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  • SCBWI FLORIDA presents… 7 WRITING BOOT CAMPS ACROSS FLORIDA! Get your assets in gear and march over to one of our intensive and extensive, but not expensive, writing and illustration honing events. Learn how to sharpen your insight, and hit your target first shot. Crawl through the publishing swamp and surprise your adversary with strong wit, accurate editing, and unique design. Then line up your arsenal for inspection by our hardened drill instructors. Come out of these camps REAL WRITERS & ILLUSTRATORS!! Now MOVE IT!!! Sound off... ONE, TWO - THREE, FOUR - WE WILL WIN THE PUBLISHING WAR! REGISTER FOR THESE EVENTS NOW (note - list updated): Register here --> 2015 Boot Camps Registration Open #1 :: Tampa – Picture Book Intermediate w/ Colonel Rob (Shiny Helmet) Sanders #2 :: Boca Raton – Picture Books w/ Major Lisa (Iron Fist) McCourt (Sunday, Sept. 27) #3 :: Winter Park – Beginning Writers w/ Brigadier General Danette (Steely Eye) Haworth #4 :: Palm Coast – Novel Writing w/ Major General Joyce (Molten-Iron Maiden) Sweeney #5 :: Miami – SCBWI Beginners w/ Major General Marjetta ("Gimme 50!") Geerling #6 :: Lakeland – Illustrations Digital Techniques w/ Captain Fred (Poison Pen) Koehler & Lieutenant Colonel Katherine (Black Knife) Blackmore #7 :: Tallahassee – Middle Grade Novel Writing w/ Lieutenant General Adrian (Word Ninja) Fogelin $75 for SCBWI members - $100 for non-members #1:: TAMPA - Saturday, Sept. 26 Presenter: Rob Sanders Subject: ​Picture Books Location:     CoCreative     Bay Cities Bank Building     3902 Henderson Blvd.     2nd Floor, Suite 208     Tampa, FL 33629     Rob's Bio: Rob Sanders does not work as a telephone sales rep, a loading dock worker, a trophy engraver, or an editor. But he used to. Rob is not a cowboy, a ballerina, an alien, or a temper-tantrum-throwing toddler. But he writes about them. Rob is a picture book author, a writing teacher, a blogger, and a great uncle. He worked for fifteen years in religious educational publishing as a writer, editor, editorial manager, and product designer. These days he teaches elementary kids about books and words and reading and writing, and writes books for those same kids. Rob also coordinates the Rising Kite Writing Contest for SCBWI Florida, organizes meetings for SCBWI Florida members in the Tampa Bay area, and critiques picture book manuscripts for other writers.     2015 Boot Camps Registration Here #2:: BOCA RATON -  > > Sunday, Sept. 27 < < Presenter: Lisa McCourt Subject: Picture Books Location:     The Loft     530 NW 77 St.     Boca Raton, FL 33487     (two minutes off I-95 take Congress Avenue South Exit) Lisa's Bio: Lisa McCourt is a bestselling author, ghostwriter, and writing coach. Combined sales of her books, including the modern classic I Love You, Stinky Face and its many sequels, total over seven million copies. An award-winning editor and seasoned publishing professional, Lisa has published with Scholastic, HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, Hay House, McGraw Hill, Health Communications, and others. Her books have been featured on Lifetime TV, Fox News, CNN, and PBS, won 6 publishing awards, garnered praise from over 200 reviewers, and been translated into 11 languages. On the secret side of Lisa’s publishing path, she’s been the silent ghostwriter for many prominent, well-established thought-leaders in the field of personal development, including a regular guest-specialist on The Dr. Oz Show, three New York Times bestselling authors, a multiple Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actress, and an Emmy-nominated Hollywood producer. Protected by ironclad confidentiality, her clients have appeared on Oprah, Good Morning America, The View, and The Nancy Grace Show. For over a decade, Lisa has shared her creativity secrets on stages around the world. A former popular CBS Radio host and a frequent speaker at both writing conferences and self-growth events, Lisa brings her passion and unique blend of skill-sets to a diverse career that is ever-unfolding, just the way she likes it. 2015 Boot Camps Registration Here #3:: WINTER PARK Presenter: Danette Haworth Subject: Beginning Writers Location:     Writer's Atelier     336 Grove Ave.     Suite B     Winter Park, FL. 32789 Danette's Bio: Danette Haworth told people she would be an author when she grew up someday. After winning the fifth grade presidency that same year, she went on write many novels and comic books in her black & white composition notebooks. Today, Danette is the author of Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning (California Young Reader Medal, 2011-2012), The Summer of Moonlight Secrets, Me & Jack (Great Stone Face Book Award nominee, 2012), A Whole Lot of Lucky (starred Kirkus Review), and more to come. Visit www.danettehaworth.com and www.facebook.com/danettehaworth. 