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.


Join us for 2 Online Critique sessions for Illustrators. Click the title above for more info.

(You must log in to go to the Members Only page to get the zoom link)

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

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


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.

See you all soon!


Georgia Center for the Book: Southern Breezers Present

Virtual Gallery Show and Storytime

June 21 – 25, 2021

Please fill out this interest form for more details from GCB.  All videos will need to be recorded by May 31st.  Fill out this form if you are interested. GCB Virtual Storytime and Gallery Show Interest Form



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!

liz conrad logo

Watch the Live Premier of the interview

with our 2021 Liz Conrad Awardee!


Premiers on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 12:00 pm


CLICK HERE TO APPLY to the Liz Conrad Award starting  November 15th – January 15th

(2022 Updates Coming Soon!)




Developing Book Dummies Series and Illustration Masterclass

Click Here to Register Starting December 15th

Date(s) – 01/16/2021 – 04/24/2021

The SCBWI Southern Breeze Developing Book Dummies and Illustration Masterclass: a 4-month online series for children’s book illustrators

The 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

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.  


Past Events

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!

Annual Art Call – Conference Brochure

Featured Artists:
David SanAngelo (2020)
Shannon Day (2019)
Maegan Penley (2018)
 Melissa Schultz-Jones (2016)
 Blythe Russo (2015)
Please use email subject:  SM21 BROCHURE
SCBWI Members can submit work to be featured in the 2021 Spring Mingle Brochure!  This will put your work front and center to be seen by Children’s Book Publishers, Editors and Agents.  Send your website or social media link and/or existing work samples you think would be a good fit for the brochure cover to Southern-Breeze-IC@scbwi.orgPlease use email subject:  SM21 BROCHURE

Resources & Information

Southern Breeze Illustrator’s Gallery

Have you added your artwork to your SCBWI Profile?  If you do, there is an opportunity to be a Featured Illustrator.


To add your art to the SCBWI-Southern Breeze Illustrator Gallery, login to your SCBWI account and upload files from the Illustrations section of your Member Profile page.

Here’s a video, from our webmaster Tracey M. Cox, showing you how to upload your images:


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

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.


Join us at Southern Breeze SCBWI Events!

DRAW THIS! SCBWI Monthly Art Prompt 

SCBWI Featured Illustrator


….and many more SCBWI AWARDS & GRANTS can be found at

Need Resources?

Click Here for Books on Children’s Books!