• Neal Porter has been in and around the children’s book publishing industry for more than 30 years, holding marketing, editorial, or executive positions at houses such as Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Atheneum, Orchard, Dorling Kindersley, and Walker Books UK. In 2000 he decided to step away from administration and focus exclusively on editing. That year he helped to found Roaring Brook Press, now an imprint of the Macmillan Children’s Book Group, where he is publisher of Neal Porter Books. Authors and illustrators he has worked with include Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Philip C. and Erin E. Stead, Yuyi Morales, Nick Bruel, Betsy and Ted Lewin, Antoinette Portis, and Jason Chin. Books he has edited have won numerous awards including the Caldecott Medal, three Caldecott Honors, two Theodore Geisel Honors, two Seibert Honors, the Coretta Scott King Award for illustration, two Pura Belpré awards, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, two Orbis Pictus Awards,and over 30 ALA Notable Citations. In his presentation for Illustrators Day, "How I Choose an Illustrator / How you Find a Publisher," Neal Porter will share tales and tips on how to make your work appealing and visible to gatekeepers of the daunting, and often infuriating world of children’s book publishing. His keynote presentation for Springmingle is "Everything Old is New Again: Traditional picture books in a digital age": Much of publishing has moved to the digital realm, with the notable exception of hardcover picture books, still going strong in an era of kindles and ipads.Despite astonishing advance in technology, no platform has come along that delivers “the goods” as efficiently and effectively as paper and print. Join Neal Porter in an in depth look at visual storytelling and learn how character development,story structure, and the almighty page turn still matter in a time of everdecreasing attention spans. His breakout session at Springmingle is"The Art and Craft of Picture Books: Three Case Studies" in which Neal discusses three examples of picture book making--what worked, what didn’t and why. Neal Porter Books on Facebook Neal Porter interview in THE HORNBOOK Macmillan Children's books  
  • Elise Howard is the publisher of Algonquin Young Readers, which releases a dozen middle-grade and young adult books a year. Previously, Elise oversaw fiction publishing at HarperCollins. She started her career as a book packager, creating middle-grade and YA fiction series. At Avon Books, she launched the first teen trade paperback imprint. Elise has edited many award-winning books, include the Newbery Medal winner The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman. Elise's keynote presentation is "The Small House Difference." While consolidation of the largest publishing houses continues, there are many smaller, independent houses to consider when submitting your work – some with long histories, others new to the industry. Using Algonquin Young Readers as my primary example, I’ll talk about key similarities and differences in publishing at a small versus a large house and what to consider when submitting.   Her breakout session is "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Working with An Editor But Were Afraid To Ask." This interactive session will begin with a few of my favorite stories about the editor/author relationship -- maybe the most uniquely intimate professional one you’ll ever have. We’ll address how to handle all kinds of situations – ones you’re in the middle of or ones you’re just imagining you may one day face, from submission to publication and beyond. Bring questions!   http://algonquinyoungreaders.com/ follow Elise on twitter: @thatelisehoward  
  • Meg Medina's work examines how cultures intersect through the eyes of young people. Her books are: Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, winner of the 2014 Pura Belpré medal; Tia Isa Wants a Car, winner of the 2012 Ezra Jack Keats award; The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind, Milagros   Writers’ Intensive with Meg Medina: Mining for Stories: Every story you will ever write is already waiting inside of you. Join Meg Medina as she leads you through exercises to access your memories and find your authentic voice, story lines, and characters. Please come prepared with a journal, glue stick, old magazine, and scissors – all to help us produce a personal ‘zine. Meg's Keynote at Springmingle, Writing La Vida Loca: On Writing, Culture, and Children’s Fiction. discusses cultural identity and writing fiction for young readers at a time when diverse children’s literature is critically needed. Her breakout session, Marketing With Meaning,look at your platform! Facebook! Twitter! blog! Marketing can drain your precious writing time and leave you wondering how authors find the time to be authors. Meg Medina discusses how to restructure your marketing vision to keep you focused and sane.   http://megmedina.com/
