March 28-30th was the weekend where creative minds met at Southern Breeze Spring Mingle 2014. It was my third time to attend the SCBWI conference locally here in Atlanta. Southern Breeze is the local chapter of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) which includes Alabama, Georgia and the panhandle of FL.
Friday was designated as Illustrator Day, but there was also an intensive offered on writing by Cheryl Klein. Illustrators Day included guest panelists and and speakers, Lucy Cummins, Cheryl Willis Hudson, Lorraine Joyner and Ruth Sanderson. I chose to take the Illustrator Day option as it is one of my favorite events every year. Illustrators display their portfolios and there are several speakers and panel sessions. There is always a mentor program set up for the first 12 illustrators to sign up. I tried but did not sign up in time to make it into the program this time but those that did enjoyed and benefited from their mentorship with Lorraine Joyner, art director with Peachtree Publishers. An illustration project is assigned and Ms. Joyner offered her help and expertise on implementing the project. Although I did not participate in the mentorship project at this conference I have at others and benefited greatly from the wonderful educational opportunity. During Illustrator Day, all the mentorees display their projects. During the last part of the day, the professional guest speakers and panelists give a 2 minute critique on each attendees illustration portfolio. This is my favorite part to not only have my own work critiqued by this board of professionals but to also hear their comments on other illustrators work. A cocktail party followed to celebrate the exhibition and display of the attendees illustration portfolios. Art directors were invited to attend.
The conference was continued Sunday morning with speackers, Lucy Ruth Cummin and Cheryl Klein. This was followed by a Q & A Panel with the faculty, door prizes and a farewell that brought a fabulous conference full of educational insight on writing and illustration books for children to a close. A PAL Meeting and Luncheon celebrated our book launching members, Robyn Hood Black, Poetry Friday , Elizabeth O. Dulemba, A Bird On Water Street, Krista Russell, The Other Side Of Free, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Anubis Speaks, Trisha Slay, Not So Long Ago, Not So Far Away and Susan Rosson Spain, The Deep Cut