for young readers (versus adults), I'd say a two-to-three minute reading is long enough--maybe five, if you're theater trained. You can go longer, presenting with illustrations, but it's okay to edit down even a picture book text for length.

Check out the new giveaways at TeensReadToo!

Q&A with Author Carrie Ryan by Cyndi Hughes from the Writers' League of Texas. Peek: "When I first started writing with the goal of making a career out of it I gave myself ten years in which I’d write, revise and submit and then move on to the next project. After ten years, if I still wasn’t published then I could re-evaluate my plan." See also An Original Carrie Ryan Short Story Available as an E-book from Random House via The Compulsive Reader.

Agent Advice: Holly McGhee of Pippin Properties by Ricki Schultz from Chuck Sambuchino at Guide to Literary Agents. Peek: "As a parent and as a writer, it’s our duty to prepare kids for the world. That means telling and talking the truth."

Zen and the Art of Manuscript Submissions by Jeannie Mobley from EMU's Debuts. Peek: "Submission is the part of the process that completely and utterly exposes us all to the most brutal noise and clutter in the world– the voices of self doubt and criticism that come shrieking in like Valkyries onto the bloodied battlefield of our creative minds (because what fruit salad is complete without some Old Norse Paganism?). But here is my point..." Source: Liz Garton Scanlon.

Elements of a Successful Fiction Platform by Christina Katz from Writer's Digest. Peek: "What does a successful platform really look like for a fiction writer?"

Attention Teachers, Librarians, Book Clubs! Randy Russell, author of Dead Rules (HarperTeen, June 2011) have teamed with independent bookstores across North America to giveaway $2,000 in free books to Support Teen Reading. You can participate here to receive a free pinback button for early participation (while supplies last) and be eligible for new books from your nearest indie bookstore (not to mention the iPod nanos and $200 in iTunes credit).

Once Upon a Backstory by Peek: "...figure out what past events made them who they are today or shaped their behavior. Only then will your characters have depth, and their actions will be realistic to who they are."

Readergirlz and Figment will Rock the Drop in honor of Support Teen Lit Day, next Thursday, April 14th. Find out how you can join in here!

Kidlit for Japan Auction

Kidlit4Japan is hosting a children’s-YA literature auction to benefit victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. A daily auction preview appears weekdays at 8 a.m. EDT. New items appear hourly from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Items include signed books, advance reader copies, artwork, critiquing services, book-related swag, author visits, the chance to name a character in an upcoming book, etc." Currently available items include:

Spooky Screening Room

Concubines, Eunuchs, and Fury by Cindy Pon from Diversity in YA Fiction. Peek: "Much of Fury of the Phoenix (HarperTeen, 2011) takes place in the inner court of the Palace of Fragrant Dreams, where the concubines reside, inspired by the actual concubine quarters of ancient China. When I was revising the novel with my editor, she actually crossed out 'thousands' once and wrote 'hundreds?' above it."

More Personally

Thank you to Elizabeth Wrenn-Estes and her Library and Information Science class at San José State University for your hospitality during our online visit on Tuesday night! Special thanks to Mardi Veiluva for tech training and assistance!

So What's It Like to Live with a Writer? from Salima Alikhan. Note: my husband (and sometimes co-author) Greg Leitich Smith and I chime in.

Interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith by Maureen McGowan from Get Lost in a Story. Peek: "My series includes not only werewolves, but also werecats, wereopossums, werebears, weredeer, and werearmadillos. If you could shift to any animal form, which would you choose and why?" Discuss at the link.

Thanks to Debbie Reese for this shelf shot of Blessed (Candlewick, 2011) at the Urbana (Illinois) Free Library! Debbie blogs at American Indians in Children's Literature.

Link of the week: YA Books to Movies List compiled by Naomi Bates from YA Books and More.

Spooky Events

The annual Texas Library Association Annual Conference will be April 12 to April 15 at the convention center in Austin. Check out the list of Austin author signings. Notes: (a) Take a Chance on Art and enter a raffle to win the illustration "Space Age" by Melanie Hope Greenberg to benefit the TLA Disaster Relief Fund; see more information; (b) Cynthia Leitich Smith will be signing Blessed and other titles at 11 a.m. April 13 in the Author Signing Area.

Erin Murphy Literary Agency Wine Social will be at 3 p.m. April 16 at BookPeople in Austin. Peek: "Come meet Erin Murphy as well as some of the authors she represents."

YA A to Z Conference, sponsored by the Writers' League of Texas, will be April 15 and April 16 at the Hyatt Regency Austin (208 Barton Springs Road). Cost: $279 WLT Members, $349 Nonmembers (through March 15). See more information. Note: conference faculty includes Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith. Cynthia will serve as the interviewer at "Meet the Author: Gail Giles" and as a panelist on "Going Graphic: Writing Graphic Novels" with Hope Larson, moderated by K.A. Holt. Last call! Register today!