2015 Boot Camps Registration Here #4:: PALM COAST Presenter: Joyce Sweeney Subect: Novel Writing Location: The Flagler County Art League 160 Cypress Point Parkway Suite 207C Palm Coast, FL 32164 Joyce's Bio: Joyce Sweeney is the author of fourteen novels for young adults and one chapbook of poetry.  Her first novel, Center Line, won the First Annual Delacorte Press Prize for an Outstanding Young Adult Novel.  Many of her books appear on the American Library Association's Best Books List and Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers. Her novel Shadow won the Nevada State Reading Award in 1997.  Her novel Players was chosen by Booklist as a Top Ten Sports Book and by Working Mother magazine as a Top Ten for Tweens. Her novel,  Headlock (Holt 2006), won a Silver Medal in the 2006 Florida Book Awards and was chosen by the American Library Association as a Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Her first chapbook of poems, IMPERMANENCE , was published in 2008 by Finishing Line Press. She has had numerous poems, short stories, articles and interviews published; and her play, FIRST PAGE CRTIQUES  was produced in 2011. Joyce is also a writing teacher and mentor to aspiring authors both locally and nationwide.  She critiques manuscripts and conducts classes and seminars throughout the state of Florida. She has recently launched a series of online courses: Sweeney Writing Coach. So far, 53 of her students and clients have gone on to secure traditional publishing contracts. In 2011, Joyce and a coalition of South Florida playwrights, directors and actors formed The Playgroup LLC, which produces original works by local playwrights.  The Playgroup currently presents two productions a year; one program of short plays and one full length play. Joyce lives in Coral Springs with her husband, Jay and cat, Nitro. 2015 Boot Camps Registration Here #5:: MIAMI Presenter: Marjetta Geerling Subject: SCBWI Beginners Location: TBA Marjetta's Bio: Marjetta Geerling is the author of the young adult novel Fancy White Trash, which was released in 2008 by Viking Children's Books. Fancy White Trash was selected as an American Library Association's 2009 Best Books for Young Adults and for the 2009 Rainbow List. Marjetta grew up in Southern California and attended the Johnston Center for Integrated Studies at the University of Redlands. She holds an M.F.A. in Writing from Spalding University.  Marjetta lives in Hollywood, FL and is an Assistant Professor of English at Broward College. 2015 Boot Camps Registration Here #6:: LAKELAND Presenters: Fred Koehler & Katherine Blackmore Subject: Illustrators - Digital Techniques Location:     Catapult     Launching Lakeland's Entrepreneurs     331 S. Florida Ave     [Basement] Fred's Bio: Fred Koehler wrote and illustrated his first book at age seven titled SAMMY THE SHOESTRING. It went on to win a shiny gold star sticker and an iced cinnamon bun from the vending machine in the teachers’ lounge. From that point on, Fred has never stopped doodling or writing stories (except when he tried to be a grown-up for a few years, which didn’t really work out). His debut picture book, HOW TO CHEER UP DAD, garnered three starred reviews including the Kirkus Star. His next seven books are scheduled for release in the coming years from major international publishers. He lives, works, and plays in Lakeland, Florida. Katherine's Bio: Katherine (aka: Kathy) is a freelance artist who specializes in traditional book illustration and teaching art to students of all ages. She received her BFA from The Cleveland Institute of Art and has been a professional artist for over 20 years. Kathy has worn many hats in the art world including art director, illustrator, and animator. She has the honor of having earned screen credit on 5 Disney Feature Animation films. Kathy is represented by Kid Shannon and has illustrated 7 books for children through various publishers. She also teaches the Creative Core art program at Local Color Art Studio in College Park, FL. She resides in Edgewood with her husband, Eric (a very talented designer and photographer); they have 3 cats that could substitute for the 3 bears: one is too big, one is too thin, one is just right. 