Friday, December 18, 2009

A Gift for Readers and Writers

I taught my final class of the semester on Saturday and turned in the last of my grades yesterday. Now I’m eager to pack up textbooks and handouts, clear away clutter, and make room for new ideas. Lucky me! For the month between semesters, I get to work on my own writing—as soon as I catch up on some of the urgent tasks I’ve put on hold while I focused on teaching.

I started planning today’s post by visiting bookmarks I’ve accumulated, making a short list, and thinking I would narrow it down to two or three. Then Esther’s post reminded me of one site that includes links to many sites I often recommend and much, much more. Anyone who is interested in literature for children and young adults should know about Cynthia Leitich Smith’s comprehensive web site and visit it often. I did yesterday—and lost track of time!

Cynthia Leitich Smith is an author and speaker who also teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her site's well organized home page is deceptively simple, with expandable lists leading to information about the author and speaker (including details about her books and her writing life and links to her blogs), the resources, and the site itself.

The massive Children’s & YA Literature Resources section includes interviews, bibliographies, and links to additional valuable resources: information about censorship, diversity, children’s book experts, guides for readers and teachers, state and national awards, recommended books, and writing for children and teenagers.

I often find inspiration in interviews with authors and illustrators. I always want to know more about the history and development of books. In the enormous list of interviews under “Authors and Illustrators,” quotes attached to the links draw me in to read about process and inspiration. I could spend (I have spent!) hours exploring this section of the site.

Cynthia Leitich Smith’s comprehensive web site is an invaluable gift for readers and writers of literature for children and young adults. Let your to-do-list linger a little longer. Give yourself the gift of time to enjoy this site!


Unknown said...


Thank you for sharing
Cynthis Leitich Smith's site. I'm going to browse through it sometime this week. Happy Holidays...Pam Matar

PS: I also want to Thank all the Teaching Authors for sharing their knowledge on writing.

JoAnn Early Macken said...

Enjoy your browsing, Pam! Happy holidays to you and all our readers!