Thursday, September 14, 2017

Why Should I Attend a Retreat?

Are you ready to recapture that first-day-of kindergarten feeling?

While we all love the energy that surrounds a conference and the learning opportunities presented by workshops, sometimes a retreat is just what a writer or illustrator needs to convert all that inspiration and information into work on a page.

Over the last three years Southern Breeze has held three summer retreats which have received rave reviews from those who attended, and we now offer a fall retreat for those who are busy with kids and family and vacation during the summer.

Here is what attendees have to say about the value of attending a retreat:

"There is no better feeling when staring at a manuscript, wondering how in the world you can fix it, than the moment you remember hey, I'm at a writing retreat!

  Three day SCBWI writing retreat: $150

  Delicious food: $60

  The best writing community just down the hall:
    - Cathy

    "I knew the writing time at the retreat would be valuable, but the new and deeper friendships with fellow writers were an unexpected bonus. It was so nice to connect for longer than a quick chat between conference sessions."

      - Sharon

    "Southern Breeze retreats give me the mental space I need to dig deeply into a project."

    "There’s nothing like a retreat to jump start, revitalize, or fine tune a writing project. No dishes, no errands, no work emails—nothing but you and your book or art. Plus a few like-minded friends to bounce ideas around if needed. In fact, my first book (July 2018 publication date) is a direct result of a Southern Breeze retreat."
      - Lisa

    "What I like about a retreat is the focused atmosphere it provides."

    "There is something about removing myself from the daily bustle, being in a different space, and having a stretch of time dedicated to a project that opens up my mind, at a retreat, to new possibilities for my work."

    Are you ready to curl up in front of a fireplace ?

    Dance in the rain?

    Hunker down over your manuscript or take your sketch book for a long walk?

    There's a rocking chair waiting for you, and guideposts to give your work new direction.

    Register early for the next retreat before the slots fill up!

    Tuesday, September 12, 2017

    Don't Miss the Back To Nature Kidlit Retreat!

    Craving your fall Southern Breeze writing fix?  We know you're used to coming to Alabama in the fall for WIK. But since WIK is happening March 2018, come join Heather Montgomery for her Back to Nature Kidlit Retreat, October 13-15 at Camp McDowell in northern Alabama. Don't wait until it is too late to register. Go to the Southern Breeze website now!
    During this three-day working retreat, guided exercises will re-awaken your senses, nudge your characters into action, and illuminate imagery to enhance your voice.
    Surrounded by other creative-types, then immersed in nature, you will connect with your craft. The schedule will include equal measures of structured instruction, time to write or illustrate, and small group sharing/critiquing.
    Back to nature doesn’t mean roughing it. Lodging is in modern hotel-style rooms (minus the television and the telephone, each room has 2 double beds). Delicious meals will be served by the famous McDowell kitchen staff. Wi-Fi and cell phone service are available on site but why not use this as an excuse to unplug!
    Retreat leader is Heather L. Montgomery. She has published 12 nonfiction books for kids who are wild about animals. With a B.S. in biology and a M.S. in environmental education, Heather's award-winning educational programs include professional development workshops, seminars and retreats for writers, educators, and librarians. Heather’s subject matter ranges from snail tongues to snake poop. Her publishers include Scholastic, Capstone and Highlights.

    We hope to see YOU there!

    Thursday, September 7, 2017

    Picture Book Workshop Right Around the Corner!

    The picture book market is highly competitive, with thousands of writers attempting these deceptively difficult works of art. Southern Breeze PAL members Randi Sonenshine and Dori Kleber will teach you two ways to make your picture book one that editors and publishers will want.

    First, Randi will present strategies to ramp up the value of your picture book for today’s busy teachers. She’ll share insights into how and why teachers use picture books, as well as which content, structures, and features matter most in today’s classrooms. You’ll also learn which literacy skills and standards span multiple content areas and grade levels and how to seamlessly incorporate these into your picture books, giving them a life far beyond Circle Time.

    Then, Dori will show you how to craft a satisfying narrative picture book using the classic “Hero’s Journey” story arc, first imagined by Joseph Campbell. Although many associate the Hero’s Journey with epic stories like “Star Wars,” you’ll see that its framework is equally useful for taking a character through a story that’s only 32 pages long. You’ll learn to recognize the Hero’s Journey in mentor picture book texts and apply it to your own manuscript to strengthen your story arc.

    Dori and Randi will devote the final part of the workshop to providing feedback on the opening pages of picture book manuscripts submitted by attendees. Please bring a manuscript in progress if you want to participate in this “First Pages Critique.”

    Picture Book Workshop
    Saturday, Sept. 16, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
    Marietta, Ga.

     Registration: SCBWI Southern Breeze