Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Spring to Success with SpringMingle'19 and VOLUNTEERING (AND A WHALE!)

Valerie Nelan is the Southern Breeze Volunteer Coordinator and she wrote up something special and um...whale-y for you. So here's Valerie:

Okay, there’s no whale. But like any good writer, I went with the first thing that came to mind and decided to see where it went.

Wait! I got it! If you volunteer at the SCBWI Spring Mingle, you’ll have a WHALE OF A TIME!!

No? It was a terrible joke? Okay, you’re right. It was pitiful. And painful. So let’s move on.

One of the best ways to get involved in SCBWI is to volunteer. Writing can be such a solitary pursuit, and by volunteering, you’re basically forced into meeting people. And here’s the thing: the writers and artists you’ll meet at Spring Mingle are bound to be among the best you’ve ever laid eyes on.

I knew absolutely no one my first Spring Mingle, and even though I can chat up just about anyone (hello, outgoing personality!), it was hard at first. Thankfully, by the end of that Spring Mingle, I’d met a whole bunch of people and was invited to be in a local critique group. By the time the next conference came around, I was ready to volunteer, and it was an incredible experience. I met all the conference organizers, and even though that first year my contributions were small, I felt like I’d really made a difference. Even better: I made friends and critique partners who have made me a better writer.

So, are you ready to make a difference? We need volunteers! Roles for our volunteers include working the registration desk, helping with book sales, helping with food (who doesn’t love food?), timing the one-on-one meetings, and more.

Email me, Valerie Nelan, at vmnelan@gmail.com with your interest. You’ll get my undying love and affection, plus a snazzy little bio in the conference hand-outs! Ready? Go!

(I guarantee you and all the volunteers are going to get along swimmingly--and yeah, Valerie Nelan's going to get me back for that one--but first you have to register for SpringMingle'19. So CLICK HERE AND REGISTER TODAY!)

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Spring To Success With SpringMingle'19 and MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUES!

Who doesn’t love a critique?

Palms sweating and stomach fluttering with butterflies as you sit down in front of the esteemed editor or agent about to pass judgment on you. Er, I mean your manuscript.

But seriously, a critique from a publishing professional can do so much more for you than feed an adrenaline habit. My first critique taught me to let my character tell her own story. My worst critique left me frustrated and angry…and ready to write the story that was in my heart instead of something I thought people would want to read. At my next critique, the editor wanted to read more of that story. And, yes, I met my agent at a critique.

SpringMingle'19 registration is open, with critique opportunities still available, but manuscripts have to be submitted by February 8. Don’t miss your chance for personalized attention from a publishing professional. Your work will grow, and chances are, you’ll discover that those august sages are nice, knowledgeable people, eager to help you in your artistic journey.

A special thanks to Sharon Pegram, Co-Assistant Regional Advisor for Southern Breeze, who shared this experience with us last year--and we thought it deserved a re-run! Sharon writes sci-fi and fantasy and yep, you'll see her at SM'19 with her latest manuscript critique!


                   Click HERE to register for SpringMingle'19!

Monday, February 4, 2019


We don't have any Breezers in the neighborhood for February, but we do have an SCBWI Southern Breeze sponsored event AND an amazing SCBWI member who'll be visiting in Alabama for a super event:

February 9th:

Who: Soniah Kamal on "Getting Published"

When: 10:30 AM

Where: NE/Spruill Oaks Library
             9560 Spruill Road
             Johns Creek, GA

What: With starred reviews in Library Journal and Publishers Weekly for her most recently published book (Unmarriageable: Pride and Prejudice in Pakistan, Penguin Random House USA) and an Amazon Rising Star Award for her first book (An Isolated Incident), Soniah Kamal is definitely making an impressive mark as an award-winning essayist and fiction writer. Come hear her story of the past six years when she was writing and working toward completion of a Masters in Fine Art from Georgia State University — all toward her goal of “Getting Published.” Plenty of time for questions and answers, too! Reservations required: Call 770-360-8820 or karen.swenson@fultoncountyga.gov

Or contact Stephanie Moody, Local Liaison/SCBWI Southern Breeze at Moodyviews@bellsouth.net.

Free and open to the public.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Northeast/Spruill Oaks Library and SCBWI Southern Breeze.

February 27th:

Who: Linda Sue Park

When: 3:00 PM/ 4:30 PM (CST)

Where: Alys Stephens Center
             Reynolds Kirschbaum Recital Hall
             1200 10th Avenue S
            UAB Campus
            Birmingham, AL

What: The UAB Writers' Series is an annual offering of the English Department. Nationally recognized authors are invited to give readings and participate in Q and A sessions. Readings are free and open to the public. 

Linda Sue Park was the keynote speaker at wik'18 so if you missed her then, here's your chance to see this amazing SCBWI author!