Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Word from Kathleen Bradshaw

What a privilege it has been to serve as Co-Regional Advisor this past year. It’s been like a helicopter ride. From the vantage point of the leadership team, I saw both the work being done within our region and our relationship to SCBWI at the national level. It has been amazing.

I saw a small army of volunteers work to make our semiannual conferences successful, and something wonderful happening beyond that. Breezers throughout our region are stepping out and creating opportunities to grow their craft, share their knowledge, and make connections.

Perhaps it’s the discovery that other creative people experience the same wonder, fear, doubt, and determination that makes us want to grow the friendships we make at SCBWI events. Once we take time away from our attics and ateliers, we enjoy fellowship, we share ideas, and we find inspiration. I hope you will take a moment and discover this for yourself. There are wonderful events coming up in 2015, all organized by volunteers with hearts that care about our craft and about you as a member of Southern Breeze.

SCBWI-sponsored events are listed on the web site. Impromptu meet ups, as well as planned events are posted by all our members on the Southern Breeze listserv, SCBWI Southern Breeze Facebook page, the Southern Breeze PAL Facebook group, and on Twitter.

How would you go about organizing an event in your area? Anyone can plan an informal get-together and use the listserv and social media to announce it. For official Southern Breeze events, you’ll need approval of the Regional Advisors. You might want to contact your Local Liaison to work with them. If you’re not sure who your LL is, check the web site (http://southern-breeze. scbwi.org/about-us/contact-us/) for the person nearest you. If there isn’t someone in your area, perhaps you would consider serving in that role.

Meanwhile, save the dates of March 13-15 for Springmingle and Illustrators’ Day 2015. There are some big changes this year, and it’s going to be great! We have outstanding faculty members for both events and the incomparable Meg Medina for the writer’s intensive. Our book launch will follow the portfolio reception on Friday night and will be open to the public for book signings by all PAL members! All these changes are the results of input and energy from members like you.

While I am no longer serving in the RA role, I plan to stay connected, and continue to look at the big picture of what it means to be a Breezer. I hope that you will, too. - – Kathleen Bradshaw

Monday, December 1, 2014

Springmingle 2015 Registraton Now Open

Springmingle '15 will take place on March 13-15, 2015 in Decatur, GA, in its brand new Decatur Library venue, where attendees can enjoy the sites, shops, and restaurants of Decatur throughout the conference weekend. We have a fantastic line up this year for writers and illustrators of all levels. Every session, every speaker, every moment is designed to help writers and illustrators improve their work. Meet editors and agents from industry-leading agencies and publishing houses—and the friendliest, most supportive colleagues one could ever hope to find.

This year's conference faculty includes: Giuseppe Castellano, Art Director at Penguin Young Readers Group; Karen Grencik, Literary Agent/Co-Founder of Red Fox Literary, LLC.; Elise Howard, Editor, Algonquin Young Readers; Bill Mayer, Award-winning Illustrator; Meg Medina, Award-winning Author; and Neal Porter, Publisher, Neal Porter Books, imprint of Macmillan Children’s Book Group.

Attendees will find nearly a dozen workshop sessions, including:
  • 101+ Reasons for Rejection: Literary agent Karen Grencik covers the most common reasons a manuscript gets rejected, and how writers can avoid that fate.
  • Writing La Vida Loca: Young adult author Meg Medina discusses cultural identity and writing fiction for young readers at a time when diverse children’s literature is critically needed.
  • Traditional Picture Books in a Digital Age: Publisher Neal Porter gives an in depth look at visual storytelling and learn how character development, story structure, and the almighty page turn still matter in a time of ever-decreasing attention spans.

Visit our website for a complete listing of workshops.

This conference offers a variety of sessions about the essentials of writing and illustrating for young readers. Learn the basics, or study advanced topics including how to sell and market your work.

Add more value to your Springmingle experience with these one-day optional sessions on Friday, March 13:

The Writer’s Intensive with Author Meg Medina: Mining for Stories. Join Meg Medina as she leads you through exercises to access your memories and find your authentic voice, story lines, and characters. Register for just this one-day program, or combine with Springmingle for a full weekend of learning and networking. Cost: $75.

