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Life on the Deckle Edge

Nature Author Heather L. Montgomery on Snakes and More...

Author photo by Sonya Sones
I'm thrilled today that Alabama author and SCBWI Southern Breeze Assistant Regional Advisor Heather L. Montgomery has come out of the woods for a spell to spend time with us! What a great way to kick off a month of guest nature writers for children.

Heather's newest books are RATTLESNAKES and GARTER SNAKES in Capstone's
Wild About Snakes series. Her other books explore how to stay safe in an earthquake, what soil is made of, why teeth fall out, and mummy secrets! She's written many articles appearing in Highlights, Science World, Know Fun for Kidz, and Fandangle, and in professional publications as well.

But wait - there's more! Heather runs Dragonfly Environmental Education Programs, bringing folks of all ages and nature together. She helped develop McDowell Environmental Center in Alabama and currently serves as its Education Coordinator.

Heather, where do we start?  Read More 
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Poetry Retreat Info

Here's the info on our upcoming summer POETRY RETREAT with Rebecca Kai Dotlich! (This is from our SCBWI Newsletter - feel free to email me if you need more specifics.)

June 10-12, 2011
Center for New Beginnings
Dahlonega, Georgia

Join award-winning poet and seasoned presenter Rebecca Kai Dotlich for a weekend in the beautiful mountains of north Georgia.

Participants will enjoy immersion in poetry within a workshop setting, group discussions and writing exercises to awaken the imagination, and individual critiques with Rebecca. Traditional poetry for children, for themed collections or for magazines, will be emphasized. Rebecca will also discuss rhymed picture book texts.

Accommodations will be double or triple occupancy (additional fee for private rooms), simple but comfortable, with nourishing meals prepared by a gourmet chef. All this in peaceful, natural surroundings! Ahhhh . . . Read More 
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Writing workshop with Lola Schaefer - Free!

My friend and prolific, award-winning children's author Lola M. Schaefer has just the thing to jumpstart everyone's writing for 2011:

New Ideas For A New Year: A workshop for writers of children's literature is a FREE two-hour workshop next Saturday in Atlanta. Sponsored by SCBWI Southern Breeze and the Friends of the Northeast Spruill Oaks Library, the workshop will take place at the library Jan. 15th, 10 a.m. to 12 noon. There is no cost, but seating is limited and you MUST register by Friday, Jan. 14. Contact Stephanie Moody, Southern Breeze Local Liaison: Moodyviews@Bellsouth.net. You can also register by calling the library (770-360-8820) or visiting the Adult Reference Services desk at the library, 9560 Spruill Road, Johns Creek GA 30022.
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Dive into Poetry with Rebecca Kai Dotlich!

OK, it might not seem like the season at the moment to wade, splash, or dive into anything. . . . BUT – before you know it, we’ll be rounding winter and spring and facing summer. And what could be more perfect for a summer retreat than a long weekend exploring poetry for children with celebrated poet and award-winning author Rebecca Kai Dotlich?!

It’s my pleasure to coordinate a special poetry workshop/retreat for SCBWI Southern Breeze, limited to 22 paid attendees, June 10-12 at the Center for New Beginnings in Dahlonega, Ga.  Read More 
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Explore 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS IN GEORGIA with Susan Rosson Spain and Elizabeth O. Dulemba

Elizabeth Dulemba and Susan Rosson Spain
Let’s ring in the Christmas season with another great book in Sterling’s “The Twelve Days of Christmas. . .” series, namely, The Twelve Days of Christmas in Georgia, written by Susan Rosson Spain and illustrated by Elizabeth O. Dulemba, friends I’m proud to have in my neck of the woods in the northern part of the Peach State.

If you are in this neck of the woods, be sure to stop by their next signings: Tuesday, Dec. 7, 4 – 5 p.m. at the HALL BOOK EXCHANGE in Gainesville, and Thursday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m. at LITTLE SHOP OF STORIES in Decatur. Elizabeth and Susan agreed to drop by here, too, and tell us about their book.

Welcome, Susan and Elizabeth! The Twelve Days of Christmas in Georgia takes readers on a colorful journey led by cousins Ava and Jacob, from the mountains in the north to the Okefenokee Swamp in the south to the Atlantic coastline. Jacob describes their adventures in letters home, tucking in lots of history and fun facts.

How in the world did you decide which points of interest to feature?
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On board ROSA'S BUS with Jo S. Kittinger

This week of Thanksgiving, I’m especially thankful for our guest. Jo S. Kittinger is a prolific author, co-Regional Advisor for our SCBWI Southern Breeze region, and all-around wonderful person. Jo’s insightful comments during a critique six years ago resulted in a submission that led to my first sale – Sir Mike to Eileen Robinson, formerly of Scholastic Library. So I love Jo for all kinds of reasons – including that she was willing to drop by and tell us about her new book, Rosa’s Bus (Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills Press), and a little more about herself.

Welcome, Jo!

How did you become a writer?


Some people know they are writers from a young age. Not me. Read More 
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Catching up with editor Joëlle Dujardin of HIGHLIGHTS

This weekend I’m co-presenting two workshops (with writer/media specialist Sharon Wright Mitchell) at our SCBWI Southern Breeze fall conference in Birmingham. One is “The Front Door, The Back Door, The Trap Door… Breaking into Magazines.” I asked HIGHLIGHTS Associate Editor Joëlle Dujardin for some fresh tips for our attendees. Her responses were so generous, I then asked if I could share them with you here! Enjoy.

(Joëlle edits fiction, and I’m personally grateful for the keen eye and sensibilities she brought to my story currently scheduled to run this April.) :0)

Thank you, Joëlle, for taking time to share your thoughts with us! Are there any story types or genres you are most interested in? Read More 
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Springmingle and WinterWanders...

Happy March!

Still feels like winter, but the sun is out and most of the snow has melted away. I drove through a mini-blizzard (OK, Georgia-style) to visit with the great kids at Cleveland Road Elementary School in Bogart, Ga., on Tuesday. First time I've been presenting at a school when it closed early! No, the kids weren't excited or anything....

Our SCBWI Southern Breeze Springmingle was a big success, with the highest attendance ever.  Read More 
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Mingling!

Huge thanks to Cumming Elementary School third graders for being such a lively group of readers and writers last week. The grown-ups were just as enthusiastic! What a wonderful day with you all.

This weekend, I'll be mingling with fellow Southern Breezers at our big SCBWI regional spring conference, Springmingle, in Atlanta! I'm looking forward to being a volunteer in the audience this year. Here's hoping keynote speaker Jane Yolen and our great editors and agent can get through any snow tomorrow.

I look forward to spending a day at Cleveland Road Elementary School next week. We're going to "unleash" our creativity! Awrroooooo.... Read More 
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Springmingle 2010

Greetings in this new year! If you are a children's writer or illustrator living in or near Georgia and are looking to jumpstart your work - and you could use some unbeatable networking and camraderie - check out the upcoming SCBWI Southern Breeze Springmingle conference in Atlanta, Feb. 26 - 28. This year's keynote speaker is Jane Yolen.  Read More 
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