Cynthia Leitich Smith
Cynthia Leitich Smith is the New York Times and Publishers Weekly best-selling author of the award-winning Feral series and the critically acclaimed Tantalize series, both published by Candlewick. She looks forward to the release of her upcoming contemporary realistic novel, Hearts Unbroken (Candlewick, Jan. 2019). Cynthia is also the author of several award-winning children’s books, including Jingle Dancer, illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu; Rain Is Not My Indian Name and Indian Shoes, illustrated by Jim Madsen; all published by HarperCollins. Cynthia was named a Writer of the Year by Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers in recognition of Rain Is Not My Indian Name. She is an enrolled tribal member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and has served on the advisory board of the We Need Diverse Books nonprofit organization. The Austin chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators instituted the Cynthia Leitich Smith Mentor Award in her honor. Cynthia is a popular writing teacher, serving on the faculty of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults and leading workshops hosted by, for example, SCBWI chapters, the Highlights Foundation as well as Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers.