Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Illustrator’s Lounge

Welcome to the Southern Breeze

Illustrator’s Lounge


You’ve come to the right place for the latest information on regional events and to learn more about visual storytelling. Take a look around to learn more about what we do in the Southern Breeze Region.  Southern Breeze provides many opportunities for writers and illustrators to practice their craft and network within our region.

Our typical illustrator events include:

  • Critiques
  • Sketch crawls
  • Gallery and museum visits
  • Illustrator art shows
  • Networking events
  • Annual conferences and Illustrator’s Day

We are always trying to come up with events to keep everyone connected. If you have ideas, questions or would like to volunteer, please let us know how you would like to be involved.  Please take a look below for some of the upcoming opportunities in Southern Breeze.

Stay Connected and see ya’ll soon!

TeMika Grooms, Southern Breeze Illustrator Coordinator

Upcoming Events

Please join in the coming months as we work on the craft of illustration.

SCBWI Southern Breeze Illustrators! 
2021 is slowly coming to an end.  I hope that you all are doing well and are moving forward in your illustration pursuits. There are a few things coming up in the next few weeks that we would love for you to become involved within SCBWI.
#ScbwiArtober – 31 Days of Illustration Prompts
October 1 – 31, 2021
unnamed.png  #scbwiArtober.jpg

Inviting all of the illustrators, sketchers and hard-core doodlers to get in on the fun for #ScbwiArtober!


Check out the webpage for the list of prompts:

Join the SCBWI Illustration Community in October for 31 days of illustration prompts under the hashtag #ScbwiArtober!
Each day will feature a prompt to inspire your daily practice. You can choose to use any art materials during the month. We encourage you to experiment with different media. Play with media you have never tried before. Post the art when you can or post it daily with the #ScbwiArtober hashtag. The main goal is to develop a daily practice of creating new art.
– This is not about perfection. The goal is to develop a daily practice.
– We encourage you to try new media.
– Share you work on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #ScbwiArtober.
– Go to the hashtag to see inspiration and cheer on other SCBWI Illustrators.
– Play and have fun each day!
Remember to use the hashtag so that fellow illustrators can find you!

Illustrator Coordinator Position Open

Deadline to Apply October 20th


I will be stepping down soon, as I am now serving as SCBWI’s U.S. Illustrator Coordinator, supporting ICs from all U.S. regions. It has been a pleasure to serve Illustrators in the Southern Breeze Region. I will still be around helping out where I can.  I am excited about serving within SCBWI in a new capacity and I hope I have left a good path behind me for a new IC to step into the role.

Southern Breeze members were emailed about the position on Sep 22, 2021, 10:55 AM (Subject Line: Illustrator Coordinator position Opening)  Details about the position can be found in that email. 

If you’re interested in applying for the IC position, please write to the co-RAs, Sharon or Lisa,  by October 7 to request an application form and a brief job description. You will have two weeks from the date you receive the application to complete it (All applications are due by October 20).

If you have questions please email:

Illustrator Critique Session  
Monday, October 18th at 7pm EDT/6pm CDT

Bring your latest illustrations, book dummies or portfolio for a group review of your latest work.

Bring your art to share.  Ideally, we would like to share on-screen to make it easier for everyone to review your work.  Please prepare a jpeg or pdf file that can be shared on the screen for everyone to give you feedback.

Bring good intentions, the “sandwich method”, and an open mind to give and receive feedback from your peers to help you grow in your craft.

Members must log into their SCBWI account to access the Member’s Only Page to retrieve the Zoom Link for the Critique Session
Don’t forget that if you write there are regular critique session in the Member’s Only section on the SCBWI Southern Breeze website
Liz Conrad Award Opens November 15th
Submit November 15th – January 15th


Check the website soon for details on how to apply for the 2022 Liz Conrad Award, our annual SCBWI Southern Breeze Illustrator Award. The application season opens on November 15th.  Details coming soon!
Let’s finish 2021 Strong!

Review The Book to research the market

Submit to SCBWI Grants, Draw This!Art Spot and Featured Illustrator

Join a Critique Group

Take the Daily Creative Challenge

Post your Work-in-Progress and Finished Work online

Update your website and social media

Create a book dummy

Join the Twitter community be aware of KidsLit industry talk

Submit to Agents, Editors and Art Directors to Share your work

More to Come as we plan events for 2022 – Stay Tuned!


MAY 26, 2022 – JULY 7, 2022


The SCBWI Southern Breeze Regions Illustrators have been invited to present a gallery show at the City of Carrollton Center for the Arts in 2022.

We are in the early stages of preparation, but we need to prepare advertising for those who are interested in participating. If you are a PAL (published and listed) member of SCBWI and have art you would like to display in the gallery please fill out this form. The artwork can be from a book you illustrated in the past or a book that will be released in the future. We would love to see your work on the walls.

Opening Reception is May 26th, 2022
Show runs from May 26th – July 7, 2022

Artists will be responsible for preparing the art for gallery hanging. You may submit multiple titles or multiple images from the same book. Ideally, we would like 3 (max.) from each illustrator, but will consider all that are submitted. Transportation of artwork will be coordinated with the City of Carrollton Center for the Arts. More details will be shared in the future.

If you would like to participate, please fill out this form and submit a digital image of piece(s) you would like to submit.


The name and photo associated with your Google account will be recorded when you upload files and submit this form.


JOIN THE Southern Breeze Illustrators Facebook Group 

Are you looking for other illustrators in the Southern Breeze? 

Join our Facebook group where you can share your work for feedback and get to know the other illustrators in our region.

Check out our Southern Breeze Illustrators Gallery

Illustrators, please update your portfolio  – Art Directors and Editors are checking out your work here!


  • Past Events

  • Developing Book Dummies Series and Illustration Masterclass
  • Click Here to Register Starting December 15thDate/Time
    Date(s) – 01/16/2021 – 04/24/2021The SCBWI Southern Breeze Developing Book Dummies and Illustration Masterclass: a 4-month online series for children’s book illustratorsThe Developing Book Dummies 3-part series will teach attendees the key steps to developing a finished picture book dummy which includes two final illustrations. Sessions include a faculty presentation in the first hour with time for feedback, critique or breakout sessions in the second hour. Assignments and feedback will be given on selected work to allow everyone to develop in their craft together.

    The Illustration Masterclass, the final webinar, will provide tips and techniques to advance your art and illustration career. Optional Professional Faculty Portfolio Reviews available on first-come-first-served basis (limited to 20 reviews) following the Masterclass.

    *Note: You must be a registered participant in the Masterclass in order to sign up for the optional reviews. 

    The Liz Conrad Awardee will be announced during the Illustration Masterclass.

    Registrants can sign up “a la carte” for the Book Dummy Development Series, the Illustration Masterclass and/or both events.


  • April 24th, 10am – 6pm
  • Join us for the Illustration Masterclass, a day focused on craft and career where industry professionals will share valuable knowledge on how to advance as a children’s book illustrator.
  • Recordings will be available for one month following online event
  • Color Harmony and Illustration Style Experimentation
  • Date/Time
    4/24/2021   10:00 am – 12:00pm EST/EDT
  • Join Kyle T. Webster as he explains some tricks and shortcuts you can use to create color harmony in your illustrations. Stick around for the second hour to learn how you can experiment with style in your illustration work to expand your visual vocabulary and find the right approach for your story.
  • Kyle T. Webster has drawn for The New Yorker, TIME, The New York Times, Scholastic, ADOBE, and Nike. His work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, Communications Arts, and American Illustration. He is known throughout the world as the founder of, the brand behind the Photoshop brushes used in studios like Disney, Pixar, and Dreamworks, and by thousands of illustrators everywhere. He currently works at Adobe as a design educator and he recently helped to build the illustration app, Adobe Fresco. His picture book, Please Say Please! was published by Scholastic in 2016, and his book, Trace, was published by Baron Fig in 2020. He is currently working on new book projects and is represented by Chad Beckerman at the CAT Agency.

