Spain Park to host writing conference

Published 3:53 pm Monday, October 12, 2009

For this weekend, Spain Park High School won’t be a place for teenagers. Rather, the school will serve as a haven for writers serving a younger age group.

The school will host the 2009 Southern Breeze Fall Conference Oct. 17. The conference focuses on writing and illustrating children’s books.

Conference organizer Jo Kittinger said Spain Park, which has hosted the annual conference since 2002, is the perfect location because of its facilities and people.

“We have had our conferences at several different schools in the area, and we just approached Spain Park about having it (in 2002),” Kittinger said. “They were so wonderful and so hospitable, and their facilities are so terrific, we just ended up keeping it there.”

The conference features different workshops on topics ranging from actually writing and illustrating children’s books to working with agents and supplying what different publishing houses want. Works can also be submitted for critiquing.

The conference is still open for registration, but time is limited. Pre-registration is required, but organizers will accept people up until Friday afternoon.

The cost to attend is $120 for Southern Breeze members and $145 for non-members.

Kittinger said organizers are expecting to see 125 attendees this year, all from the Southeast.

“The goal is to help people learn and network, so that they can succeed in creating books for children,” she said.

Spain Park librarian Marnie Utz, the school’s liaison for the conference, said the lessons she learns from the conference help her better perform her duties.

“It helps me when I’m working with the students and we’re writing children’s books for some project,” she said. “It makes me excited about being a librarian again. It’s a wonderful thing. People from all over the country come.”

To register for the conference, contact Jo Kittinger at