•   NEW DEADLINE FOR 2017 RISING KITE CONTEST: OCT. 15, 2016 WRITING CONTEST GUIDELINES (Scroll down for Illustration Contest Guidelines) The SCBWI Florida annual Rising Kite Writing Contest celebrates Florida’s best unpublished writing for children. In so doing, we also celebrate the work and dedication of our region’s authors, both published and unpublished.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. 2017 CATEGORIES: Picture Book—Fiction Middle Grade Novel—Fiction Young Adult Novel—Fiction Non-fiction The fiction categories include any type of fiction, for instance: realistic fiction, historical fiction, sci-fi, mystery, dystopian, and so on. 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 13-15, 2017. 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 comprehensive of his/her choosing. Cost: The contest is free and open to SCBWI Florida members only. Preliminary judges and finals judges are unpaid, and donate their time to the contest. Entry Deadline: October 15, 20016, 11:59 p.m. Preliminary Judging: October 15-31, 2016  Contest Judging: November 1-25, 2016   CONTEST RULES 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  Eligibility: Only unpublished and un-contracted manuscripts may be submitted.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. A manuscript which placed or received honorable mention in a previous Rising Kite Writing Contest may not be entered again. If your manuscript did not place or receive honorable mention, it may be entered again. NOTE: Each participant is limited to ONE ENTRY for the contest. Announcing winners: Winners will be announced at the SCBWI Florida Regional Conference in Miami, January 13-15, 2017. You do not have to be present to win. Notification will be emailed to winners following the conference. 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. An improperly formatted manuscript 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, Calibri, 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 upper-right corner the category you are entering—Picture Book Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, or Non- fiction. 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 October 15, 2016 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.   GUIDELINES FOR EACH CATEGORY: FICTION  Picture Book Picture Book—send complete manuscript, up to 10 pages, maximum of 850 words (no art). Middle Grade Novel Send the first chapter(s) up to 10 pages (no art). Optional for MG novels: Since the maximum number of pages you can submit is ten, you may choose 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 Send the first chapter(s) up to 10 pages (no art). Optional for YA novels: Since the maximum number of pages you can submit is ten, you may choose 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. NONFICTION 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. A longer work of non-fiction—send the first chapter(s) up to 10 pages (no art). If you’d like to include a synopsis, see the directions in Middle Grade Novel and/or Young Adult Novel. 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 with expertise in the genre.  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. Each 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.  RISING KITE ILLUSTRATION CONTEST 2017 GUIDELINES First Place Prize: Free Florida SCBWI Comprehensive First, Second, and Third Place: Create and post headliner banner for SCBWI Florida Region web page.* Entrants must be current Florida SCBWI members. One entry per person. Create a one page illustration (not a double spread) of final stage finished art in black and white or color using the text: For once, Ping kept up with the others. The page size should be 7.5 x 10 inches (vertical) or 10 x 7.5 inches (horizontal) Indicate crop marks. Bleed should be .25 in. if the art requires it. Leave space for the text,  but do not include it in your art. Submit a scan that is 300 dpi. File size should not exceed 9MB. Save the file as a Jpeg labeled as follows: first name_last name.jpg. File must be an attachment, not a link or in the body of the email.  Depending on your email browser, you may need to compress or "zip" your file.  (If you use Apple Mail, zip it.) Email entries to Linda Shute, at Florida-IC@scbwi.org, no later than midnight EST October 15, 2016. Entries will be scored on on a rubric for concept, design, content, and execution. Contestants’  rubrics will be emailed to them after the awards. Each entry will be evaluated by two judges and those scores averaged. An art director or agent on the January conference faculty will be the final judge, ranking the top scoring five, and present the awards at the Miami conference,  January 15, 2017. *Art subject to approval by the Regional Team. Length of time for art to be in headliner will be governed by announcement needs for that space.
  • FLORIDA & CANADA EAST INTER-CHAPTER MENTORSHIP PROGRAM Looking for one-on-one help from an expert?   You've come to the right place! SCBWI-Florida and SCBWI-Canada East have joined forces in creating a Mentor Program for SCBWI members to receive individualized help from more experienced writers and editors. The mentorship will last approximately no longer than six months. Deadlines will be determined once you are matched with your mentor. Click on the "meet your mentor" link below for a list of writers and editors you may choose from. How it works:   Picture Books/Nonfiction:   For manuscripts up to 3,000 words, you will pay $200 plus a $50 SCBWI administrative fee.   * If your manuscript is longer than 2,000 words, you will get two critiques and two Skype, Google Hangout, or phone sessions. * If your manuscript is 2,000 words or less, you will get four critiques of that manuscript and two Skype, Google Hangout, or phone sessions. Or you may add one additional manuscript, no longer than 2,000 words, and get two critiques and one Skype, Google Hangout, or phone sessions on each manuscript.   Novels/Nonfiction:   For novels and full-length nonfiction manuscripts, you will pay $4.00 per page plus a $50 SCBWI administrative fee. There is a $250 minimum charge for this category.   * The $4.00 per page fee will include the cost of two critiques and two Skype, Google Hangout, or phone sessions. * If the second pass of your manuscript is longer than the first one, you will pay an additional $4.00 per page for the extra pages that you added to the manuscript.   What you need to do if interested: Take a look at the Meet Your Mentors page and select your top two choices of mentor. Send the names you have chosen with one picture book manuscript, or five pages and a synopsis of your longer work to canadaeast@scbwi.org if you are seeking a Canadian mentor or florida-ra2@scbwi.org if you are seeking a U.S. mentor. Manuscripts must be in 12 pt. font and Times New Roman, with one-inch margins on all sides. You may separate your chapters by putting four spaces between them.   What will happen after you send in your manuscript:   If one of your chosen mentors is available, we will match the two of you up, and give you a deadline for sending your mentor the manuscript(s) (usually one month later).  At that time, if you are choosing a U.S. mentor, you will send your $50 administrative fee to Linda Bernfeld. (You will be sent the address through email.) You will send half your payment to your mentor, who will provide you his/her address.   If you are choosing a Canadian mentor, send your money to canadaeast@scbwi.org. If the code in front of your mentor's name reads "Canada," send your fee in Canadian dollars. If it reads "Canada-USD," send your fee in U.S. dollars.   Your mentor will return your manuscript(s) with his/her critique by a predetermined deadline date that is no more than three months later. Around that time, you will have your first Skype, Google Hangout, or phone session. You will then have two months to revise and send back your manuscript(s) to your mentor, and to make your final payment to your mentor. You will receive your final critique and Skype, Google Hangout, or phone session no later than one month after your manuscript has been returned to your mentor. (Those with more than one picture book may work out a schedule to accommodate the second critique.) If you have any questions about the Mentor Program, please email Dorian Cirrone or Linda Bernfeld in Florida, or Alma Fullerton or Michelle Jodoin in Canada.
  • SCBWI FLORIDA TAMPA BAY AREA MEMBERS Lorin Oberweger Starting with Focus and Impact: First Sentences, First Paragraphs, and First Pages August 13, 2016 2:00-4:00 p.m. Charles J. Fendig Library 3909 W. Neptune Street   Tampa, Florida 33629   First lines, first paragraphs, and first pages are powerful, not only to the reader but to the agent and editor who are deciding whether to read on, and, ultimately, whether to take you on as a client or acquire your manuscript. Where to start and how to convey the story promise, theme, and genre, how to imbue your text with voice from the first words, and how to create investment on the part of the reader—all of this can be tricky to execute well.   In this class, we’ll dig into your works-in-progress as well as highlight and deconstruct examples of successful firsts in published works. Bring your opening five pages (or entire picture book manuscript), and be prepared to put to work what you learn.   Lorin Oberweger is well known to Tampa Bay writers. Her company, Free Expressions, supports new and experienced writers with literary services that include editing, story development, ghost writing, and more. Free Expressions also produces some of the most sought after national seminars and workshops for both fiction and narrative nonfiction. An award-winning author, Lorin’s work has appeared in well over one-hundred periodicals. She has ghostwritten several critically acclaimed books for New York publishers, and—along with bestselling author Veronica Rossi—is the author of the novels BOOMERANG, REBOUND, and BOUNCE. Joyce Sweeney The Inciting Incident: The Intersection of Character and Plot September 10, 2016 2:00-4:00 p.m. Charles J. Fendig Library 3909 W. Neptune Street   Tampa, Florida 33629   Starting a story is often the hardest part.  Do you establish the main character or lead off with exciting action?  Focusing on the inciting event is a great way to remember that both are equally important.  This class will use examples from picture books to YA fiction to show how nothing is more exciting than a great character running head on into a potentially great story.  You are invited to bring in the first few chapters of their WIP or complete picture books to work on.   Dorian Cirrone MAKE IT NEW: Finding Inspiration in Classics and Pop Culture October 8, 2016 2:00-4:00 p.m. Charles J. Fendig Library 3909 W. Neptune Street   Tampa, Florida 33629 Dorian will lead us to examine how some authors use classic and pop culture material as inspiration for their novels and picture books, and guide us to study how to make the technique work for us. Come with a short list of your favorite fairy tales, myths, movies, classic novels, etc. Leave with a complete outline or “beat sheet” for a new work of your own. NEW MEETING LOCATION   Our meetings are moving to a new, more-central location—Charles J. Fendig Library. 3909 W. Neptune Street, Tampa, Florida 33629. If you exit on Dale Mabry heading toward Kennedy Boulevard and Neptune will be a few lights up, and the library will be to the right. (GPS it, but it’s easy to find.) The library has a small parking lot, with additional parking diagonally across the street (see map below). This is a small, neighborhood library that doesn’t host many events and they are thrilled to welcome us.                        
  • South Florida Upcoming Events August Meeting August 20th from 2-4pm West Boynton Beach Library Roll up your sleeves with fellow writers/authors and illustrators. We will prime the pumps, critique manuscripts, break down into groups, and closely examine our work. Allyson Levitt and Andrea Bevill will be running this meeting as a workshop using the tools Ann Whitford Paul spells out in her brilliant text, Writing Picture Books, and Donald Maass details in his transformative Writing the Breakout Novel and Workbook. Materials and assignments will be provided. Please just bring a couple PB manuscripts or a couple of chapters of works in progress. It is sure to be a wonderful day. Contact Allyson to let her know if you’re coming. All genres are welcome. Free for members, $10 for pre-members. Feb 6 -  Lorin Oberweger, Hagen Ranch Delray 2-4 Mar 19 - Laurie Friedman, West Boynton Beach Library on Jog 2-4 Apr 16 - April is for Authors group trip (Looking into Cathy Castelli teaching public speaking on April 9th) May 21 - Steven dos Santos  Jun 10-11 - 2016 Mid-Year Workshops at Disney World Jul 16 - Dorian Cirrone Aug 20 - Critique Workshop Sep 17 - Debbie Reed Fischer Oct 15 - PB author (TBA) Nov 19 - Marjetta Geerling Dec 17 - Joyce Sweeney
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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