Hi everyone! I’ve heard so many raves about the Regional Conference in Miami, and can’t wait for the Mid-Year Workshop in Orlando on June 10 – 11th, 2016 at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel.
Details and registration info will be up on our website soon. In the meantime, here's a peek at what's in store:
NEW!!!!! TWO-DAY COMPREHENSIVE
Novel Comprehensive: Presented by award-winning author JONATHAN MABERRY and editor/author LORIN OBERWEGER. This comprehensive will be held on Friday and Saturday of the conference.
Picture Book Comprehensive: Presented by award-winning author/illustrator JIM AVERBECK and agent TRACEY ADAMS.
Illustrator Comprehensive: Presented by award-winning author/illustrator DAN SANTAT and creative director at Abrams Books CHAD BECKERMAN.
Picture Book: Presented by art director at S&S Books for Young Readers and author/illustrator LAURENT LINN, author/illustrator FRED KOEHLER, and an editor TBA.
Middle Grade: Presented by award-winning author/illustrator JIM AVERBECK, award-winning author LINDA SUE PARK, and an editor TBA.
Young Adult: Presented by author MARTHA BROCKENBROUGH and agent Josh Adams.
Graphic Novel: Presented by award-winning author/illustrator DAN SANTAT, award-winning author/illustrator JARRETT KROSOCZKA, and creative director at Abrams Books CHAD BECKERMAN.
Chapter Book: Presented by author/editor and SCBWI board member BONNIE BADER and best-selling author NANCY KRULIK.
We’re lucky to have so many free SCBWI regional events, thanks to the money we make during the Elixir Mixer. We hope you’ll join us to mingle and bid on amazing items on Friday, June 10th. You’re welcome to attend The Elixir Mixer, even if you aren’t able to participate in the Orlando Workshop.
Please consider donating to the Elixir Mixer! Contact Larissa Hardesty: email@example.com. Art and handmade items are always popular. So are writing classes, book trailers, critiques, etc. Help us earn the funds needed to have even more free SCBWI events throughout Florida.
The Florida-East Canada SCBWI Mentorship Program has gotten off to a great start! Now that it's a year-round program, members may sign up at any time.
Check out our Facebook page—you’ll find tons of helpful info there, and it’s a great place to hang out with other Florida SCBWI members, ask questions, and participate in discussions. Make sure you join our group, so you’ll get up-to-date info in your feed. Follow scbwiflevents on Twitter for the latest conference news and info. You can also find us on the SCBWI Blueboard (along with many helpful discussions about children’s publishing). Make sure you sign onto www.SCBWI.org with your member password, and you'll automatically be able to access the Blueboard by clicking any of the Discussion Board or Blueboard links.
TAMPA BAY AREA MEMBERS
Rob Sanders sends out info about events and shouts out good news for members in your area. Send him an e-mail to be placed on his mailing list: SROBERT262@aol.com
TAMPA BAY AREA WRITERS MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
March 5, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
TOMIE DePAOLA MASTER CLASS on DVD
On Creating the Picture Book
Jimmy B. Keel Public Library
April 2, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Writing Your Truth–The Story Only You Can Tell
Bloomingdale Public Library
May (Date TBD)
Writing Close to the Bone–Will Verse Work for Your Story?
Jimmie B. Keel Public Library
Monday, March 28 at 7:00 p.m at Inkwood Books
216 S. Armenia Ave. Tampa, FL
Greg invites everyone to his meet and greet and signing of TRU AND NELLE, a novel based on the true-life friendship of Truman Capote and Nelle Harper Lee.
SOUTH FLORIDA MEMBERS
We’ve been lucky to have several awesome workshops at the Hagen Ranch library in Delray Beach, and SCBWI FL South Florida Area Coordinator, Allyson Levitt has many more planned. These are FREE for SCBWI members! Contact Allyson if you have any questions or want more information about these events: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out this awesome article that appeared in the Palm Beach Post! It was written by Faran Fagen about our South Florida workshops, and features several familiar SCBWI FL names.
Featured Speaker- Laurie Baim Friedman
March 19, 2016 2-4pm
West Boynton Beach Library on Jog Rd.
