Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators


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 Liz Conrad Illustrator Award                                      Writing Contest


The Southern Breeze Region of SCBWI offers our regional members the opportunity to have their work viewed and read by top professionals in the industry.

Entry is FREE, and feedback is provided to as many entries as possible.

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JUDGE: Professional judge will be announced in the fall.

APPLY  November 15th – January 1, 2020
Please use email subject:  LIZ CONRAD 2020

In honor of our dear friend, Liz Conrad, who created many wonderful children’s books, the Southern Breeze chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators has established a merit based Award for our regional illustrators.

The Liz Conrad Award will be given to one promising illustrator in the children’s book field and will provide:
  • Free attendance at our Illustrators’ Day/Illustrator’s Intensive
  • Free attendance at our annual Conference
  • Review comments from the Judge determining the recipient of the Award.
This Award is open to Southern Breeze SCBWI members only and is an impressive honor to add to one’s resume. If you would like to apply email your application and submission to Applications may be submitted beginning November 15 of each year. The deadline for submissions is January 1st.  Please use email subject:  LIZ CONRAD 2020

Click Here to Download the Application


CTE_bio_pic_Final.jpg            The CAT Agency

Christy T. Ewers, The CAT Agency

Christy Ewers, has been rooted in the children’s literature industry since her mother, Chris, started the agency in 1994, and joined as an agent in 2013. Although Christy is not an artist herself, art has been a huge part of her life and career, even before joining the agency. With a degree in English/Journalism and over a decade of experience in various creative fields, Christy offers a different perspective to the agency, while maintaining the enthusiasm and love that her mother brings to the industry. She works closely with the entire “family” of artists, spearheading the promotion and deals for CAT Agency illustrators, as well as working alongside the authors in the group to help craft their stories and hone their writing for young readers.

2019 Winner:

Chasity Hampton

(click her name to learn more about her work)



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Southern Breeze Writing Contest


Why Enter?

Each manuscript receives scoring sheet feedback from two published authors. The top 15 manuscripts in each category move on to the final round and receive feedback from an editor or agent.

1st Place Winner – Receives FREE tuition to the next year’s Southern Breeze conference.

1st, 2nd & 3rd Place Winners– Receive acknowledgement in the Southern Breeze News, website, blog, Facebook page and Twitter.

Note: Judges reserve the right to withhold prizes in any category with insufficient entries or scores.



Illustrated Texts (IT)
Fiction and Nonfiction Picture Books, Early Readers, and Illustrated Chapter Books. Send complete picture book manuscripts or up to 10 pages of longer works, maximum of 2000 words (no art).

Middle Grade Novels (MG)
Send up to 10 pages (no art). Novels in verse: send complete poems up to 10 pages. Maximum word count: 2500 words for all manuscripts. You may include a synopsis, but it will count as part of the 10 pages. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN SUBMITTING A GRAPHIC NOVEL TEXT, CONTACT US.

Young Adult Novels (YA)
Send up to 10 pages (no art). Novels in verse: send complete poems up to 10 pages. Maximum word count: 2500 words for all manuscripts. You may include a synopsis, but it will count as part of the 10 pages.




Each entry will receive two judging sheets from anonymous PAL members (each PAL judge is an expert in his or her category but we have chosen to keep them anonymous just as your entries are anonymous to them). Then, the PAL judges will decide which entries in each category are among the best 15, and those 15 will be sent to our professional judges. The professional judges will provide judging sheets with ratings and feedback for the manuscripts they receive, and will determine which receive first, second and third place, plus any honorable mentions.


Illustrated Books 
 (Fiction & Nonfiction)



Christa Heschke from McIntosh & Otis, Inc. Christa graduated from Binghamton University with a major in English and minor in
Anthropology. She started in publishing as an intern at both Writers House and Sterling Lord Literistic, where she fell in love with the agency side of publishing. In picture books she is drawn to cute, funny stories (as opposed to sweet and quiet) that will grab kids as well as the occasional nonfiction biography on a subject whose story has yet to be told.

Christa has been at McIntosh and Otis, Inc. in the Children’s Literature Department since 2009.








Middle Grade Novels

Alyssa Henkin from Trident Media Group.

