Thursday, September 1, 2016

Light Your Imagination at #SBreeze16 WIK with the PAL Connection!

As the PAL Coordinator for Southern Breeze, I get to hobnob with a lot of VIPs!

Oh, wait. You’re thinking “Very Important People” and I’m thinking “Very Interesting PALs.” That’s why I love our conferences. At WIK’16, I’ll catch up with the latest news from that author whose book has just released or the writer whose poem landed in Baby Bug or the illustrator whose work is highlighted in…well, Highlights!

But perhaps more importantly for our PALs is the opportunity WIK’16 provides for them. We’ll get together and discuss concerns and issues in the industry at the PAL breakfast on Sunday morning at the Hampton Inn, 9:00 AM. If you’re a PAL, I sure hope you’ll join us for coffee, tea, and input!

And if you’re not sure whether you are a PAL member, look for me or any PAL member. We’re the ones wearing a blue button and we’ll try to answer any questions you have. Because in SCBWI, everyone is a Very Important Person!

REGISTRATION IS OPEN!

Click here to be directed to our registration page!


~Cathy C. Hall

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Light Your Imagination at #SBreeze16 WIK with Informal Critiques!


Light Your Imagination at #SBreeze16 WIK
with Informal Critiques! 

Manuscripts in hand, you sit down with a group of your peers. They all write the same genre. They all are as eager as you to improve your manuscript.

WIK15 offers the opportunity for you to do that!

After the conference, you'll have the opportunity to sit with other writers / illustrators and chat about your story (and theirs), where it needs improving, where it is strong, suggestions on the tone.

These informal critique sessions are a great way to meet others in your field. Maybe make a lasting friendship. To learn about your craft and to improve yourself on your way to publication.

Not sure how to critique? 

Here are is one way to look at it. Think of critiquing someone's work like a sandwich. You have bread, filler, and bread.

  • Bread - Start off with something nice and squishy. What you really like about the story or the writing in general.
  • Filler - Get to the meat of what you think. Are there places that can be taken out? Do you see pov shifts? Are there rabbit trails that need to be fixed? Does their work zip and zag in all the right places? How is the plot? Character development?
  • Bread - Finish off by saying something nice again. Let them know you appreciate their hard work and give some encouragement.


REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!

 CLICK HERE to be directed to our registration page! 

~See you in October~

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Light Your Imagination at #SBreeze16 WIK with Formal Critiques!

Light Your Imagination at #SBreeze16 WIK
with Formal Critiques! 

People in this industry tend to be very nice, and that can make it difficult to remember that publishing is a "bunny-eat-bunny" world. As difficult as it might be, however, it is important to learn what we need to know if you really want to get published.

Has your manuscript been critiqued by your critique group, is your prose polished and honed, your plot peeled away and re-layered, is it is as good as it can get? How can you be sure?

When writers submit work to an editor or an agent, their submissions land on an editor or agent's desk, or in their email inbox, and are read in batches. The submission must stand on their own, no author sitting there to add anything or answer any questions. Even worse, in today's publishing world, when a submission is rejected, typically there is no feedback - often not even a polite "Thank you, but we are not interested."

Registering for a written only critique not only guarantees that your work will be critiqued by an acquiring editor or agent, it simulates the real world process but also allows you an opportunity to receive valuable feedback and learn what you might do to make it even stronger before you send it out again. It focuses exclusively on what is on the page, which is what happens in the real world of children's publishing.


Sometimes face-to-face critiques may be a better choice, for example, if you have a specific question to ask about plot and character choices. That is what I did at my last face-to-face critique: how old should my main character be, given the nature of the story and the things she would be doing?

What is really great is that you don't have to choose - you can register for both face-to-face and written only critiques!


REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!

 CLICK HERE to be directed to our registration page! 

~See you in October~

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Light Your Imagination at #SBreeze16 WIK with 1-on-1 meetings!

Light Your Imagination at #SBreeze16 WIK
with 1-on-1 meetings! 

What Can One-on-One Sessions Do for You?
by Tay Berryhill 

WIK attendees have three golden opportunities to receive feedback from agents: face-to-face critique, written manuscript critique, and one-on-one meetings with an agent. I’ve been fortunate to participate in all three. Each has helped me grow as a writer in different ways; all have advantages.

All written-only critiques are conducted by agents or editors who keenly target craft and marketability issues. Face-to-face critiques offer the same, but with the added benefit of a twelve-minute meeting with the expert who conducted the critique—although that person may not be an agent. One-on-one brings even more to the table—twenty minutes with an experienced agent to discuss anything. Anything. At WIK14, I spent my one-on-one time with literary agent Courtney Miller-Callihan of Greenburg Associates. Prior to our meeting, I submitted elevator pitches and one-paragraph synopses of three works-in-progress for Courtney to read in advance. I also put together a “goodie bag” of queries, first pages, and a full page synopsis of a finished draft, in case time allowed us to expand the discussion.

“...I mentioned a graphic novel I was outlining. Courtney gave me the name of her agent friend who represents graphic novels...”