Back to Basics: The Nuts and Bolts of Creating a Winning Picture Book
Getting a picture book published in today's competitive market is no easy feat. With more and more authors joining the field and increasing numbers of publishers internally sourcing their work, Laurie believes it is more important than ever to have a fundamental understanding of what makes a picture book work. Join author Laurie Friedman for a workshop focused on the basics of creating a great picture book. Topics she will cover include: The Six Steps of Creating a Picture Book, The Five Steps of Story Arc, and How to Write A Hook That Sells. Bring pen and paper and all your questions, and come for an afternoon of fun and learning!
Laurie Friedman is the author of over 45 critically acclaimed picture books, chapter books and novels for children. She conducts writing workshops and speaks at schools across the country, and has presented at many literary conferences including ALA, NCTE, SCBWI and IRA. She has critiqued manuscripts at Florida SCBWI conferences for many years and loves helping other writers shape and sell their stories.
CRITIQUE GROUP CORNER
Check out all the active SCBWI FL critique groups on our website! You can contact the leader directly, or e-mail me questions about joining or forming a local critique group. I’m here to help! Shoot me a message or fill in the form at the bottom of the newsletter and send it to me. If you’re interested in an online critique group, let me know and I’ll see if we have any openings for you or if I can help you start a new online group.
I’d love to see every SCBWI FL member in at least one incredible, active critique group! Contact me with any group updates, questions, or to start a group in your area: Mindyaweiss@yahoo.com.
Here are some critique groups that are new or actively looking for new members.
NEW ONLINE PB GROUP LOOKING FOR MEMBERS!
SCBWI SoFL PB Critique Group is actively looking for members for their online group. This group will have up to 8 members and submit via a private Facebook page. E-mail group leader Allyson Levitt for more details: email@example.com
TAMPA GROUP FOR NEW PICTURE BOOK WRITERS!
Picture Books-R-Us is a new group led by Rob Sanders. It meets at Barnes & Noble, Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, FL on the first Wednesday of each month. This is a by-invitation-only group. The group is designed for writers who are new in their picture book writing journey. Feel free to contact Rob since new members are added from time to time: firstname.lastname@example.org
TAMPA AREA GROUP FOR PICTURE BOOKS
Rob Sanders heard that several picture book folks in the Tampa Bay area are looking for a critique group. If he can get a list of names of interested people, he’ll help you get organized and start a new group. Rob won't be able to stay with the group, but he’ll get you up and running. If interested, send him an e-mail: email@example.com
CENTRAL BREVARD CRITIQUE GROUP
This is a brand new and much needed group. It meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month. 5pm to 7pm in the cafe of Books A Million, Viera. 2251 Town Center Ave # 109, Melbourne, FL 32940. The focus is MG and YA, but picture books are also welcome. For more info, contact Cath Rathbone: firstname.lastname@example.org (352) 209 0293
This much needed Sarasota group for PB through YA recently started and already has five active members! They’re still looking for more members, though. They meet at Barnes and Noble (4010 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34231) the first Tuesday of every month from 6-8pm. If you’re interested, contact Andrea Bevill: email@example.com
WINTER HAVEN CRITIQUE GROUP
This new group for picture books through YA is forming now! It will meet once or twice a month in or around Winter Haven, Florida. Interested writers should contact Maureen Bradford so we can decide on a day/days and time: Please call 863-875-6074 or email; firstname.lastname@example.org. As critiquing is so important, this group will strive to critique each others work each time it meets and also share current writing articles plus online websites and webinars.
SCBWI SOFLA RISING TIDES
This new group is somewhat flexible with the dates and times. It’s for PB, MG, YA also welcome. It will meet either at Barnes and Noble in Plantation or possibly start out meeting at Lynne’s home on Monday or Wednesday Afternoons by Appointment Only. For more info, contact Lynne Marie (www.lynnemarie.com). LiterallyLynneMarie@Gmail.com, 754-201-1844 (Rings Home & Cell), 631-838-5300 Text, Cell.
FAT CAT FICTION – LEON COUNTY
This group for MG and YA is just starting! It will meet twice a month, if possible. Each member will email a chapter to the other members of the group at least two weeks before the meeting. Members will read and critique (guidelines will be provided) the work and each piece will be discussed at the meeting. Contact Amy K Mann soon, so you can help decide when and where this group will meet: 850-339-9189, email@example.com.