After earning her Bachelors from the University of Pennsylvania, Alyssa fulfilled a childhood dream that she professed on a home video at the age of six: move to New York and work with books. In 1999, Alyssa began her career in editorial at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Here she found “kindred spirits” who loved Anne of Green Gables as much as she did and a kids book space that was rapidly growing. In late 2006 Alyssa (and her inner-entrepreneur) headed to Trident to
expand the firm’s children’s book business.

Over twelve years, hundreds of deals and numerous bestsellers and award-winners later, Alyssa still delights in nurturing her books at every stage. From editing andidea-honing to collaborating with marketing, foreign, dramatic, merchandising, and audio partners, Alyssa works hard to ensure longevity for her authors’ work.

She is fond of both fiction and nonfiction: from illustrated and graphic novels and memoirs to series with the interactive spirit of a trivia game. A lover of underdogs, school stories, humor, heart, mysteries, and regional and ethnic flavors, Alyssa looks to spice up the cannon with projects that break new ground. She also enjoys select young adult projects, especially when they champion social justice or have an intriguing family or romantic dynamic.




Young Adult Novels


Samantha Wekstein from Writer’s House.

Samantha graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.A. in English. Before becoming a Junior Agent at Writers House, she was the assistant to CEO, Amy Berkower and then to founder, Al Zuckerman. She also briefly worked as an assistant at The Agency Group.

Her passion is YA fiction. She loves creative and epic fantasies in the vein of Sarah J. Maas or Leigh Bardugo. But she is also drawn to contemporary YA with multi-dimensional female characters like those of Rainbow Rowell, Julie Murphy and Melina Marchetta.





Writing Contest Coordinator

Debbie Daurelio



Entries Due
Between June 1 – June 30 (midnight Eastern Time Zone) 

Open To
Current SCBWI members in the Southern Breeze Region and those who attended the previous WIK or Springmingle Conference

Only unpublished and un-contracted work

Winners Announced     


General guidelines:
Polish and submit only your very best work. It will have stiff competition.  Every submission should have been revised, critiqued, and fine-tuned as much as possible.

What to enter:
Each writer may submit in one category only.


Format your submission:

·       Word.doc or docx files only

·       12-point font (Times New Roman, Arial, or Courier only)

·       Double space the manuscript itself, single space for a synopsis or verse

·       Set one-inch margins (sides and bottom)

·       Take your name, email, address, phone number, etc., off the document

·       Add a header with the name of the manuscript and page number

Manuscript first page:

·       In the upper right corner note the contest category and the word count of the completed, whole manuscript (i.e., MG: 35,000 words)

·       Start the text at least three inches from the top of page 1


Send your submission:

Submissions are sent via email to

The subject line of the email should read: CATEGORY_ TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT

Your attached submission should be named as follows:



In the body of your email:

Title of your manuscript

Your name, any pen name

Your email address

Your phone number

Submissions must be received before midnight Eastern time June 30.


Frequently Asked Questions

Entries are not required to be exclusive submissions, however, entries are required to be original, unpublished, and un-contracted manuscripts. Should an entry become acquired by a publishing house after contest opens for submissions, and before contest winners are announced, that submission becomes disqualified. This allows another deserving Breezer a chance for recognition. After all, receiving a contract typically trumps winning a contest!

Previous Year’s First Place Winners
If your manuscript won first place in a category in the previous year, you may not submit an entry into that same category (a one-year break). However, you may enter a submission into a different writing category.

Co-Authored Manuscripts
All authors must submit a signed statement confirming that the manuscript has been submitted with their knowledge and permission. Only one prize is awarded for each winning entry, and the cover sheet should identify the individual who will be accepting the prize should the entry be named a winner.

Participants will be notified of the winners by email and judging sheets will be emailed to all participants with the notification.

What to Do Afterwards?
After you receive your contest scoring sheets, consider the judges’ suggestions, go through the revising process again, and submit your fine-tuned work to appropriate publishing houses or agents.



Most recent winners:




Speed and Spring: The Story of Forrest Grady (Spec) Towns by Sherri Rivers

2nd place: Bug-Truck Buddies by Heather Montgomery

3rd place: Little Bad Blue by Diane Anton Sherrouse




The Prickle Pod Tree by Glenda Slater

2nd Place: The Wildness of Mellie Feye by Candice Conner

3rd Place: Canada or Bust by Colleen Bennett




Last Year at Little Bend High by Joan Broerman

2nd place: Address Unknown by Re Marzullo

3rd place: The Crooked Truth by Kristine Anderson