Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Breezers In Your Neighborhood - October Events

Breezers In Your Neighborhood
October 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!

  • Regional Event:NAME: WIK '15
    DATE: October 16-17, 2015TIME: All day eventADDRESS: Spain Park High School in Birmingham, AlabamaDESCRIPTION: The conference includes your choice of 32 breakout sessions with industry professionals – something for everyone, writers, illustrators, beginners, published and not-yet-published! Space in each session is limited. Register to ensure the sessions you want are available.
  • NAME: Nell Branum
    DATE:  Friday, October 16, 2015
    PLACE: Gardendale Public Library
    TIME: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    ADDRESS: 995 Mt. Olive Road
    CITY/STATE: Gardendale, AL  35071
    DESCRIPTION OF EVENT:  Author Expo.  My 93-year-old mother, Fran Carter, who worked as "Rosie the Riveter" in WW II, will be appearing with me in her Rosie outfit to greet visitors and sign our non-fiction children's books, R is for Rosie the Riveter, which we co-authored, and Free-Falling for Freedom: True Stories from a Paratrooper in WW II, which I co-authored with my late father.
Florida Panhandle:


  • NAME: Tracey M. CoxDATE: October 31, 2015TIME: 9 am - 5 pmADDRESS: Ocilla, GeorgiaDESCRIPTION: Books Love & Taters Book Festival. Tracey will be signing books.

Upcoming November Events...


Florida Panhandle:

  • Name: Patricia Cruzan
    Date: Saturday, November 7, 2015
    Time: 9:00 AM-3:00 PM
    Location: Fayetteville First United Methodist Church, 175 East Lanier Avenue, Fayetteville, Georgia 30214
    Event: Craft Show for the Charities of Fayette County. I'll be selling  my books there. 

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Nine Year Journey - Heather L. Montgomery

A Nine Year Journey

Nine years ago . . .

I didn’t know I had humor in me until I launched a book at Springmingle. A Southern Breezer came up to me afterwards and said, “Hey! You are funny!!!”

I didn’t know I had a unique voice until I attended an SCBWI international conference. A Regional Advisor said, “I love your voice!”

I didn’t know I could really be a writer until I entered a Southern Breeze contest. My manuscript took first place.

The things I didn’t know.

The things that Southern Breeze has taught me.

You see, nine years ago, I wrote one of my very first nonfiction manuscripts. Since then, I’ve published eleven nonfiction books for kids, but that manuscript – the one that was my passion – wasn’t one of them. I toted that manuscript in and out and in and out and in and out of every conference I went to. I had formal critiques, wrestled with it in intensives, attended the poetry workshop because of it, and subjected many of you, Southern Breezers, to early drafts in need of critique.

Now, people ask me how many times I revised it. I couldn’t tell you. It was nine years of work. I can tell you that I tried it as a rhyming book, an alphabet book, from a child’s point of view, from a bug’s point of view, a chapter book, a poetry book, and more. I have folders of “old drafts” and folders of “older drafts” within those. You writers and illustrators, you understand.

And then, it happened. All of the learning – all of the input that you gave – made it happen. I found the humor, I found the voice, I found the knowledge that I was the right person to write this book.

How Rude! Real Bugs Who Won’t Mind Their Manners has finally become a book. This fall, eight flimsy pieces of paper will carry my passion to a child somewhere in this country. Eight pieces of paper inked with my words, slathered with silly illustrations. Pieces of paper stretched across the nation like stairs to my career. Stairs held up by a Southern Breeze.

Thank you.

Head shot by Sonya Sones Leaning Forward

Heather L. Montgomery uses yuck appeal to engage young minds, inspire reluctant writers, and empower research bliss. Heather has published twelve nonfiction books for kids on topics ranging from snakes (Capstone) to scientific discoveries (Scholastic). She is the past ARA of Southern Breeze SCBWI.

Connect with Heather:

Monday, September 21, 2015

Managing Editor, Dori Kleber, Signs Off

Managing Editor, Dori Kleber, Signs Off

With sadness and excitement, I’m ending my tenure as managing editor of our semi-annual newsletter, the Southern Breeze News.

Sadness, because it’s been rewarding to see the quality of work our members produce for SBN, and to help bring that work together into a publication that delivers value to our membership. Over the few years I’ve worked on the newsletter, first as a copyeditor and then as managing editor, I’ve watched SBN become a highly polished and professional publication, visibly stunning thanks to our art director, Prescott Hill. I’ve also seen it expand to include more point-of-view responses to conferences and events, as well as book reviews. More of you are contributing to the newsletter, and I hope more of you are benefiting from the added content.

Nevertheless, I am excited to go, because I’m leaving this job to prepare for the release of my first book, which is due out next May. I’m not sure exactly what to expect, but I imagine I’ll need all the spare time I can find.

My departure means there’s an opportunity for someone new to step into the managing editor role. The ideal person would probably have a journalism background, but the most critical skills needed are organization and attention to detail. I’ve often described the job as “keeping the trains running on time” – making sure everything happens in accordance with the production schedule and nothing slips through the cracks.

The managing editor recruits writers, giving them ample lead time to conduct interviews and write their articles. She coaches the writers as needed, gathers and reviews submissions, and makes sure everything is edited before giving it to Prescott to work his magic on the design and layout. Finally, she works with a team of volunteer proofreaders to ensure the text is accurate and error-free.

If you’d like to become our next managing editor, contact Claudia Pearson for more details.

Big thanks to everyone who has contributed to SBN, whether through writing, illustration, or simple encouragement. Together, we make our newsletter – and our region – something amazing.

- Dori Kleber