ESCAMBIA, SANTA ROSA & OKALOOSA COUNTY GROUP (IN NW FL)
We’ve desperately needed a group here, and I’m so glad one is starting now. The Emerald Coast SCBWI Critique Group will meet once a month at a selected venue in the area. Eblasts, blog and FB group will have postings to let group know dates and times. This group is for picture books and middle grade novels–all children’s book writers and illustrators are welcome. For more information, contact Carla Klosowski: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
VOLUSIA COUNTY CRITIQUE GROUP
This established MG/YA critique group is seeking additional members. It meets on Thursdays at 12:15 at the Village Cafe in DeLand (1431 Orange Camp Road––that’s about one-half mile from Exit 16 on I-4, part of the Victoria Park shops on the left) on the first and third Thursdays of each month. They submit 10-12 pages by e-mail at least three days before meetings and bring critiques in hard copy for the meeting. If you’re interested in joining this group, contact Elizabeth Vollstadt: firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Literary Agent: Molly O'Neill, former Editor at HarperCollins, looking for YA and MG, and select picture book illustrators or author-illustrators.
New Literary Agent Alert: Stephanie Fretwell-Hill of Red Fox Literary. Here’s a second link—this one is from a Red Fox Literary press release.
Agent Kathleen Rushall has joined the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. She is actively seeking new clients and is open to queries. When it comes to picture books, Kathleen has a soft spot for quirky, character driven stories with heart; softer, lyrical picture books; and new takes on classic tales. She is also actively building her list of nonfiction picture books. Kathleen is also looking for fresh middle grade voices across all genres. She has a soft spot for emotional and uplifting stories as well as humorous contemporary with a relatable, memorable voice. She's also interested in middle grade fantasy, adventure, historical, or fast paced story with a twist of magic.
WRITING CHALLENGES, CONTESTS & GRANTS
Red Light, Green Light has already started, but you can hop into the game any time a round is open and get a little bit of free feedback on your manuscript (you send the first 125 words and then if you get a green light, you send the next 250 words for that round and any other green light round).
Get your manuscript ready for the SCBWI Work-In-Progress Grant! Send your application in between March 1 and March 31, 2016. Here are the categories:
-Picture Book Text
-Chapter Books/Early Readers
-Young Adult Fiction
-Multicultural Fiction or Nonfiction
Requirements for published illustrators: A rough picture book dummy that includes the entire text of the story and two finished illustrations. The dummy should show your ability to convey the mood of the story, show action, illuminate characterization and indicate an understanding of story pacing.
Requirements for pre-published illustrators: Ten finished illustrations that would make a suitable portfolio presentation expressly intended for children’s picture books. At least 8 illustrations must be in color. Images provided should represent your personal illustration style. Or a rough picture book dummy that includes the entire text of the story and two finished illustrations. The dummy should show your ability to convey the mood of the story, show action, illuminate characterization and indicate an understanding of story pacing.
RefoReMo (Read for Research Month)
Read to research for your picture books from March 1-31 with Carrie Charley Brown
If you’re a picture book writer (or want some inspiration to start writing them), get your ideas ready for NaPiBoWriWee—National Picture Book Writing Week). It runs May 1 – 7, 2016, so you have plenty of time to flesh out those ideas, work on character sketches, etc. Before I started this fun challenge, I often worked on revising older manuscripts way more than writing new ones. It’s amazing to have at least seven brand new manuscript drafts by the end of this challenge! Plus, there’s daily motivation, great blog posts, and prizes, too! There’s also a Facebook group where we cheer each other on during the challenge.
