Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Breezers In Your Neighborhood - April

Breezers In Your Neighborhood
April 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: Birmingham area Night Writers critique groupDATE: April 8 and April 22CITY:  Birmingham
    DESCRIPTION:  For more information, contact Claudia at pearsoncrz@earthlink.net
  • NAME: Birmingham area Lunch Writers critique groupDATE: April 14 and April 28PLACE: Hoover Public Library
    CITY:  Birmingham
    DESCRIPTION:  For more information, contact Mark at markmcclintock3@charter.net
  • Name: Tracy WalkerDate: April 10-11Place: Georgia Mountain Storytelling FestivalAddress: Young Harris CollegeCity/State: Young Harris, GADescription: Telling stories with Sweet Sunny South

  • Name: Patricia Cruzan
    Date: Saturday, April 11, 2015
    Place: The Mill Amphitheater
    Address: 106 Temple Street
    City/State: Villa Rica, GA
    Description: 2015 Spring Arts Festival 


:::Leave a Comment:::

Let us know if you plan to attend an event.
What other events do you know of not listed?
Is there another regular post you would like to see?
Leave us your thoughts!

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Writing a News Release by P.J. Shaw

Writing a News Release
by P.J. Shaw

P.J. Shaw wrote a great blog post on her blog, Wren Cottage Blog, about news releases...

"At this weekend’s Southern Breeze Springmingle 2015 in Decatur, Ga., I promised to post a sample news release. Below, is one I wrote for..."
Click   ~HERE~  to see P.J.'s great example of a news release.

Let us know what other generalized tips you would like to see featured on the Southern Breeze Blog.
Do you have a great tip?
What do you do to promote your books?

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Feel free to COMMENT and then SHARE this post across your social media. Help spread the word about Southern Breeze! Easy buttons found below.

As a writer, editor, and  public relations specialist, P.J. Shaw (Peggy J. Shaw, Meg McLaughlin) brings strong academic credentials and more than 30 years of professional experience to editorial projects. She is the author/editor of some 50 traditionally published books for children and adults, and works with clients who have book manuscripts to develop, press releases, theses or dissertations to write, or new books to publicize. Shaw also writes for magazines and newspapers,  and offers public relations services to corporations, small businesses, educational institutions, and individuals. Follow her on Twitter, connect at Linked In, or call 615•516•1256.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Navigating the SCBWI Website

Navigating the SCBWI Website

Finding your way around a website can at times be challenging. A large organization's website, such as SCBWI, can be very helpful, yet overwhelming. So let's take a look at the SCBWI website to begin with.


Find out what is going on in SCBWI and use it to your benefit.


  • Join
    Haven't joined SCBWI yet? This is where your journey begins.
  • Member Login
    Once you have joined the organization, you will sign-in here to have full access to the website.


This Purple Bar contains many topics and some have a drop down menu to further break them down.

............ ............................................................................................. ...
 ABOUT scbwi   awards & grants   Regional Chapters ... 
................ .......................................................................................... ..
  • About SCBWI
    What SCBWI is as an organization and what they offer.
  • Awards & Grants
    Listing of all awards and grants SCBWI has to offer. There is something for everyone.
  • Regional Chapters
    Find your tribe!
  • Illustrators Gallery
    A Featured Illustrator is shown here, along with Past Featured Illustrator links. Plus there is a searchable database for illustrators.
  • Event Calendar
    Monthly listing of events. Plus a searchable database for regions. 
  • Find A Speaker
    Searchable database of those who are listed as Speakers.
  • Member Bookstore
    Searchable database to find books by Author/Illustrator, Title, Topic, Publisher, Region, or Category.
  • Resource Library
    MEMBERS ONLY current information.
  • Help With The Website
    A break-down of search links you can find on the main page.
  • Member Search
    Searchable database to look for members by several categories.


  • Access to Regional Chapters
    You have access to all Regions and can see their events.
  • Access to the "Blue Board"
    Forum - Great discussion board.
  • The SCBWI Blog
    The "OFFICIAL" SCBWI Blog.
  • Blog Roll
    Member blogs.


This information will vary to what the orgainzation is wanting to highlight at the time.


  • Navigate Your Personal Site on SCBWI
  • Navigate Southern Breeze site on SCBWI
  • Navigate Southern Breeze Blog
  • Navigate Southern Breeze Illustrator Blog
                                                  *Links will be added as the post goes live

:::Leave a Comment:::

Do you have a question about the website?
What do you have concerns with?Is there something else you would like to see us cover?

Leave us your thoughts!

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

2015 Illustrators' Day Wrap-Up by Elizabeth Dulemba

Elizabeth Dulemba wrote a fantastic post on Southern Breeze's #SpringMingle15 2015 Illustrators' Day Wrap-up

"This past Friday, I attended the SCBWI Southern Breeze Illustrators' Day - for the first time as simply an attendee. I stepped down from the position of Illustrator Coordinator this past summer, handing the reigns over to the extremely capable Prescott Hill. He took on an enormous task and I have to say..."  
 Click ~HERE~  to see what else e had to say!

:::Leave a Comment:::

Were you at #SpringMingle15?
What did you enjoy?

What would you like to see at a future conference?
Would you like to be a guest blogger? Contact us!

Leave us your thoughts!