  • Bill Mayer, a renowned illustrator of exceptional talent and infectious good humor,graduated from Ringling College of Art where he met and married his wife Lee in 1972. His clientele includes most of the Fortune Five Hundred companies in the free world.With an ability to satisfy a varied range of business sectors, Bill works in illustration, advertising, design, character development, editorial, and consulting. He has won hundreds of national and international awards, reflecting his unique talents. At Illustrator Day, Bill will present "Life Imitates Art." An award-winning illustrator, Bill Mayer will show how he keeps a sense of freshness in your work through experimentation. A sometimes risqué look inside the head of an illustrator through sketchbooks and personal work will give insight as to how we all make giant leaps in creativity through our personal endeavors. This presentation will probably leave you with the impression this guy should definitely be institutionalized.   http://www.thebillmayer.com/ Online Illustration portfolio: http://www.workbook.com/portfolios/mayer Blog: www.drawger.com/BillMayer More about Bill  
  • Karen Grencik became a literary agent because of a man she admired. She wanted the world to know his life story, so she set out to make that happen. Double Luck, Memoirs of a Chinese Orphan, written by Lu Chi Fa with Becky White, went on to win The Parents’ Choice Gold Award for Best Nonfiction. Karen had found her passion in life and hasn’t looked back. In June 2011 Karen joined forces with ex-Random House editor Abigail Samoun to open Red Fox Literary, LLC. She currently represents both fiction and nonfiction children’s books for all ages. Karen was one of the top-selling children’s book agents in 2013. Karen's Keynote presentation is "How to Succeed in this Challenging Industry." Learn how to make the most of your conference experiences. Hear real stories of how connections made at SCBWI conferences have led to successful book deals. Learn the attitude and attributes that agents and editors look for in choosing the authors and illustrators with whom they work. Karen's breakout session is "101+ Reasons for Rejection." In this breakout session, we will cover the most common reasons for rejection and look at examples of real manuscripts and rejection letters. The handout gives actual reasons for rejection, which is not to discourage one but to show the in-depth analysis that each manuscript undergoes. By being aware of these examples,hopefully you can eliminate a few of the possible reasons for rejection before making your submissions. http://redfoxliterary.com/aboutus.html
  • Mentorship: Loraine Joyner, Art Director for Peachtree Publishers will mentor 12 of our early registrants for an additional $45.      Loraine will assign a project and work closely with participants on honing their artwork, creating consistent characters, and illustrating a picture book layout. This is an fantastic opportunity to work one-on-one with one of the most experienced Art Directors in the business. Slots will fill quickly, and assignment deadlines come early, so register now! Check out the mentorship assignment Additional fee
  • Giuseppe Castellano is an award-winning Designer, Illustrator, and Art Director at Penguin Random House; with over sixteen years of book publishing experience. He oversees the imprints of Grosset & Dunlap, Price Stern Sloan, Frederick Warne and Co., the Penguin Young Readers, and Cartoon Network Books. Read more from Giuseppe, including his popular #arttips seriesfor illustrators,on Twitter: @pinocastellano.   In his presentation for Illustrators' Day, "A Children’s Book Art Department: An Inside Look," he shares insights from the five imprints he oversees at Penguin Young Readers Group. He’ll discuss what his art department looks for in illustrators; and what methods he uses to find them. The segment will also cover best practices in being a freelance illustrator. Attendees will gain a deeper insight into the day-to-day inner workings of a children’s book art department. In his keynote presentation for Springmingle, Just Start: “The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started,” he points out that the hardest part to any creative endeavor is starting it. In this keynote address, attendees will hear how some of the greats got their start. Whether you’re starting something as grand and undefinable as “becoming an illustrator”; or something more focused like writing that book you have in your head, Giuseppe will discuss the simple steps to simply getting started. Bring your sketchbooks. Participation is required. In his breakout session, "A Conversation with an Art Director," attendees will engage in a more focused discussion about illustration. During the session, he will conduct a “first look” in which Giuseppe will review and critique up to three pieces per attendee. Bring your sketchbooks and your questions! The conversation doesn’t end when the workshop does. Continue the conversation with Giuseppe, and read his popular #arttips series on Twitter: @pinocastellano.   Online Post about the AD/Editor relationship  http://www.penguin.com/

