Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Springmingle'19 in Atlanta: Two Reasons Why

Hi, this is Randall Bonser, Conference Cooordinator of Springmingle 2019 in Atlanta. I’ve been to so many SCBWI Southern Breeze conferences in Georgia and Alabama, it is easy to take for granted how much you can learn at our conferences, and what great opportunities they present for making connections. Let me remind you (or let you know for the first time) of the two best reasons for attending Springmingle in Atlanta on March 15-16, 2019:

Reason One: Spring

Reason Two: Mingle


The theme for our 2019 conference is Spring to Success with Springmingle'19, meaning, whether you are a seasoned pro or just starting out, we want to help you MOVE FORWARD IN YOUR CRAFT. We’re offering several valuable intensives and workshops to help you improve your writing. We normally offer only one writing intensive on the Friday of the conference; this year we’re offering THREE writing intensives:

 • Picture Book
 • Middle Grade/Young Adult
• Pro Track (for our PALs)

In addition, we will be offering our Illustrators' Day at the same time. These intensives are deep dives into improving your writing and illustrating skills, with discussions on plot, character, setting, and other essentials for writing a good book. The instructors are a mix of seasoned veteran writers/illustrators, editors, and agents.

On Saturday, a variety of workshops will not only help you improve your craft, but also delve into the business side of writing with successful writers and artists, as well as the agents and editors to whom you will have the opportunity to submit something after the conference. In Springmingles past, we didn’t have the variety of workshops we will be making available this year, because we didn’t have space. This year, we will also be using several classrooms at Decatur Presbyterian Church next door to our usual library location, which allows us to expand our workshops.


At last year’s WIK conference in Birmingham, I celebrated ten years of being a part of my critique group, which we lovingly call Decatur Chill. That’s because ten years ago at Springmingle 2008, I met several aspiring individuals who seemed like quality people and serious writers, so we decided to start meeting to critique each other’s work and hold each other accountable. Ten years later, our core is still around, and we have added to it as people moved away from the community.

Long story short: writing conferences, especially local ones, are great places to meet like-minded people, as well as agents and editors who are looking for talented authors. Springmingle 2019 is a unique chance to connect with your tribe and form valuable relationships. Discussions in intensives, workshops, lunches, breaktimes, after-conference beverages, and walks to and from the hotel can often lead to fruitful contacts. Our end-of-conference Gala, once again hosted by the dynamic group called Middle Grade Mafia, will be a fun way to meet folks and corner unsuspecting editors (don’t tell them I said that).

So there you go – two great reasons to attend Springmingle 2019 in Decatur/Atlanta, Georgia, on March 15 and 16th. We also have an exciting event planned for Friday night, March 15, which we can’t publicize, because we won’t be able to confirm the speaker until closer to the event. So save the date and make plans to join us on March 15 for an intensive, and on March 16 for a day of workshops, pitch sessions (oh, did I forget to tell you we will have a pitch session for the attending editors and agents – oops, my bad), first pages review, motivational messages, good food, Kidlit fun, and great new connections.

Come back to the blog or check out the Southern Breeze website on January 5th when registration opens for Springmingle'19!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Spread the Word About Springmingle'19 and WIN BIG!

Are you ready to Spring to Success with Springmingle’19? Because we’ve got a great line-up of agents and editors and authors and illustrators and intensives and portfolio reviews and much more, PLUS a few new surprises--starting with our Spread the Word on Social Media Contest!

We want everyone to know about our March conference and we need your help. And we’re willing to put our money where our help is! Here’s how the contest works:

For the next couple of months, we’ll be posting all about Springmingle’19 and Illustrator’s Day on the Southern Breeze blog. Every time you spread the word, you’ll get an entry. So if you tweet, you get an entry! If you share a blog post on your Facebook page, you get an entry! If you link to the conference on your Facebook page, you get an entry! If you have your own blog and you write a post and link to the registration page, you get an entry! The possibilities are endless but there is a limit on entries per day; we will only count up to five entries daily.

Use #SpringtoSuccessSM’19 or mention “Spring To Success with Springmingle’19” or “Spring to Success with Illustrators' Day’19” whenever you spread the word and make sure you include the link to the Southern Breeze website registration page. (Note: Every post on the Southern Breeze blog will have the registration link included.)

Next, send an email to with the link to your social media entry. If you’re not sure how to get a link to a Facebook post or a Tweet, just give enough information that we can verify the entry. (But pssst! Here’s a great opportunity to learn all about social media and become proficient!)

And then, sit back and wait to hear the winning results. (Contest will begin when registration opens on January 5th and end on March 1, 2019.) If you’ve had the most entries, you’ll get $50 off registration to SM’19! The two runners-up will get their choice of a signed author’s book from attendees at Springmingle’19. And please, go ahead and register! If you win, you’ll receive the $50 refund.

Just a few minutes every day can mean a big discount for you! So help us Spread the Word on Social Media on January 5th and then join us on March 15th and 16th in Decatur, Georgia where Southern Breeze will help you Spring to Success with Springmingle’19!

(And P.S. You’ll see Southern Breeze spreading the word but regional team members and leadership team members won’t be eligible for the contest. And if you have any questions, contact any of your Southern Breeze Regional Team!)

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Did You Hear The One About the Illustration Mentorship?

This year, our Illustration Mentorship SOLD OUT IN ONE DAY! We are very happy to have Maria Middleton (Art Director with Candlewick) on board with us this year.

If you missed it - no worries - there is still so much more! The 2019 Springmingle Brochure will be uploaded soon with wonderful art from within our region (you'll see soon!). In the meantime, here's what you can expect:

Maria Middleton will be discussing the mentorship project so you would benefit from seeing how she interacts with artists and could develop your own artwork to compare with what others did even if you did not register for the mentorship program. Maria will also be conducting a hands-on drawing activity with feedback at her second session.

Lori Nichols will discuss paths to publication and how she pursued her career.

Kevin Lewis (agent/former editor for Disney/Hyperion) will talk about the things art school doesn't teach about the business of art.

And don't forget….. The Liz Conrad Award will be judged by Anne Moore Armstrong with the Bright Agency. This is a great opportunity to have an illustration agent see your work. After all, it's not always winning, but showing up that matters. Submissions for the Liz Conrad Award are open now. 

EARLY REGISTRATION HAS ITS BENEFITS! The first 25 to sign up for ID and elect to participate in the "Quickfire" portfolio review will get feedback on their portfolios from the ID faculty, plus agent Monica Odom. Registering for ID also makes you eligible to book a consultation with an agent and a private portfolio review with a faculty member and to display your portfolio for the Springmingle and Illustrators' Day faculty to see.

Registration for those wanting to participate in the mentorship opened December 1st and has already sold out so the next opportunity to register and book a session with an agent will be when early-bird registration opens  on January 5th.

 See you there!

 The Southern Breeze Conference Team

Monday, December 3, 2018

Breezers in Your Neighborhood: DECEMBER!

Just two events for December and both on the same day! But one's in Alabama and the other is in Georgia, so something for almost everyone! Take a look and join the Breezers in your neighborhood!

Saturday, December 8th

Join TeMika Grooms in Atlanta:

2019 IS ALMOST HERE! Get a head start on those goals!
Join us to learn the nuts and bolts of creating a children's book.

Dec. 8th, noon - 3pm 

@ Cinamaker Studios
3619 Piedmont Road NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30305


AND Monique Fields and her ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of HONEYSMOKE (due to release in January) will be here: