Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Why Picture Books Writers Should go to Illustrator Workshops

Springmingle is almost sold out this year, only one spot left, but we want picture book writers to know all about the opportunity they still have to attend Illustrators Day on March 10 at the Decatur Library.

You may ask, "Why would a picture book writer want to go to an illustrators' workshop?"

I'll start with personal experience.  When I registered for my first SCBWI conference in New York all of the writers' intensives were full, but I was studying the way text and image work together in picture books at Hollins University (for my Masters in Children's literature), and decided to see if Lin Oliver would let a non-illustrator attend the illustrators' intensive. She approved and it was one of the best decisions I have made in my writing life. You can read about illustrations creating tension on a page, and I was certainly doing a lot of that at Hollins, but when it is explored in an illustration workshop the term gains a deeper meaning.

It is also hard to comprehend the full nature of the collaboration between the writer and the illustrator. Picture book writers know they need to think visually when they write, but often this comes out as detailed verbal descriptions instead of active texts that offer visual possibilities for the illustrator.
In a blog about creating SAM AND DAVE DIG A HOLE with Jon Klassen, Mac Barnett says,
"I feel like a big part of my job in writing a picture book manuscript is to create opportunities for the illustrations to do the storytelling. And really the picture book writing is the art of finishing an unfinished thing. So there were crucial things to the book that I had no idea how [Jon was] going to solve: What were the spectacular things Sam and Dave were going to miss? How would falling from the bottom of the earth work visually? And how would [Jon] indicate that they’d landed somewhere else?" (emphasis added)
The art of leaving things "unfinished" for an illustrator to flesh out is often contrary to our writer's instinct to describe everything in detail for the editor and illustrator so they will see how we envision the story unfolding. Understanding what it means to leave space for the illustrator to contribute to the story is essential to writing great text.

Similarly, as writers we know to include pauses and "cliff hangers" in text that signal a good place for a page turn, but maybe we are not thinking how that will work in the illustrations. Seeing and hearing how editors and art directors structure the text and illustration together helps us understand how we can improve what we submit, make it more acquirable, and be better partners in the collaborative process. 

So if you didn't register in time to attend Springmingle'17, consider coming for Illustrator Day. You'll learn a lot and we'll get to see you at the reception on Friday night! And as an added bonus, there are still a few slots available for consultations with an agent!

Claudia Pearson
Regional Advisor

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Breezers In Your Neighborhood - February Events #SBreeze17

Breezers In Your Neighborhood
February Events

Southern Breeze is kicking up some dust! 

Breezers In Your Neighborhood is a monthly post to list where you can find our authors & illustrators as they are out in the community. Come out and support your local members and invite others to do also!

  • NAME: Carrie Dalby Cox
    DATE: February 2, 2017
    TIME: 6pm
    PLACE: West Regional Branch of the Mobile Public Library
    Carrie Dalby Cox, PAL member and Local Liaison for SCBWI  in the Mobile area, is presenting at Mobile Writers Guild's February meeting about researching and writing historical fiction.
    Charting Your Course: Historical Fiction
    Whether your story takes place twenty or two thousand years ago, finding the best sources for accurate information can make all the difference for the reader. Carrie will share tips and examples from her experience with researching and writing historical fiction set in and around the Mobile area, including Fortitude (young adult) and her current projects.

    Don't let your fortitude get corroded.

Florida Panhandle:

  • NAME:   Suzanne Purvis
    DATE:   February 22, 2016
    TIME:   1 pm
    PLACE:   Destin, FL
    Robin has graciously offered to do a quickie presentation of her picture book workshop. (Robin is a successful self-published author/illustrator)
    I will present a quickie presentation on Query letters. Letter you use to query agents and editors regarding your finished work. (If you have a query letter you'd like me to review and critique before the meeting feel free to share it with me and we can discuss it at the meeting.)
    We'll enjoy coffee, share info, ideas for future meetings, and act as a great support group, exchanging our writierly misery, I mean, happiness. :-)
    Let me know if you plan to attend.
    Can't wait to see you there.
    Suzanne   (

Upcoming March Events...


Florida Panhandle:



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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Southern Breeze Congratulates Alison Weiss!

Southern Breeze Congratulates Alison Weiss!

One of our speakers received amazing news...
Alison Weiss, of SkyPony Press, has been promoted to Senior Editor!
Southern Breeze is excited for this latest journey of your career, Alison and wish you the best! We can't wait for all our attendees to be able to congratulate you in person at SpringMingle!