    Querying Agents and Websites & Social Media for Illustrators

    4/24/2021   1:00 pm – 3:00pm EST/EDT

    Jessica Saint Jean will share tips on how to navigate the querying process as an illustrator or author-illustrator, from the difference between a literary agent representing illustrators & an artist’s rep, to what to discuss with an agent on “the call”. She’ll also go over portfolio websites in-depth, sharing insights on what agents (and publishers) look for when reviewing an illustrator’s work online. There will be a Q&A after each presentation.
    Jessica Saint Jean joined Jill Grinberg Literary Management in 2020 to build a list of visual storytellers. Jessica came to JGLM from the art department at Candlewick Press, where she was in charge of illustrator searches and negotiating illustrator contracts for 6 years. She started her career as an editor at Barefoot Books, enabling her to bring experience from both an art and editorial perspective to her role as an agent. Jessica earned her B.A. in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College in Boston, and still lives in Massachusetts – though now a few miles north of downtown. She loves any excuse to make a color-coded spreadsheet, walk instead of drive, and start a new book.
    Optional One-on-One Portfolio/Dummy Reviews with faculty via Zoom 
  • Limited Space – Only 20 Review Slots for One-on-One Reviews
  • Participants will have the opportunity to sign up for optional Portfolio/Dummy Reviews with faculty in the Illustration Masterclass to gain valuable feedback on their work.  Reviews may be scheduled the day of the event or at a designated time agreed upon by the faculty member and the participant.
  • Email you PDF portfolios OR book dummy to be submitted by Thursday, April 15th to using with the Subject line: One-on-One Review: {Your Name}
    • WHAT TO SUBMIT – After talking with the faculty, they will only be able to review either your portfolio or your book dummy due to the amount of time available.  We would like to submit your PDF to them by April 15th to give them a week to review and provide thoughtful comments.
    • PORTFOLIOS – If you are submitting a portfolio, try to curate 10-15 of your strongest pieces to represent your work. Please include your contact information on the portfolio and submit it as a pdf.
    • BOOK DUMMIES –  If you are submitting a book dummy, include two interior color images within your book to give them an idea of what the finished work may look like. Please include your contact information on the book dummy and submit it as a pdf.
    • YOUR REVIEW LINK – Each participant will be assigned a reviewer.  If you have a specific preference please let us know, but cannot guarantee that we can accommodate. Each participant will be sent their zoom link the week of April 19th, so be on the lookout in your email.
    • YOUR REVIEW DATE – April 24th is the scheduled day for optional reviews, after the Illustration Masterclass.  However, if you have a conflict on Saturday, April 24th between 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm EST, we can schedule a time in the following week that works for your schedule.
  • Registration Fees: 
  • Developing Dummies Series
  • Members: $40
  • Non-Members: $45
  • Illustration Masterclass
  • Members: $50
  • Non-Members: $55
  • Both Events
  • Members: $85
  • Non-Members: $95
  • Optional Online Face-to Face Faculty Portfolio/Dummy Review: $50


    Jan. 16th, Feb. 27th and March 13th

    Registration closes on March 13th.  Recordings will be available until April 15th.  

    CHECK OUT THE SOUTHERN BREEZE BLOG for a Recap of each session:

    The past three months went by quickly, but we hope everyone learned new skills during this process. If participants missed any session, they can view all of the recordings until April 15th, 2021.

    A bonus Peer Review session will be held on Sunday, March 28th from 1pm – 2:30 pm. Participants of this series, as well as Critique Fest participants with completed book dummies, will be able to share their stories and get feedback on how to make their work even better. A link will be sent to join the bonus Peer Review session.

    It has been a pleasure to host David SanAngelo, Ebony Glenn and Rob McClurkan in this craft development series. Each of them brought valuable tools that author-illustrators need to move their visual storytelling to the next level. We are grateful to have them as a part of the SCBWI Southern Breeze region.

    We look forward to seeing you at the Illustration Masterclass on April 24th with our guests Kyle T. Webster and Jessica Saint Jean. Until then, keep creating those great books for kids to read.

    Join the Illustration Masterclass Here:

    Character Design, Color and More 

    1/16/2021   1:00 pm –  3:00 pm EST/EDT

    Guest Presenter: David SanAngelo

    Dive into the details of character design, color palettes, and explore characters for your next book dummy.  We will work through exercises as we learn tools to get to know our characters on the page. 

    Assignment – Participants will illustrate a character from their own story or choose to add a unique spin on a classic story in the public domain (example: Alice in Wonderland). Come to the first session prepared with your story.  


    Creating Compelling Page-Turns 

    2/27/2021   1:00 pm –  3:00 pm EST/EDT

    Guest Presenter: Eboni Glenn

    How do you create compelling page-turns that keep the reader (and the publisher) wanting more? This session covers thumbnails and other tools you’ll need to create your book dummy to keep readers turning those pages until the very end.

    Assignment – Participants will have completed story and character sketches, and full design from the previous session.


    The Hook and the Book: Query Letters and Book Dummy Review

    3/13/2021   3:00 pm –  5:00 pm EST/EDT

    Guest Presenter: Rob McClurken

    So you’ve created a book dummy, now what do you do?  A hook and a book dummy go hand in hand!  We’ll wrap up this 3-part series by exploring key elements of query letters and a faculty review of selected book dummies (first-come-first serve) for everyone to learn from.  

    Assignment – Participants will have completed the book dummy based on all other previous assignments.  


    Participants can submit a PDF for review on a first-come-first-serve basis.  We have a limited amount of slots available for Rob McClurkan to review during the session on March 13th. 