2015 Boot Camps Registration Here #7:: TALLAHASSEE Presenter: Adrian Fogelin Subject: Middle Grade (Limited to 15) Location:     Uptown Café     1325 Miccosukee Rd     Tallahassee, FL 32308 Adrian's Bio: Adrian Fogelin, is the author of eight middle-grade novels and one YA, all published by Peachtree Publishers of Atlanta. Her titles have received starred reviews in Kirkus, School Library Journal and Booklist and have been included in many state reading lists such as Florida’s Sunshine State Young Reader’s Award. Her books appear in translation around the world, “Crossing Jordan” receiving a prestigious Italian book award. She has won two gold medals and one silver in the Florida Book Awards. In addition to her own writing she conducts many writing workshops including two annual “Fiction Among Friends” writers’ retreats on St. George Island.  She also has a content editing service for other authors, editing about a dozen books a year. As the daughter of a fiction writer who edited her mother’s books as a teen, Adrian has a lot of experience at helping writers improve their craft. Adrian loves teaching and has devised many practical exercises for those aspiring to write novels. Each writer must find their own voice, their own story to tell, but with targeted lessons the learning curve can be less steep. Come learn in a relaxed, supportive atmosphere. Visit my blog: http://slowdancejournal.wordpress.com or my author website: www.adrianfogelin.com 2015 Boot Camps Registration Here REGISTER TODAY - STAY ALERT, SOLDIER!!!
  • The SCBWI Florida annual Rising Kite Writing Contest celebrates Florida’s best unpublished writing for children. In so doing, we also celebrate the work and dedication of our region’s authors, both published and unpublished. Our purpose is to encourage authors to continue to follow their dreams, to recognize their successes, and to provide a platform for authors to share their writing with a larger audience. 2016 CATEGORIES Picture Book Middle Grade Novel Young Adult Novel These categories include fiction, non-fiction, historical fiction, sci-fi, and so on. NOTE:  Each participant is limited to ONE ENTRY for the contest. AWARDS 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place Winners Winners will receive a SCBWI Florida Rising Kite Writing Contest certificate which will be presented at the SCBWI Florida Regional Conference in Miami, January 16-18, 2016. The winning authors in each category and the title of each manuscript will be announced via the SCBWI Florida Listserv, SCBWI Florida Web site, and SCBWI Florida Facebook page. Winners may also use their awards as a way to further develop their platforms by including news of their win on their web sites and blogs, and in queries, cover letters, and so on. 1st Place Winners Each 1st Place Winner will also receive a scholarship to a SCBWI Florida intensive of his/her choosing.   COST The contest is free and open to SCBWI Florida members. Preliminary judges and finals judges donate their time to the contest, and are not paid.   OFFICIAL RULES Contest Opens: September 1, 2015, 12:00 a.m. Entry Deadline: September 30, 2015, 11:59 p.m. Preliminary Judging: October 1-31, 2015 Contest Judging: November 1-25, 2015 Contest open to: Current SCBWI Florida members. Eligibility: Only unpublished and un-contracted manuscripts may be submitted. If an entry comes under contract during the contest period, that entry will be disqualified from the contest. A published author may only enter in a category in which he/she has NOT been published. Being self-published in a genre also disqualifies a writer from that category. NOTE:  Each participant is limited to ONE ENTRY. Announcing winners: Winners will be announced at the SCBWI Florida Regional Conference in Miami, January 16-18, 2016. You do not have to be present to win. Notification will be emailed to winners following the conference, and the names of winners will also be communicated via the SCBWI Florida Listserv, SCBWI Florida Web site, and SCBWI Florida Facebook page. Rubric Score Sheets: Each participant may pick up his/her Rubric Score Sheets from preliminary judging at the January conference in Miami. If you are unable to do so, you may mail a SASE to: SCBWI FL Contest Rubric Request, 125 E. Merritt Island Causeway #107, Merritt Island, FL 32952. Include the manuscript title and genre in your request. FORMATTING ENTRIES Please follow the guidelines below to format submissions. Improperly formatted manuscripts will not be entered in the contest, and will be returned to the author. Program: Word documents only. No PDFs. Fonts: Times New Roman, Arial, or Courier only, 12 point Spacing: Double spaced Margins: 1-inch margins