PICTURE BOOK CATEGORY
Honorable Mention/6th Place—Picture Books
GAA-ZANGA! CHARLIE’S CRAZY HAIR DAY by Lorelei J. Polden
Honorable Mention/5th Place—Picture Books
HENRY WINGS IT by Norma Davids
Honorable Mention/4th Place—Picture Books
FRIGGARD GETS RE-FROGGED by Stephanie Salkin
3rd Place—Picture Books
CORBETT GETS LEFT ALONE, TOGETHER by Thomas Johnson
2nd Place—Picture Books
FINLEY’S MAGICAL BLINKING ADVENTURE by B.J. Lee (Beverly J. Sweetman)
1st Place—Picture Books
CINDERGORILLA by Jude Mandell
MIDDLE GRADE CATEGORY
Honorable Mention/6th Place
GABRIEL TOWERS AND THE OBSIDIAN DOOR by Matthew G. Tinley
Honorable Mention/5th Place
DIFFERENT by Janet McLaughlin
Honorable Mention/4th Place
BUDDY AND THE BIG BAD WOLF by Ann Meier
3rd Place—Middle Grade
THE DOLPHIN NEXUS by Jennye Kamin
2nd Place—Middle Grade
THE MIGRATIONS OF PATTYCAKE MCGHEE by Ann Morrow
1st Place—Middle Grade
ITCH by Lorin Oberweger
YOUNG ADULT CATEGORY
Honorable Mention/5th Place—Young Adult
SOLD MY SOUL TO ROCK AND ROLL by Jodi Lyn Turchin
Honorable Mention/4th Place—Young Adult
FOUL PLAY by Faran Fagen
3rd Place—Young Adult
TRAPPED ON OCKOR by Jane Ellen Freeman
2nd Place—Young Adult
HEADBANGER by Tori Kelley
1st Place—Young Adult
COLLIDING SKIES by Debbie Koristz
2016 SCBWI FL Rising Kite Illustration Winners
The prompt was: the prompt: "Sam was smallest of all, and that could be handy."
1st place: Daniel Blik
2nd place: Katy Betz
3rd place: Zebo Ludvicek
Honorable mention: Angel Alvarez
Honorable mention: Steve Asbell
Congratulations to all the winners of both the writing and illustration contests, and a huge thanks to all participants, judges and organizers.
FANTASTIC ARTICLES, BLOGS, AND WEBSITES
I’d love to highlight YOUR success story in future issues. It’s always inspiring to see how magical moments happened for other Florida members. And it’s great to cheer our fellow writers and illustrators on! So don’t forget to send me your great news…and let me know if you’d like to share your FL SCBWI Success Story.
SCBWI FL Success Story
Crystal Kite Winner
Thanks so much for asking me to write a column for the newsletter about winning the Crystal Kite Award. Obviously the award comes from SCBWI, so that in itself is a success story–but truly, it goes much deeper. When I attended my first Florida conference ten years ago, I certainly never dreamed I'd be in this position now, and yet with the networking, support, and workshops that our chapter provides us with, I'm not really surprised that the last three winners of this regional award have all come from Florida. Linda does a fantastic job of providing the necessary tools for each of us to advance significantly in our writing careers, and I, for sure, am a testament to that.
So how did it happen? Like all SCBWI members with a book published the previous year, Just a Drop of Water was eligible and I was definitely aware of that. But it was in the running with so many other fantastic books. Books written by some of the writers I most admire. I tried to put the whole "competition" thing out of my head because all along my goal in attending SCBWI events was to just get published, and I'd done that.
When I ended up getting an email from Lin Oliver (I think it was sometime in May because my Mom was in town for my son's graduation), well, I can't even begin to describe the emotion. Not only did the book win an award, but it won an award that was voted on by other authors. Voted on by people who truly grasp the struggles that go along with publication, and voted on by people who are professionally critical of writing by nature. As a kid, I struggled tremendously with not feeling smart–in fact, I still struggle with this. So getting that validation from fellow authors was, perhaps, the first time I fully felt like the book was not a sham. That it might actually be good. I know this sounds weird, given that it had been bought to begin with and had received good trade reviews, but for some reason, winning this award made me finally feel confident in my writing ability.
I appreciate all of you who have embraced my book–a tough book, about a tough topic that I intended to be historical fiction, and yet sadly its content is still all too relevant today.
As a former high school social studies teacher, history is my passion. But born with a hearing loss that has progressively gotten worse, I eventually reached the point where I could no longer understand my students in the classroom. I could hear them asking questions, but couldn’t decipher the words. Hearing aids allowed for an increase in volume, but didn’t help at all with clarity. I knew it was time for me to leave the profession, and it crushed me. Writing wasn’t something I planned to do, but it filled my time when my kids were napping, and when the storyline for this book came to me, I was excited because I knew it was a way for me to hopefully remain in classrooms across the country. As a teacher, I'd loved being able to reach students in an intimate classroom setting, to discuss worldly topics and hear their views of current events. And yet, I was never one to speak out on a large scale. It meant opening up my private life, letting people see the real me, and if I'm being honest, it allowed for potential ridicule that might put me back in that terrible position of again feeling stupid. But writing the book was a way for me to still talk about subjects I was passionate about—friendship, loyalty, social justice, and the courage to stand up for what you believe is right. And in writing this and putting my words out there for the world to read, I summoned my own courage that allowed me to finally speak out…publicly.
