author tagged posts

It’s been an exciting summer!

The Last Blast of Summer

Although we haven’t reached Labor Day weekend, summer time is winding down.  My summer was busy, including:

Author events in paradise. I had the privilege of speaking about the research done for my historical nonfiction title, MOLLY, BY GOLLY!, at  the Marion County Public Library, in Ocala, Florida, in July.  The kids, parents and staff were great.  While in the area, I made stops at the Ocala Barnes and Noble bookstore as well as the B&N in the Villages for story hour appearances. I also did a story hour and signing at my hometown indie, Bookstore1Sarasota, in August.  Thank you, all, for hosting me!

My picture books read aloud on a terrific YouTube channel...

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10 Steps To a Better Body (of Work)

10 Steps To a Better Body (of Work)

What Fitness Training Taught Me About Writing

I took my first aerobic exercise class years ago, after the birth of our first child. Although I never quite regained my pre-pregnancy figure, I’ve been a dedicated fitness fanatic ever since. Whether weight-lifting or jogging, the time spent in pursuit of muscle tone has taught me lessons which can be applied to my writing efforts as well.

1. GET TO THE GYM. This is an obvious first step, but one that has tripped up many a new health club member. You can’t see the results of a stair-climbing machine on your thighs until you’ve actually stepped onto it. Likewise, you can’t finish manuscripts and query letters until you’ve spent the hours required in front of the word processor or typewriter.


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To Blog or Not to Blog


That is “the question” facing pretty much all of us involved with the world of books today. Although I’m pretty good at maintaining an author website…it remains to be seen if I could maintain the large commitment of energy and time required to make a splash in the every-expanding universe of the internet blog-o-sphere. Since I working on the answer to the question myself, I’m tossing it out to those who have bravely gone where this writer is just now treading. Some of the answers are below. Kudos to all those who have pulled off this balancing act in their business and creative lives!

Cynthia Leitich Smith

I believe that blogs are having a steadily increasing impact on sales, though I’m not sure how we could quantify it...

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Basic Toolkit for Children’s and Young Adult Writers


Best organization to join for information on craft, marketing, and publishers in the field is the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators,

Your national membership enables you to connect with other writers and/or illustrators via online chats, through-the-mail critique partnerships, and regional conferences.

There are hundreds of websites devoted to or including information about writing and marketing stories for young readers. Here are a few internet addresses to start your discovery process.

Margot Finke:

The Purple Crayon:

Verla Kay:

Cynthia Leitich Smith:

Write 4 Kids: ht...

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Sample Query Letter

Sample Query Letter

(First step:  use business letterhead with your complete address, phone number, email)


Editor’s Name (Make sure it’s spelled correctly!)
Editor’s Title (Is it the most current job title…assistant editor, editor, senior editor, etc.?)
Imprint Name (Doublecheck spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.)
Publisher Name (Ditto the above…get it right!)
Address (Is it complete, with street, city, state, zip code?  Is it up-to-date? Don’t trust old information. Even if you’ve submitted to this editor or publisher before, look it up in the latest directory or market guide. Publishers move and merge all the time.)

Dear Mr. or Ms. (fill in the blank):

(Provide this information in roughly this order)


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