on both sides, top, and bottom Cover page: The cover page must include the author’s name, mailing address, phone number, and email address in the top left corner, and the genre category in the upper right-hand corner. Please also note in the corner if your manuscript is fiction, non-fiction, historical fiction, sci-fi, and so on. The manuscript title and author byline should appear in all caps halfway down the cover page. DO NOT use text boxes, different fonts, or different point sizes for your title and byline. No names on manuscripts: The author’s name, identifying features, and/or contact information may NOT be included on any page of the manuscript. (The author’s name may only appear on the cover page.) Page headers: Each page of the manuscript should include the manuscript title in the top left-hand corner and the page number in the top right-hand corner. (You do not have to use the automatic header feature on Word. If you wish, you may simply type the information following the stated guidelines.) Electronic submission: All manuscripts must be emailed as an attachment by 11:59 p.m. on September 30, 2015 to contest coordinator Rob Sanders at srobert262@aol.com. Use the title of your manuscript as the name of your attachment. Receipt Confirmation: You will receive email confirmation that your manuscript has been received. NOTE: Please allow up to 48 hours for confirmation. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 48 hours, your manuscript has not been entered in the contest. CATEGORIES Picture Book: Picture Book—send complete manuscript, up to 10 pages, maximum of 850 words (no art). On the cover sheet, label whether your submission is fiction, non-fiction, historical fiction, etc.   Middle Grade Novel: Novel— send the first chapter(s) up to 10 pages (no art). On the cover sheet, label whether your submission is fiction, non-fiction, historical fiction, sci-fi, etc.  Optional for MG novels: Since the maximum number of pages you can submit is ten, you can opt to send a synopsis plus pages, so long as the total number of pages does NOT exceed ten pages. For instance, if your synopsis is two pages long, you can send the first eight pages of your manuscript along with the synopsis. A synopsis must follow all contest formatting guidelines, including being double-spaced and in 12-point. No exceptions. Young Adult Novel: YA Novel— send the first chapter(s) up to 10 pages (no art). On the cover sheet, label whether your submission is fiction, non-fiction, historical fiction, sci-fi, etc.  Optional for YA novels: Since the maximum number of pages you can submit is ten, you can opt to send a synopsis plus pages, so long as the total number of pages does NOT exceed ten pages. For instance, if your synopsis is two pages long, you can send the first eight pages of your manuscript along with the synopsis. A synopsis must follow all contest formatting guidelines, including being double- spaced and in 12-point. No exceptions. JUDGING The Contest Coordinator will assign each manuscript an entry number, remove the title page, check formatting, and ensure the author’s name is not on the manuscript. The Contest Coordinator will keep a spreadsheet of author names, addresses, email addresses, manuscript titles, genres, entry numbers, and eventually, the combined rubric scores from the preliminary judges. Two Preliminary Judges will read the manuscripts in a given category and judge the manuscripts using a rubric. All scoring is blind—names of authors will not appear on any entry. The judges will not compare their rubric scores. Completed rubric sheets will be sent via email to the Contest Coordinator for tabulation. Preliminary judges are published in the genre they are judging and/or are industry professionals, and are not SCBWI Florida members. The Contest Coordinator will tabulate the rubric scores and will determine the top five scoring entries in each category. The top five scoring manuscripts in each category will be submitted to the Finals Judge assigned to that category. The Finals Judge will be an editor or agent who works with the genre he/she is judging. Rubric scores and author names will not be included on any manuscript. The Finals Judge will read the entries and order them from one to five, with one being first place. The Finals Judge will be asked to provide brief notes about each finalist’s manuscript, The Finals Judge will submit his/her decisions and manuscript notes to the Contest Coordinator. Judges’ decisions are final. Judges reserve the right to withhold prizes in any category which has insufficient entries or scores.
