Writers invited to Southern Breeze Schmooze at library

Writers and authors can gather among peers at an upcoming “schmooze” at Madison Public Library.

Bonnie Herold

The Southern Breeze Schmooze will be held Aug. 20 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the library, 130 Plaza Drive. Southern Breeze is the Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

Panelists will open the session, followed by meet-and-greet time and small group critiques. Writers are encouraged to bring about five copies of their latest story. Refreshments will be served.

Schmooze panelists will be authors Heather Montgomery, Hester Bass, R. A. Nelson, Bonnie Herold and illustrator Kay Casteel.

Herold, a longtime Madison resident, is the new local liaison of Southern Breeze.

“The August 20 Schmooze is directed at people interested in learning more about the joy of writing/illustrating children’s books, those interested in learning more about SCBWI, those interested in participating in a critique group, and, finally, those interested in meeting other folks with similar interests,” Herold said.

Although Herold has been an avid reader her entire life, her interest in writing didn’t develop until the birth of her child 29 years ago.

“Through the years, I’d write when inspiration struck, which, unfortunately, wasn’t all that often,” Herold said. “Then, I realized that I didn’t want anything else to take precedence over writing and have devoted myself to the craft the past two years.”

Herold's "Alicia Saves the Day" won the Infinity Award in children's literature.

Herold has published one book and has more than 20 manuscripts for picture books underway. Her book, “Alicia Saves the Day,” won the Infinity Award in children’s literature. Her book “met a specific, and often actively discouraged, niche: an obvious moral written bilingually,” she said.

“While it netted me cash upfront and 50,000 copies were printed, I’m not getting residuals. That’s because the book is free,” Herold said (readconmigo.org).

Herold also won first place in the 2010 SCBWI Southern Breeze Illustrated Fiction Contest.

Southern Breeze has 600 members in its three-state region. For information, visit southern-breeze.net or Facebook/SCBWI.

For more information about the Southern Breeze Schmooze, call Herold at 256-289-1374, send email to bherold51@gmail.com or visit tenacioustelleroftales.blogspot.com.

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