Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Decatur Book Festival Roundup!

The skies stayed clear, and the sun stayed hot this year at the Decatur Book Festival. The Southern Breeze SCBWI booth, in the children’s zone on Sycamore Street, was staffed by a baker’s dozen of brave and cheerful authors and illustrators including Kim Sullivan, Jodi Wheeler-Toppen, Jill Dubin, Janie Watts, Vickie McEntire, Andy Klein, Alayne Smith, Linda Hodge-McLoud, Susan Allen, Lucyann Wagner, Laura Freeman, Morgan Young, and me.

While we didn’t sell as many books as we would have liked, we talked with dozens of families, teachers, librarians, and grandparents. We handed out fliers about SCBWI to aspiring authors/illustrators, and made some contacts that hopefully will result in school visits and other opportunities.

Plus, the Festival itself was fantastic! There were booths featuring everything from yummy foods to MFA programs. And well-known authors gave talks and signed books in about a dozen venues throughout the weekend. There was no charge for festival visitors, including attending any and all of the speakers’ programs. (I think this festival is Atlanta’s best-kept secret!)

This year marked the first time in a number of years that Southern Breeze had a booth presence at the festival, so it was a bit of a learning experience. I hope we’ll have a booth again in 2019, and make some changes so we can reach even more people (and sell more books).

So whether you’d like to be involved in planning, staffing the booth, or simply as an attendee, pencil in Labor Day weekend. I know I’ll be looking forward to this festival each year from now on.

A big thanks to the Breezers who staffed the booth, the Breezers who stopped by to say hello, and to Ivan Pegram (Sharon’s husband) for shooting photos.

~Lisa Lowe Stauffer

About Lisa Lowe Stauffer

Lisa Lowe Stauffer’s debut book is TWO BY TWO (Zonderkidz), a playful, rhyming story about animals rocking the boat on Noah’s Ark. Her twenty-year journey to publication was helped by the encouragement of many, many critique partners, including lots of fellow Breezers.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Thinking About the Unprogrammed Retreat?

It's last call, Breezers!


An unprogrammed retreat is basically whatever you want it to be. Need quiet time for writing? A chance to get away from all the everyday distractions so you can focus on plotting or characters or even sketching? How about an opportunity to get feedback from your peers? It can be all that as well as the space to rejuvenate and renew your spirit. 


The retreat is open to any Southern Breeze member. 


Check-in is 4:00 PM on Thursday, September 20th and check-out is 11:00 AM on Sunday, September 23rd.


The event is located at the Benedictine Sisters Retreat Center, at 916 Convent Road in Cullman, Alabama.

Check out the Southern Breeze website here for more information about costs and registration. And check out the blog for what Breezers have said about this wonderful retreat.

Don't wait another minute, Breezers, because the Unprogrammed Retreat may be here today... but it could be gone tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Breezers in Your Neighborhood: September!

It's September already! Around the Southern Breeze region that means the weather is...still hot. But those warm days are perfect for getting out and about in the neighborhood where you'll find these Breezers:

Saturday, September 8th

Jodi Wheeler-Toppen is inviting everyone to her book launch for Dog Science Unleashed: Fun Activities To Do with Your Canine Companion.

Where:  City Dog Market
              4244 Peachtree Rd. NE
              Brookhaven, GA  30319

When:   10 - 2 PM

Jodi says "drop in anytime! There will be fun activities, giveaways, and more. And bring your canine!"

And Nancy Day is launching her newest book, Baby's Firsts!

Where: G. J. Ford Bookshop
             600 Sea Island Rd.
             St. Simon's Island, GA

When:   11 to 12 noon

Sunday, September 9th

Jodi Wheeler-Toppen will be taking her latest release, Dog Science Unleashed: Fun Acitivities To Do with Your Canine Companion to Tennessee!

Where: Barnes & Noble
             2615 Medical Center Parkway
            Murfreesboro, TN  37129

When:   3:00 to 5:00 PM CDT

Saturday, September 15th and Sunday, September 16th

Look for Sucheta Rawal and Beato Goes to Japan at JapanFest. She'll be in the Children's Gallery area at this popular cultural festival. (Tickets are required to attend this event, though 6 years and younger are free.)

Where:  Infinite Energy Center
             6400 Sugarloaf Parkway
             Duluth, GA

When:   10 to 6 PM

Monday, September 17th

Heather Montgomery will be celebrating launch day of her latest release, Bugs Don't Hug: Six-
Legged Parents and Their Kids.

Where: Page & Palette
             32 S Section St.
            Fairhope, AL 36532

When:  4:00 PM

Heather promises "spying on some really fun insect mommies and daddies and also a chat about what it takes to make a picture book work. And of course, there will be some icky-fun science involved!"

Wednesday, September 19th

Nancy Day is celebrating Talk Like a Pirate Day with another of her new releases, Pirate Jack Gets Dressed.

Where:  Brunswick Public Library
              208 Gloucester St.
             Brunswick, GA

When:   10:30 AM

Saturday, September 22nd

Nancy Day's celebrating with a pirate launch party for Pirate Jack Gets Dressed!

Where:   The Book Loft
               214 Centre St.
               Fernandina Beach, FL

When:    1 to 3 PM

Monday, September 24 thru Saturday, September 29th

SCBWI Southern Breeze is sponsoring the Dekalb County Public Library's Lit Story Fest AND Illustrators Showdown!

Lit Story Fest is a literature and storytelling festival held throughout libraries in the Dekalb County Library system during the week. The festival includes author talks, art exhibits, and live performances. The week ends with an adult StorySLAM competition (Friday, September 28th) and Children's Literary Day (Saturday, September 29th).

For all the locations and happenings, please see the website here!

Illustrators Showdown Manuscript Contest!

Send your unpublished picture book manuscripts of 400 words or less to be reviewed and selected for LIVE ILLUSTRATION by illustrators R. Gregory Christie and Kelsi Jackson!

The Showdown will take place on Saturday at 3 PM at Stonecrest Library, 3123 Klondike Rd., Lithonia, GA. You must sign up in order to send your manuscript!

See the sign-up link here for details about manuscript submission and how the showdown will work. Deadline for submission is September 22nd!

Saturday September 29th

It's a busy day (and month!) for Nancy Day! She'll be in the Georgia neighborhood with Baby's Firsts at the following locations:

FoxTale Book Shoppe, 105 E. Main St., Woodstock, GA at 11:00 AM

Horton's Books, 410 Adamson Square, Carrollton, GA at 3 PM

Author Vanessa Fortenberry will be appearing at a collaborative author event featuring works in a variety of genres.

Where:  Douglas County Public Library
              6810 Selman Dr.
             Douglasville, GA  30134

When:  11 AM to 2 PM

Come out and say hello to your Breezers this month. And if you're new to SCBWI, attending these Breezer events is a great way to get to know your community! If you have an event for October, contact Cathy Hall at with all the details. See you around the neighborhood!