  • SCBWI FLORIDA TAMPA BAY AREA MEMBERS DON’T MISS SATURDAY’S MEETING! Featured Speaker: Lorin Oberweger Topic: Creating Page-turning Fiction: Bringing Your Story to Life in the Reader’s Imagination August 29, 2015, 2:00-4:00 p.m. Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library 2902 W. Bearss Ave., Tampa, Florida   Though a satisfying, propulsive plot is important, it’s not the most critical element in creating reader anticipation and investment in one’s work.  Readers enthuse over characters they love, the beauty of your language, or the feeling of simply HAVING to keep turning the page. In this class, we’ll study the elements that create excitement and involvement in the reader—and in the hearts of industry gatekeepers: agents and editors who have seen and read it all. Please bring along your novel’s first scene—no more than five pages. Picture book writers, please bring an entire manuscript. We’ll work individually and in groups to analyze your work for those critical elements and empower you to take the knowledge you gain and apply it to ALL the scenes of your work of fiction or creative nonfiction. Lorin is a long-time independent editor and story development guru whose client successes range from small press publications to major bestselling novels, Lorin has also worked behind the scenes as a ghostwriter on a variety of projects, from middle grade fiction to adult memoir. Her work has received starred Kirkus reviews and glowing mentions in The New York Times. She and co-author Veronica Rossi are the hearts and minds behind author Noelle August, whose first book, BOOMERANG was released by Harper/William Morrow on July 15th.  CONGRATS, JC! The SCBWI congratulates JC Kato of Land O Lakes, Florida, as the winner of the annual Karen and Philip Cushman Late Bloomer Award for authors over the age of fifty who have not been traditionally published in the children’s literature field.  Kato’s chosen historical fiction middle grade manuscript, Finding Moon Rabbit, tells the incredible story of Koko Hayashi a ten-year-old girl who doesn’t follow rules, but must survive with her mother and sister in a Wyoming internment camp, unearthing the truth that her father’s a suspected traitor. The grant was established by Newbery Award winner and Newbery Honor Book recipient Karen Cushman and her husband, Philip Cushman, in conjunction with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.  Karen published her first children’s book, Catherine Called Birdy, in 1994 (Newbery Honor Book), at the age of fifty-three and has gone on to become one of the field’s most acclaimed novelists “I chose Finding Moon Rabbit because the writing is strong, authentic, and sometimes even lyrical; Koko an intriguing and original character; the subject matter compelling and important,” said Karen. Way to go, JC! SEPTEMBER SCBWI FLORIDA EVENTS SCBWI FLORIDA RISING KITE WRITING AND ILLUSTRATION CONTEST The contest opens on September 1 and closes on September 30. Categories; Picture Books, Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Illustration. Winners will be announced at the SCBWI Florida conference in Miami in January 2016. Check out www.florida.scbwi.org for more information!  SCBWI FLORIDA BOOT CAMPS 7 WRITING BOOT CAMPS ACROSS FLORIDA! Saturday, September 26th from 10am ~ 4pm Registration is now open! Visit  www.florida.scbwi.org for locations, topics, and to register! OCTOBER MEETING Featured Speaker: Sandra Markle Topic: A Silver-Bullet Workshop to Shoot Your Picture Book (And Other Writing) to Publication Quality October 17, 2015 - 2:00-4:00 p.m. Bloomingdale Public Library 1908 Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico, Florida NOVEMBER/DECEMBER MEETING Featured Speaker: Joyce Sweeney Topic: Wrestling with the Muse—Finding Inspiration December 5, 2015 - 2:00-4:00 p.m. Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library 2902 W. Bearss Ave., Tampa, Florida Do you have information or a celebration to share? Email Rob at srobert262@aol.com. Looking for a critique group in our area? Email Susan Banghart at sbanghart@verizon.net.
Welcome to SCBWI Florida!

A message from our Co-Regional Advisors

We are a diverse community of hardworking volunteers dedicated to making your dreams of becoming published authors and illustrators for kids and teens a reality. Through our Florida Regional Conference, held every January in Miami, our Mid-Year Workshop, held every June in Orlando, and

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BOOT CAMPS ACROSS FLORIDA – 2015 | Registration live!
Read about the 7 amazing events here.

 RISING KITE CONTEST – 2016 | Enter the SCBWI Florida Rising Kite Writing Contest. Great awards given, great chance for your work to be reviewed. Entries opening soon!
Read how to enter here. 

Read the January 2015 Newsletter here!