Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

South Florida Meetings

South Florida SCBWI Events


Save the date for upcoming events! All meetings are on the 3rd Saturday of the month from 12:00 – 2:00 pm at the West Boca Library (see address below) unless otherwise stated. 

These are FREE for SCBWI members




Jonathan Rosen

A Laughing Matter:

Putting Humor into Your Writing

Saturday, March 23

10:30 am – 12:30 pm

West Boca Library


Whether you want to write a full-blown funny novel or just inject some comedic elements into your current work-in-progress, humor is an important ingredient in storytelling. Besides getting your reader to laugh, humor is a great way to release tension or tackle uncomfortable situations. Come and learn different techniques to start unleashing your inner-comic.

Bring something to write in, because you WILL be working! (Or at least some semblance of it)


I hope you’ll join us for lunch afterward at Villa Rosano: 9858 Clint Moore Road in Boca Raton #C-118 in the Reserve shopping center. It’s on the S.E. corner of Clint Moore and 441.

Go right out of the library make a u-turn at the light. It’ll be the first shopping center on the right side of the road. There’s no light at the 441 entrance (it’s directly after a light that leads to a community). If you miss it, make a right onto Clint Moore and then a right into the shopping center. It’s between Publix and Temper Grille. 

Gail Shepherd

What Are Your Characters Hiding from You?

Don’t Let Them Get Away with It!

Saturday, April 6

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

West Boca Library


In this session, we’ll explore deep characterization, and what happens when you begin, as author Yiyun Li says, to stare at your characters “for much longer than is comfortable for either of you.” Deep characterization requires authors to acknowledge that in some ways our characters are lying to us—like humans in real life, they may be projecting an image they would like the world to see, guarding their vulnerabilities, holding tight to their secrets. Becoming intimate with our characters on a deep level requires a bit of courage and a lot of persistence; we’ll have to look at them (and as is probably obvious, ourselves) with honesty and compassion. The reward? Unforgettable characters who leap off the page and inspire empathy. 

We’ll look at examples of deep characterization in kid and adult lit (including picture books), and experiment with a number of exercises that can help us unlock our characters to reveal what lies under the surface: character interviews, the “36 questions that lead to love,” future projections, and memory recall exercises. Participants should bring a work in progress or a story idea and have in mind two to three characters they’d like to get to know much better!



Gail Shepherd’s debut middle-grade novel, The True History of Lyndie B. Hawkins publishes March 26, 2019 from Kathy Dawson Books/Penguin. Gail received her creative M.A. from the University of Florida in poetry. She has written comic serial magazine stories, co-published her own biweekly newspaper, and worked extensively in the K-12 education industry, supporting teachers and schools. She’s a fourth generation Floridian on her mother’s side, and she lives in South Florida now with her little family and an awful lot of mosquitos. You can visit Gail online at and her Penguin Random House book page at

Joyce Sweeney

Know Yourself As a Writer

Saturday, May 18

12 pm – 2 pm

West Boca Library


One of the best ways I’ve found to see if an author/manuscript is “ready” is to assess the writer in four key areas: voice, plot, structure and concept.  If all four are high level, the book often grabs an agent and sells relatively quickly.  It’s my firm belief that all writers are born with one of these a guaranteed A.  But there’s also one area for most of us that’s a D.  And the other two fall somewhere in between.  So step one is to grade yourself and figure this out, and step two is to start studying how to bring up your grade where you need it most.  In this workshop we will use various questions and exercises to help you evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and get started on building the skills that are not yet strong enough.  



Joyce Sweeney is the author of fourteen novels for young adults and two chapbooks of poetry. She has also been a writing teacher and coach for 25 years. Recently Joyce has been working on an adult fantasy series about the Atlantis myth. The first book in this series is called The Secret Song. Joyce is represented by Nicole Resciniti of the Seymour agency. To learn more about Joyce, visit her website at:


June 7 – 8: Mid-Year Workshop in Orlando

July 20: Lorin Oberweger – Putting Poetry in Your Prose

August 17: Kerry O’Malley Cerra – Writing With Heart

September: Look for a Boot Camp near you. Locations and dates TBA.

October 26: Lynne Marie

November 16: Dianne Ochiltree


Contact Mindy Alyse Weiss to RSVP, if you have questions, or want to receive e-mail updates:


RSVPs are encouraged to help plan the meeting . . .

but nobody will be turned away at the door.


West Boca Library

18685 State Road 7    Boca Raton, FL 33498

On the west side of 441, between Yamato and Clint Moore

I hope you’ll hang out with us after the Boca Raton meetings at Panera Bread in the Mission Bay Plaza on the N.W. corner of Glades and 441: 20437 State Road 7, Boca Raton, FL 33498. It’s near Glades Road, a little to the right of Office Max.