Illustrators' Day. Attendees will gain a deeper insight into the day-to-day inner workings of a children’s book art department. Neal Porter will share tales and tips on how to make an illustrator's work appealing and visible to gatekeepers of the daunting, and often infuriating world of children's book publishing. Guiseppe Castllano will discuss what his art department looks for in illustrators and what methods he uses to find them. The segment will also cover best practices in being a freelance illustrator. Cost: $75.

Manuscript or portfolio critiques. Register for formal critiques by February 8. Cost: $45. Free, informal peer critiques will also be available at the conference.

Advance registration is required and spaces are limited. Membership to SCBWI is not required. Early bird tuition is $195 for SCBWI members, $235 for non-members, or $215 for students. After March 9, registration is $275. For those from outside the Decatur area, a limited number of discounted hotel rooms are available at the Courtyard Atlanta Decatur Downtown/Emory.

Not a member of SCBWI? Join for just $85. You’ll gain access to important industry updates, be eligible for contests and awards, and receive a bi-monthly magazine filled with useful information. And you’ll be part of the largest organization for writers and illustrators of children’s books, with 22,000 members worldwide.

Looking for more? You can also find additional details on our website.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Cowabunga! Raise the Roof! Prescott Hill is New Illustrator Coordinator!

It's been chirped and posted, leaked and mentioned, but the Southern Breeze Leadership Team wishes to officially proclaim this great news! We waited for headquarters to get back from a much-deserved rest, and give us the official go-ahead. (They had just completed a phenomenal International Summer Conference in Los Angeles. More about the conference later!)

Many of you know Prescott as the art director of our Southern Breeze Newsletter and the one responsible for the amazing re-do of the newsletter design. How great is it that he will bring his mad skills to the Illustrator Coordinator position? Prescott previously served as Assistant Illustrator Coordinator with our beloved Elizabeth Dulemba, which only added to his already significant résumé.

Prescott has always been interested in visual storytelling media and immersed himself in photography, filmmaking and animation early in his teens. He attended the New England School of Art and Design in Boston to become a filmmaker, but graduated as a designer. He has been a repertory stage actor, a photo studio assistant, a video company grip, set designer and has operated several freelance businesses. He served as a senior graphic designer at Hasbro, where he had the opportunity to hire and work with the top names in illustration. This fueled his desire to become a professional illustrator.

Prescott moved to Atlanta and began a freelance career doing conceptual illustrations, branding, and packaging illustration with clients that included his former employer, Hasbro. By 2003, he was the lead illustrator for the newly revived Littlest Pet Shop line, which is still enjoying great success. Prescott has illustrated nineteen published children's books. The latest is another in the Littlest Pet Shop series published by Scholastic. It is slated for release in December. He has a backlog of his own books waiting in the wings, including an illustration tutorial series. Check out his web site for more information.

Prescott joined SCBWI/Southern Breeze in 2011, and says he has grown quite a bit as an artist and member of our fabulous creative community. He is already brimming with ideas for growing and engaging our wonderful Southern Breeze members. Please join us in welcoming Prescott to the SCBWI Southern Breeze leadership team!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Welcome to the New Southern Breeze Writers Blog

Are you serious about writing or illustrating for young readers? Then you've found the write place!

Welcome from the SCBWI Southern Breeze Region, serving children's book writers and illustrators in Georgia, Alabama, and the panhandle of Florida. We are glad you found our blog page! We will be posting information here about our local and regional activities and events, most of which are open to anyone interested in writing or illustrating books for young readers -- and some are FREE! We will also be posting interviews and guest blogs from our members, full of great tips for both beginners and those who are already published. Be sure to subscribe so you won’t miss any of the wonderful opportunities or valuable information.

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is an international non-profit organization with more than 22,000 members. For market reports, (including a listing of children’s book publishers and agents, and calls for submissions), information about grants and awards from SCBWI (including the Spark Award for non-traditionally published books and the Amber Brown Award for school visits), school and library speaker profiles and links, online chat groups, critique forums, and our online bookstore, visit SCBWI.org (some information only available to members).