    Create your final PDF by the method of your choice (there are many methods) to prepare for the submission. We will only accept a single PDF of the book dummy.

    There are limited slots for the live group review, however, please feel free to share your progress for feedback in our:

    Facebook Group

    Southern Breeze Online Critiques,

    or in a future Southern Breeze Illustrators Critiques Session.

    Create a PDF of your book dummy and email it to 

    by March 8th using the Subject line: Book Dummy: {Your Name}


    DEVELOPING BOOK DUMMIES – Jan. 16th, Feb. 27th and March 13th

    Registration closes on March 13th.  Recordings will be available until April 15th.  


  • InkTober Online Share
  • Southern Breeze Illustrators joined in the InkTober festivities online!
  • The 30-day list of prompts were geared to help us work on:
  • Theme Constraints
  • Accountability
  • Goals
  • Quotas
  • Growth and
  • Habits – All the things you need to develop a strong art career.
  •  Thank you for joining us and please check out more of their work on Instagram under the hashtag:#SCBWI_SouBreeze  

  • Children’s Book Illustration Webinars 2020

  • Do you have questions about the nuts and bolts of Children’s Book Illustration?

  • This series sponsored by SCBWI Southern Breeze, Microsoft, and Art Is, will cover key elements of illustrating for the children’s book market.Watch the Series Online:Thumbnails, Book Dummies & More:
  • Character Design:
  • Typography & Hand Lettering:

  • Illustrator’s Day 
  • Illustrator’s Day is one of our favorite times of year as it allows our Illustrator’s to gather to focus on craft and the business of visual storytelling!
  • The day typically features art directors, agents, editors and illustrators ready to share insight and inspiration on improving your art for children’s books.  The day features presentations, Quick Fire Portfolio Reviews, craft workshops, a portfolio showcase and so much more!  Join us!          

  • Annual Gallery Show at Decatur Arts Festival
  • Our annual gallery show features the Southern Breeze Regional Illustrators.  Come out to see the framed art work from the featured published books.  The gallery show is sponsored by the SCBWI Southern Breeze and the Georgia Center for the Book during the Decatur Book Festival – one of the largest art festivals in the Atlanta metropolitan area.  The opening night is the Friday before Memorial Day and runs the month of June.  Join us and meet the artists at this family-friendly event!

  • Sketch Crawls
  • Practice! Practice! Practice! An artist’s work is never done!
  • Join us for one of our sketch crawls as we meander through spaces and places looking for inspiration and networking with other artists.  This event is open to writers and illustrators of all levels.  Join us at the next museum, live drawing session or town square!

  • Portfolios & Postcard Tips
  • Postcards – Learn more about preparing your postcards and portfolios to be seen by industry professionals.
  • TeMika has a great video about different swag you can create to give away.
  • Portfolios – Learn more about preparing your portfolio for the upcoming conference
  • Tips & Tricks – from Elizabeth Dulemba
  • Portfolio Show Guidelines – SCBWI National Portfolio Show Guidelines

  • Query Letter Example
  • Click the link to see a query letter template for your next children’s book dummy
  • Key things to do as you prepare your query letter:
  1. RESEARCH – Research agents and editors to determine their submission process, genre, and what they want to publish.  Check out their websites, Manuscript Wish List, and respectfully engage with them on Twitter posts.  Do your research to find the best fit before you submit.
  2. COMP TITLES – There is almost nothing new under the sun.  Do your research and find comparable book titles that are similar in topic within your story’s genre. Start by reading a lot of children’s books. Do a basic internet search on the topic of your story.  Also, consider doing a subject search on Amazon, Goodreads and the library system.  
  3. THEME and PITCH – What is the theme of your book?  Can you summarize it into one word? Also, consider a one to two-sentence pitch of your story.  Distilling the story down into a few sentences can help to contextualize it for an easier sell to the publisher, their sales team, and book distributors. 
  4. WHY YOU? WHY NOW? – It can be nice to let the agent or editor know why you are the person to write this story at this time in history. Very briefly talk about your inspiration to write this story – only a couple of sentences are needed. 
  5. PUBLISHING HISTORY – If you have published books in the past or won awards, feel free to briefly mention that here.  You may also consider mentioning your career goals as an author-illustrator.
  6. THANK YOU – Lastly, provide a nice thank you and closing to this one-page letter.   Make sure the letter is professionally written and proofread.  Most importantly, make sure your manuscript has been critiqued, reviewed, and edited to bring it to the best quality that you can make it at this time.  A picture book dummy, if applicable, only needs line sketches and two interior color images to show the vision for the book.  Don’t rush the process. Create great stories.