I'm glad I took that risk, and I'm honored the book won this award. It's exciting to know that Just a Drop of Water has been picked up by schools around the country and that teachers are using it to encourage meaningful and important discussions. That teachers are using this book to engage the minds of kids who haven’t really formed their own solid opinions about the world yet. It's incredibly touching to know that my book is reaching classrooms, even when I no longer can.
Thank you for loving the book. For voting for it. For being awesome SCBWI friends. I’m so, so grateful.
Thanks for sharing your great news and inspiring story with us, Kerry. This was so beautiful and from the heart that I teared up!
MORE GREAT NEWS FOR OUR MEMBERS
Huge congrats to Larissa Hardesty for her book deal and recently signing with an agent. Here’s the official announcement: Larissa Hardesty's THAT SUCCS, in which a teen girl is thrust into an ancient supernatural battle after her first kiss only to realize that her mother, best friend, and object of her affection all have a stake in whether or not there will be a second kiss, to Georgia McBride of Month9Books, for publication in 2017, by Travis Pennington of The Knight Agency (World).
Sheila Renfro had her story, THE BUTTERFLY SWIMMER, published in Bedtime-story ezine at: http://www.the-office.com/bedtime-story/bswim.htm. Huge congrats, Sheila!
Leslie Santamaria is thrilled to announce that she signed with agent Liza Fleissig of the Liza Royce Agency early in February for The Secret Detectives of Recess, a chapter book.
WHAT’S THE STORY?
Having Fun Writing Children’s Books
5 week workshop with Gloria Rothstein
Tuesdays, 7:00 ~ 9:00 pm
March 1st ~ April 5th (No class March 22nd)
Whether you’re writing for teens, tweens, or the six and under crowd, bring your work-in-progress to this hands-on workshop. Participate in manuscript critiques and book discussions. Focus on sharing first sentences, first pages, and first chapters. Learn more about the children’s market and the importance of hooking readers.
Sugar Sand Park Community Center
300 South Military Trail Boca Raton, Florida 33486
Adults, Ages 19 and up
Residents: $115 * Non-residents: $143.75
**I used to scroll through Facebook trying to gather all the good news for our members, but haven’t had much time and feel awful about missing celebrations with many of you. PLEASE send me your good news for PAL books and magazines, book signings, awards, signing with an agent, etc. It helps if you paste it into an e-mail with any links I’ll need: Mindyaweiss@yahoo.com. You’ve all worked so hard, and I absolutely love sharing your writing and illustrating milestones. I hope to hear from you soon!
Mindy Alyse Weiss
SCBWI FL Newsletter Editor and Critique Group Coordinator
HERE ARE THE CRITIQUE GROUP FORMS!
This first form is for critique group leaders to fill out, and it will be used to update our website.
FL SCBWI Critique Group Form
Date this form was submitted:
When, where, and how often the group meets:
Members in group:
Open to new members?
*If not open to new members, what can people do to be put on a waiting list? (You can allow them to come as a guest, e-mail a writing or illustration sample, etc.)
What to bring to meetings:
This next form is for anyone who would like to join a local critique group.
Interested in Joining a Local Critique Group
County and city:
Genre/s you write:
When are you available for meetings?
If there are no open groups that fit your needs near you, would you be interested in starting one?
Would you be interested in an online critique group?
And here is the form to fill out if you’re interested in starting an online critique group (if the groups mentioned online are full, I’d love to help you start an amazing new group).
Online Critique Group Form (Online leaders fill this out)
Date this form was submitted:
What do you send the group and how often do you submit?
When are critiques due?
Do you submit via e-mail, forum, Facebook group, Yahoo, etc?
Number of members in group:
Open to New Members?
*If group is closed to new members, is there a way to be placed on a waiting list?
Range of group’s experiences: (can say something like newbies to published, intermediate, etc.):