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Feel free to COMMENT and then SHARE this post across your social media. Help spread the word about Southern Breeze! Easy buttons found below.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Upcoming Event: It's Your Last Chance to Register for Springmingle '15

Only a few more days to register for Springmingle '15!

It's Easy, Just Register Here

Springmingle '15 takes place 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.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Funding School Visits

by Connie Fleming

Public library funding slashed. Teachers forced to take unpaid furloughs Art and music programs eliminated.

We need fully funded libraries, well-paid and supported teachers, and art and music programs – like flowers need rain – like Pooh needs honey – like Batman needs Robin.

PTA, Boosters Clubs, and Title 1 funding are running on empty. With all of the budget cuts, is it any wonder that authors and illustrators are finding it harder and harder to book paid school or library visits? What’s a children’s author to do when a school says they’d love to have you visit, but they don’t have any money? What can the school do? What can we do to help?

Schools need to know that they don’t have to pay for these activities alone. Outside funding is available, but many schools don’t get the help they need simply because they haven’t asked, or don’t know who to ask. Here is where we can help with some phone-work, a little foot-work, and a whole lot of stick-to-it-ness.

Can an author or illustrator obtain financial help for the school? Maybe, maybe not, but they can, at least, pave the way for the school.

Even before the school has expressed an interest in having you come for a visit, you can lay the groundwork for outside funding. Make some phone calls or send emails to possible contributors. Keep records of their responses, warm, open, or negative, and share the positive responses with the school media specialist when you inquire about a visit.

So where do you start? Go to http://www.scbwicencal.org/authorvisits for some great advice. Another terrific source is the website of children’s author, Alexis O’Neill, PhD. She is a frequent contributor to the SCBWI newsletter, a popular presenter and school visit expert. You can learn more at http://www.schoolvisitsexperts.com or contact her at info2@schoolvisitexperts.com . I found her to be very gracious and helpful.

Here are some general sources for outside funding:
  • National service organizations like Lions Clubs, Rotary Club, Kiwanis, etc.
  • Large business corporations like McDonalds, Burger King, Kroger, Publix, Home Depot, Lowes, and many more.
  • Local independent businesses. (Check with your Chamber of Commerce.)
  • National philanthropic groups: Bill Gates Literacy programs, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Keep your eyes open. Companies like to brag about their good deeds in the community. Look for plaques in restaurants, libraries, school hallways, stadiums, law offices, doctors’, and dentists’ offices. Ask questions, but be considerate. For example, don’t ask to speak to the manager of McDonald’s during lunch hour. Don’t forget to ask about school business partners.

To find local chapters of Lions, Rotary, or Kiwanis clubs, search websites that give locations of local chapters. Also search literacy websites that end in “.org,” or “.edu.” Call or email local leaders and ask what kind of help they offer schools.

The PTA may also have a list of sources that have helped in the past. Friends of the Library might be willing to sponsor a visit to the public library.

If the topic of your talk is pertinent to the school’s curriculum, as in local history, a biography, or a writing workshop, the teachers might ask the parents of the students to contribute as a group to fund your presentation.

When you make your initial contact with the school about doing a presentation, have an attractive brochure ready to send them with a specific list of these organizations and their websites, or a link to your own website which details this information.

The love of books and reading is a wonderful thing to share with boys and girls, and who better to share it than the creators of the books? However, unless you are J. K. Rowling, no one is going to come knocking at your door. So, it’s up to you to be the rain to flowers, the honey to Pooh, or Robin to Batman, and go knocking on some doors, yourself.


Author, Illustrator, Ventriloquist, Speaker.

C. M. (Connie) Fleming is a former GBI Analyst and Fingerprint Technician, author of “Finder’s Magic,” and “Halley’s Hope,” historical fiction at its gritty, page-turning best. Fleming is a 2008 Georgia Author of the Year nominee. “Halley’s Hope” was a 2009 Quarter-finalist in The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest.

Other links:

Good lists of reasons why to have school visits:
Kristyn Crow - 10 Reasons Why To Have An Author Visit Your Child's School
Deb Lund - Benefits of Author Visits

Articles confirming benefits of school visits:
The Guardian - School Visits by Authors Boosts Children's Writing Confidence
The Society of Authors - AUTHOR VISITS IN SCHOOLS

Good advice on finding/raising local funds:
Mara Rockliff - Funding Author Visits
Cynthia Leitich Smith - Grants for Schools
Cynthia Leitich Smith - Guest Post: Greg Pincus on Alternate Funding Options for Author Visits
School Visits Experts - Finding Funding for School Visits[video from Alexis O'Neal] and Sample Letter of Request for Funding.
Fundraiser Insight - Fundraising Ideas
GoFundMe.com - Fundraising Ideas for Schools
SignUpGenius.com - 50 Fundraising Ideas A couple others to check out:
Amber Brown Grant From the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
Grants for Librarians A comprehensive list, with links.

:::Leave a Comment:::

Do you have a question about School Visits?
Do you know other ways to help a school fund visits?
What more would you like to know about school visits?
Is there something you would like to see on the Southern Breeze blog?

Leave us your thoughts!

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Feel free to COMMENT and then SHARE this post across your social media. Help spread the word about Southern Breeze! Easy buttons found below.