During our first ten minutes, Courtney addressed the marketability of my WIPs, offering generous feedback on what was appealing and why, as well as potential pitfalls. Her input quickly gave me a clearer picture of which projects merited my attention. I then showed her a first page of the front runner, and she spent the rest of the session suggesting ways to improve it. All good. Before leaving, I mentioned a graphic novel I was outlining. Courtney gave me the name of her agent friend who represents graphic novels. I’m pretty sure that I danced out the door. For writers with a manuscript that needs detailed feedback, the formal manuscript critiques are invaluable. But for those also seeking individualized advice on queries, marketing, rejections, Internet presence, or any other topic an agent can enlighten, one-on-one is an ideal venue. Besides great advice, the meeting gave this tongue-tied writer the chance to relax and “talk shop” in a stress-free exchange with a fellow lover of words. Agents want to help us succeed. Let them. 

ABOUT TAY BERRYHILL:

Tay Berryhill writes young adult novels while also trying her hand at graphic novels and picture book illustrating. She lives in Birmingham with her husband and three dogs.    


REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!

 CLICK HERE to be directed to our registration page! 

~See you in October~

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Light Your Imagination at #SBreeze16 WIK Get INTENSE!


Light Your Imagination at #SBreeze16 WIK
Get INTENSE! 

This year, WiK16 will host two intensives on Friday, October 7, 2016


Writers’ Intensive with Bruce Coville 
The Light Fantastic
The session will begin with an “annotated storytelling” of the first two chapters of The Monster’s Ring, examining in detail the tricks and techniques being used. Then we’ll examine ten specific tips for writing compelling fantasies. Audience: For editors, librarians, teachers, parents, and children, the hook is what pulls us in, what keeps us reading, and what remains with us after the last page is turned. This intensive will explore the hook of the book from many angles, and you will leave with ideas on how to improve your art.




Illustrators’ Intensive with Don Tate
Drawing on Diversity & Style to Create Authentic Characters 
The call for more diversity in children’s literature is not new. However groups like We Need Diverse Books and The Brown Bookshelf have helped to bring more attention to the issue. How do illustrators answer that call? And how can you create authentic characters of color who are outside of your own experience. It’s more than creating white characters in brown face. In session, we will discuss, investigate, draw and develop multi-dimensional characters that will ring true in today’s world. We’ll also work on developing a marketable style. But what is a marketable style/technique? How do illustrators discover and achieve this in their career? Don will conduct a drawing session that includes drawing like other illustrators and attendees will stretch and reach toward new strengths. He’ll also demystify the process of creating a winning picture book dummy. Planning through thumbnail sketches. Rising and falling action. Driving your reader through your story by the use of dynamic page turns, color, and composition. Audience: Illustrators, all levels.


REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!

 CLICK HERE to be directed to our registration page! 

~See you in October~

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Light Your Imagination at #SBreeze16 WIK with Jodi Wheeler-Toppen

Light Your Imagination at #SBreeze16 WIK
with Jodi Wheeler-Toppen 


Jodi Wheeler-Toppen is a science author and educator with 10+ books for children and teachers from National Geographic Kids, Capstone, and NSTA Press. She is a former high school science teacher, with a Ph.D. in Science Education from the University of Georgia. She loves having adventures with kids—her own and any others who come her way. Find her at www.OnceUponAScienceBook.com or on Facebook @JodiWheelerToppen.

WORKSHOP

  • Getting your Books (and you!) into Schools How do teachers decide which books to use with their classes? What makes a teachers’ guide for a book really useful for a teacher? How do you get a teacher’s guide noticed so that teachers will try it out? In this session, we’ll hear from teacher interviews on how they select books. We’ll look at some lesson plans that teachers love and figure out why they work. We’ll look at some publications coming out of educator’s groups that can help us highlight our work for teachers, and help them see how valuable our author visits can be. And it will be fun! Audience: Writers and illustrators, all levels. 

 

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!

 CLICK HERE to be directed to our registration page! 

~See you in October~

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Light Your Imagination at #SBreeze16 WIK with Lisa Lewis Tyre

Light Your Imagination at #SBreeze16 WIK
with Lisa Lewis Tyre 


Lisa Lewis Tyre is the middle grade author of Last In A Long Line of Rebels, (Nancy Paulsen Books) a frequent contributor to The Huffington Post, a founder of the multi-author blog, Middle Grade Mafia, and a social media evangelist! She is currently working on her second novel, Eight Day Daughter, releasing 2017.

WORKSHOP

  • It’s a Tweet Life! Twitter 101 When it comes to getting published, writers should use every tool available. It’s now possible to get noticed, find an agent, even get published because of Twitter! This class is designed to teach you the basics - how to use Twitter, how hashtags work and which ones to use, participating in twitter contests, building your platform, connecting with influencers, etc. Audience: Writers and illustrators, beginner.

 

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!

 CLICK HERE to be directed to our registration page! 

~See you in October~