Cynthia Leitich Smith is the New York Times and Publishers Weekly best-selling author of the Feral series, which includes Feral Nights, Feral Curse and Feral Pride, as well as the Tantalize series, which includes Tantalize, Eternal, Blessed and Diabolical.

Two graphic novels, Tantalize: Kieren’s Story and Eternal: Zachary’s Story complete the Tantalize series. Cynthia’s award-winning children’s books include Jingle Dancer, Rain Is Not My Indian Name and Indian Shoes. She has been twice featured at the National Book Festival. Her titles have been honored among Notable Children’s Trade Books in Social Studies, Oklahoma Book Award finalists, NEA Choices, CCBC Choices, Bank Street Choices, Children’s Crown List selections, YALSA Popular Paperbacks, state award winners, honorees and listed titles, the Illumine Awards and more. In 2013, the Austin chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators instituted the Cynthia Leitich Smith Mentor Award in her honor. She also was named a Writer of the Year by Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers, and she serves on the advisory board of the We Need Diverse Books nonprofit organization.


JD - University of Michigan Law School

BS - Journalism | University of Kansas

Selected work

Shelley Tanaka

Faculty, MFA in WCYA

Anna-Marie McLemore

Faculty, MFA in WCYA

Cynthia Leitich Smith

Faculty, MFA in WCYA

Kathi Appelt

Faculty Emerita, MFA in WCYA

Martha Brockenbrough

Faculty, MFA in WCYA

Cory McCarthy

Faculty, MFA in WCYA; Alumnx Mini-Residency