Winner of the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature
“Cynthia Leitich Smith has made an indelible impact on the field of children’s literature, both with her award‐winning writing, and through her advocacy and mentorship,” writes Monica Brown in her nominating statement. “How rare it is that a writer who has given us so many important, beautiful, entertaining, and empowering books, has also given such an enormous gift to other writers, educators, and to children’s literature as a whole.”
Cynthia Leitich Smith is the New York Times best-selling author of books for young readers, including Hearts Unbroken, which won the American Indian Library Association’s Youth Literature Award. Her 2021 releases are the middle grade anthology Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids and novel Sisters of the Neversea.
She is also the author-curator of Heartdrum, a Native-focused imprint at HarperCollins Children’s Books, and serves as the Katherine Paterson Inaugural Endowed Chair on the faculty of the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Smith is a citizen of the Muscogee Nation and lives in Austin, Texas.
The January 2022 issue of WLT will include a cover feature devoted to her life and work.