Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators


May is only a few weeks away and that means it’s almost time for June and for you to SHOW us what you’ve got this MONTH by entering the Southern Breeze Writing Contest. The Contest will officially open for entries on June 1st, 2021 and will close on June 30th, 2021 at midnight, EST. It’s *FREE* to enter and you can win bragging rights and the conference fee to our 2022 conference. Entry is limited to current Southern Breeze members.

The contest entry requirements will be the same as last year (see below), so bring your work in the same format to our Show Mo events for feedback. We’ll help you polish it to an agent wowing shine. Here’s our currently scheduled Show Mo events:


Monday May 24 at 7:00pm EDT/ 6:30pm CDT


Saturday June 19 at 10:30 am EDT/10 am CDT


These will be added to the list of critique events on our Member’s Only page (the Member’s Only page link is on the right side of the Southern Breeze’s homepage). Just click the link to get to the Zoom event on the event date and time. For Show Mos you’ll need to be able to share your 1-page query PLUS your contest pages via Zoom. That’s the first 5 pages of a piece for middle grade or young adult (double spaced with one-inch margins please), OR a complete picture book manuscript. Fiction and nonfiction are welcome. Never Zoomed? Don’t worry, we’ll coach you through it.

If you missed last year’s blog, we modified the Writing Contest requirements to help our members prepare their manuscripts for submission to agents and editors. While the manuscript requirements are shorter in length, every entry also includes a query letter. The query is such an important part of all submissions, even for those already represented by an agent. To get some great tips on writing your query, please refer to SCBWI THE BOOK which is available online for free to our members.

Along with receiving query feedback, each manuscript receives a scoring sheet from one to two of our Southern Breeze’s PALs (Published and Listed authors), depending on the number of submissions to the contest category. The top 15 manuscripts in each category move on to the final round and receive feedback from an editor or agent judge.

Did I mention all that great feedback is FREE! Well, it is worth repeating. FREE! FREE! FREE!  

If you think your work won’t buff up without more help than you can receive in two sessions, we’ve also scheduled the following open informal critique sessions:


Saturday May 15 at 11am EDT/ 10am CDT

Saturday June 12 at 11 am EDT/ 10 am CDT

Monday June 28 at 7:30pm EDT/ 6:30 pm CDT


These sessions differ from the Show Mo events in that you can bring pages from any section of your work (up to 10 double spaced, one inch margins) or a synopsis or chapter outline. Yes, you can bring your Writing Contest submission as well. We’ve had great turn out at these meetings and they are way to meet others writing in your genre.

Here’s to your 2021 writing success, and I hope to see you at any or all of these events!

Yours in writing, TK Read

Critique Coordinator, Southern Breeze