*throws confetti* 

Don't miss your chance to meet Alison Weiss at SpringMingle in March. 

Alison S. Weiss is a Senior Editor at Sky Pony Press, where she works on picture books through YA and everything in between. And she has awards, too. Weiss was named a 2016 Publishers Weekly Star Watch Honoree!

What’s she looking for? Well, she loves assassins and spies and sleuths, friendships that feel like they’ll last forever, and love stories that will twist you in knots before they’re through. She’s especially eager to find a middle grade with a cozy feel, and a voice-driven, sweeping, romantic YA.

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! Click  :::HERE::: to log in and register.

~See you in March~

Monday, January 9, 2017


Hello everyone.

I want to encourage you to IMAGINE, CREATE & PREPARE for the journey of creating marvelous products for kidslit. There are some wonderful opportunities for you to take advantage of in our region.  

Just a little reminder:
Liz Conrad Scholarship and Art Director Mentorship
DEADLINE:  January 15th!  

It's right around the corner and this cold weekend will be a great time to write something up and submit.  Loraine Joyner, Art Director of Peachtree Publishers, is excited about assisting the awardee in their own career development.  Take advantage of the guidance.  It's valuable's FREE! #nobrainer 

For more information, please go to the Southern Breeze website:

Jim Hoover's, Art Director with Viking Children's Books, Illustration Project 
DEADLINE: Sketches must be submitted to Jim via email by February 10This one will require a little more preparation, so don't miss the boat!  Make sure you follow the directions in the link below and prepare to submit by the deadline.  It's a great opportunity to have a review of your work at the conference.  Shine big ya'll and be seen!

For more information, please go to the Southern Breeze website:

For more informations about Southern Breeze & Springmingle:

OK, all that being said, we look forward to seeing all of the great work you will put out in the world.  Southern Breeze has so much talent....let's show them who we are!
See you soon! Stay warm!

TeMika Grooms

SCBWI Southern Breeze Region
Illustrator Coordinator 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Georgia Center of the Book Event

EVENT: Georgia Center of the Book Presents...

The Georgia Center of the Book will be present a lecture series titled Why Literature Matters and How Reading Leads to Empathy by Dr. Pearl A. McHaney, Professor of Southern Literature at Georgia State University, starting on this Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 7:15 pm in the Decatur Library Auditorium. 

The first part of the series is Connecting Lines: Building Empathy Through Literature. The topic of empathy funneled through literature, particularly relating to children, middle grade and young adults, relates closely to the We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) movement that has encompassed the book industry.  The Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is an organization dedicated to supporting authors and illustrators in their journey to publication.  It supports diversity in literature and addresses the issue in an effort to promote inclusivity.  All voices are welcomed to be heard at the table in powerful storytelling.  The interview with Dr. McHaney makes a clear statement that we all have a wealth of knowledge to collectively share through the avenue of the book.

Join SCBWI members as we descend upon Decatur to discuss and learn about building community through books.  SCBWI will also host the Southern Breeze Springmingle and Illustrator’s Day at the Decatur Library on March 10 – 12, 2017.  The conference will include notable editors, art directors and agents, including Adrianna Dominquez of the Full Circle Literary Group, who focuses on acquiring diverse talent for children’s book publishing.

For more information about SCBWI Southern Breeze:

About Why Literature Matters -

Interview: New Lecture Series Focuses On Building Empathy Through Books, WABE 90.1, January 6, 2017,Gabbie Watts

Saturday, January 7, 2017

PAL Luncheon at #SpringMingle - #SBreeze17

PAL Luncheon at SpringMingle
from Cathy C. Hall

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 Springmingle’17, 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 Springmingle’17 provides for them. We’ll get together at the close of the conference, Sunday at 12:30 in the 4th Floor Conference Room, Decatur Library, for the PAL Lunch. When you register, don’t forget to order your lunch ‘cause we have lots of upcoming events for our PAL members to discuss!

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 NOW OPEN! Click  :::HERE::: to log in and register.

~See you in March~

Friday, January 6, 2017

You Got ?s... Get Answers at #SpringMingle - #SBreeze17

 We all have questions about the publishing industry. At Southern Breeze conferences, we give you an opportunity to get it from the source! During the conference, we will have a Q&A Panel filled with a few members of our faculty.
This year will be no different. Our Q&A Panel consists of editors, art directors, agents, & editors.
So get your thinking cap on and get ready to submit your questions for the panel.

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! Click  :::HERE::: to log in and register.

~See you in March~