•   Candice Ransom has spent more than 30 years as a writer, and teaches writing for children in the Hollins University post-graduate Children's Literature program. Her published work ranges from board books to biography, picture books to historical fiction, chapter books to young adult romance, and has received School Library Journal Starred Reviews. Her work has also been named among ALA Recommended Books for Reluctant Readers, New York Times 10 Best Illustrated Books, Best Science Books, CBC Notable Children’s Social Studies Books, Pick of the List, New York Public Library Best 100 Books, Book-of-the-Month Club,Virginia Young Readers List, Show Me State Readers List, Prairie State Readers List, Sunshine State Readers List, Smithsonian Notable Book, Northern California Librarians Distinguished Book, IRA Children’s Choice, IRA Teacher’s Choice, Independent Publisher, Silver Medal winner, Independent Publisher Honorable Mention, William Allen White Master List, and Texas Bluebonnet Master List.   Her latest books include the well-received Iva Honeysuckle Discovers the World and its sequel, Iva Honeysuckle Meets her Match, and Rebel McKenzie, 2013 Children's Choice Nominee and 2014 Texas Bluebonnet Award Nominee.   Visit Candice online at www.candiceransome.com   Candice will also be teaching an intensive:  “From Peanut Butter to Plot: Writing Chapter Books and Middle-Grade Novels” Middle grade fiction is hot right now and you are ready to jump in the pool. Will you wade gently into the shallow end of chapter books? Paddle to the ropes mid-way, the safe, lapping waters of fiction for 8 to 12-year-olds? Or dive into the deep end of “tween” or “smart” mid-grade novels? During this all day intensive, we will establish the shades of differences in middle-grade fiction based on publisher’s classifications, audience, and where and how your story fits in. We’ll discuss the Big Idea in the latest middle grade novels, and sub-categories such as historical fiction, science fiction, and fantasy (in or out?). Then we’ll delve into character and plot, key elements in middle grade books. We’ll work through exercises to fine-tune those elements. During the second half of the intensive, we’ll develop place in our stories. We’ll learn how to make common middle grade settings (school, soccer field, backyard, home) stand out from the sea of current mid-grade fiction. We’ll strengthen both character and plot through place-based exercises such as mapping. We’ll break into small groups and work as writers, as editors, and as ten-year-olds. You’ll walk out with a plan for your novel, no matter what stage it is in, and the tools to write the next Charlotte's Web!  
  •   R. Gregory Christie has illustrated more than 50 children's books and not only works as an illustrator, but owns Gas Art Gifts, an autographed children’s bookstore and art school in Decatur, Georgia. He is a two time recipient of the New York Times 10 Best Illustrated Children's Books of the year Award, the Boston Globe's Horn Book Award, the NAACP's Image Award, Once Upon a World Children's Book Award from the Museum of Tolerance, and a three time winner of the Coretta Scott King Honor Award for illustration. His artwork has been featured on both HBO kids and PBS Between the Lions. In addition to his illustrations for children's books, he is the designer of the United States Post Office’s 2013 "Kwanzaa Forever" stamp, and the artist for the New Orleans Congo Square 2013 Jazz fest poster. He was also a featured artist on New York City’s subway cars for all of 2012, and he has also worked with The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Vibe, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Kennedy Center, Pete Seeger, Queen Latifah, and Karyn Parsons on a variety of projects. YOU CAN REGISTER FOR THE ILLUSTRATOR INTENSIVE ONLY! Go to the wik14 registration page and click the ticket for the intensive only. Illustrators' Intensive Assignment:  For the Illustrators' Intensive, Illustrators should bring the media that best suits their style and comfort level, water based paints and illustration board are preferred. We will have tables set up, but if you want to bring an easel, that would be fine. Greg recommends reading is "The Art of Perspective: The Ultimate Guide for Artists in Every Medium" Phil Metzger, and Elizabeth Dulemba's and Katie Davis' blogs to get a sense of social media as tool for promotion.   Prior to the intensive, illustrators should create a character in it's space. (Anything that moves through magic, science or biology but it needs to be connected to it's environment). As you create this image, keep in mind that you are painting this for adults as well as children, so it needs a balance of sophistication and marketing appeal to make the viewer want to care. Visit Gregorie at Gas-art.com and follow him @gasartgifts
  • Ruta Rimas Editor, Margaret K. McElderry, S & S Ruta acquires picture books, middle-grade fiction and nonfiction, and teen fiction for the Margaret K. McElderry imprint at Simon & Schuster. She’s had the honor of working with some of the most talented in the industry including Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Oliver Stone, Jim Averbeck, Kimberly Derting, Dan Wells, Sarah Fine, Lisa Fiedler, and Brendan Kiely. Ruta loves books that challenge our preconceived notions of the world. wik14 Speaker
  • Bethany Strout is an Associate Editor at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Her edited titles include The Prince of Venice Beach by Blake Nelson; Sure Signs of Crazy by Karen Harrington; and Violet and Victor Write Best-Ever Bookworm Book by Alice Kuipers, illustrated by Bethanie Murguia. Prior to joining LBYR in 2010, Bethany worked at her local library, The University of Chicago Press, and the literary agency, Writers House. Follow her @BethanyStrout.
  • Agent Courtney Miller-Callihan began her career in publishing at Random House before joining Sanford J. Greenburger Associates in 2005. She works closely with authors to help them reach their full creative and commercial potential, and is especially drawn to middle-grade and YA fiction with voices that jump off the page. Courtney is passionate about growing writers’ careers, and is always looking for clients who feel that they have a lot of great stories to share with the world. Courtney holds a B.A. in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a M.A. in English from The Johns Hopkins University.
  • Jodell is the author of the Pacing Picture Books to Wow! Craft Picture Book Magic, Be Original, Love Writing, and Get Published (working title). She earned her MFA in Writing for Children & YA from Hamline University, 2009, works as an adjunct and English Teacher, and jumped into agenting in 2012 and loves it. She hosts Picture Book Pacing, Editing, and Avoiding Burnout tutorials with Writer’s Digest and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI). For more, please visit http:/www.sadlercreativeliterary.com or twitter @SadlerLiterary or follow #PacingPB.  
  • Lou Anders Editorial Director, Pyr Books and award-winning author wik14 Speaker Lou's research on Norse mythology turned into a love affair with Viking culture, culminating in a first visit to Norway while working on the final draft of Frostborn, the middle reader fantasy, book one in the Thrones and Bones series. Lou is also a Hugo Award winning editor and a Chesley Award winning art director. Anders has published over 500 articles and stories on science fiction and fantasy television and literature. Visit Anders online at louanders.com, ThronesandBones.com, Facebook, louanders.tumblr.com, and  @ThronesandBones.
Welcome to Southern Breeze


Writing and Illustrating for Kids (wik14)

October 10-11


Click here: wik14 Brochure to get all the details

Click here for the wik14 registration page

Fabulous sessions with faculty pictured above, plus: 

Writing Intensive with Candice Ransom

author of over 100 books

Illustration Intensive with illustrator 

R. Gregory Christie

three time winner of Coretta Scott King Award

(Click on Greg's name to see his bio and pre-intensive assignment!)