Conference Session Proposal Form


Southern Breeze

Conference Workshop

Proposal Form


Thank you for your interest in presenting during one of our annual SCBWI Southern Breeze conferences.  Our fall conference, Writing and Illustrating for Kids (wik) is usually the second weekend in October, in Birmingham, AL. This one-day conference offers approximately 25 workshops …

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Southern Breeze

Conference Workshop

Proposal Form


Thank you for your interest in presenting during one of our annual SCBWI Southern Breeze conferences.  Our fall conference, Writing and Illustrating for Kids (wik) is usually the second weekend in October, in Birmingham, AL. This one-day conference offers approximately 25 workshops to choose from. It attracts authors and illustrators of all levels, from beginners to professionals.  Our spring conference is held in Atlanta, GA in February. It is the place to meet and mingle with professionals in the industry.  Faculty for both conferences include editors, agents, and/or art directors, as well as award-winning authors and illustrators.

Presenter Requirements

  • SCBWI PAL member status is NOT required, but PAL members are given preference

  • Publication History is required for craft oriented proposals (please list all publications)

  • Prior speaking experience is preferred

We welcome fresh and compelling workshop ideas for our events. Workshops must address topics relevant to potential attendees that include (but aren’t limited to) the craft of writing and illustrating for children, book marketing, industry trends, or topics relevant to the business or function of a creative life. Each workshop lasts 45 minutes. A novice level workshop may consist of a 30 minute talk and 15 minutes Q & A. An advanced level may consist of “part 1” and “part 2” hands-on workshop.

As a presenter, you’re expected to share information and experience, but may not use our events as a platform for commercial sales, excessive self-promotion, criticism or political discussion. We are always looking for presenters who can provide variety, fun, inspiration, originality and insight into the art and craft of writing and illustrating for children.

Presenter Benefits

  • Bookstore Sales for up to three books (PAL books are not required for speakers)
  • Conference Tuition
  • Modest Honorarium
  • Paid Critiquing Opportunities (as available)
  • Invitation to the “Fall Apart Party” and Friday Team Dinner
  • The Opportunity to share your knowledge and help others

To be considered as a workshop presenter, please copy and complete the following proposal form and email it to SCBWI/Southern Breeze. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but the deadline to submit for the fall conference is the preceding May 15. . We’ll take into account your publication and presenting history, the workshop’s relevancy to our attendees, and our needs as we design a balanced program. We strive to create well-rounded events with a mix of craft, marketing, and categories, and we look for variety in speakers and topics from one year to the next.

We will only contact you if we are interested in your workshop. Typically, our conferences are lined up at least a year in advance. Often, we will hold proposals for more than a year before we can place them into our schedule. 

Thanks for your support of our region’s writers and illustrators of books for children!


SCBWI Southern Breeze Workshop Proposal Form


Please complete a separate application for each proposal. Please type or print.






Have you presented at an SCBWI, SB event previously? _______ If so, indicate date(s) and title(s) of presentations: _____________________________________________________________________


Category of Presentation                              Audience Level


  • Craft                                                   General
  • Marketing                                            Beginner
  • Non-fiction                                           Advanced
  • Illustration
  • Fiction
  • Media/Web Platforms
  • Other: _____________________

Category (e.g., pb, MG, YA, NF): ___________________________


Session Title: (1-5 words)


Session Description: (50 words)



Audiovisual requirements:



List of benefits attendees will gain through your presentation:



Biography: (up to 100 words)



List of publishing credits and/or your qualifications to give the proposed presentation:



References (organization that has experienced your presentations)

Organization __________________________________

Website: _____________________________________

Contact Name: ________________________________

Email: _______________________________________