Scholarships, Mentorships, and Art Contest

Annually, the Kansas/Missouri Region of SCBWI offers an opportunity to apply for mentorships and scholarships. These are only available to SCBWI members (published or pre-published–see details below) who live in Kansas or Missouri. While creators may apply for all scholarship and mentorship opportunities, if the same person wins more than one contest, the winner will be asked to select their top choice ONLY. Please note: Scholarship recipients are not eligible for future scholarships.

All applications will be open from June 1-June 30, 2024! Winners will be announced August 2024!

Scholarship Opportunities for Fall 2024 Virtual Middle of the Map Conference 

These scholarships cover conference registration (note: any additional expenses, such as critiques, are not included). Applications open June 1-- June 30, 2024.

Promising Picture Book Scholarship: For a promising picture book manuscript by an author not previously published by a PAL publisher in this format. (Open to SCBWI members living in Kansas or Missouri) For more information please visit our Promising Picture Book webpage.

Clare Vanderpool Promising Novel Scholarship: For a MG or YA novel by an author not previously published by a PAL publisher in these formats, in honor of 2011 Newbery winner and SCBWI Kansas member Clare Vanderpool. (Open to SCBWI members living in Kansas or Missouri) For more information please visit our Clare Vanderpool Promising Novel Scholarship webpage.

Diverse Voices Scholarship: We are excited to announce that we are adding a third scholarship for 2024! The Diverse Voices Scholarship aims to support and uplift underrepresented voices in children's literature. This scholarship is open to children’s book creators (including those who are not members of SCBWI) from marginalized communities who reside in Kansas or Missouri and are pre-published in the genre for which they are applying. For more information please visit our Diverse Voices Scholarship webpage.

Conference Cover Art Contest

As a SCBWI Kansas/Missouri illustrator member, you can win free admission to the 2024 Virtual Middle of the Map Conference on November 2, 2024 by participating in our annual Middle of the Map Art Contest. The winning artwork will be featured for the Kansas/Missouri SCBWI Middle of the Map Conference and displayed on the Kansas/Missouri SCBWI website, promotional materials, and regional social media pages. (The illustrator retains ownership of the illustration.) For more information please visit our Middle of The Map Artwork Contest webpage.

2025 Mentorship Opportunities

Applications for mentorships will be accepted from June 1 to June 30, 2024. The winners will be announced in August 2024.

Writing Mentorship: The Writing Mentorship offers an invaluable opportunity for pre-published authors to receive guidance and feedback from a seasoned, published author. Focused on Picture Books (PB) for the 2025 cycle, the selected mentee will work closely with local PAL author Chelsea Tornetto. This mentorship aims to enhance the mentee’s writing skills through one-on-one sessions, manuscript critiques, and personalized advice, helping to elevate their work to a publishable standard. For more information please visit our Writing Mentorship webpage.

Illustration Mentorship: The Illustration Mentorship is designed to support and develop the talents of pre-published illustrators. For 2025, the mentorship will be led by local PAL illustrator Rahele Jompour Bell. The chosen mentee will receive expert feedback on their illustrations, gain insights into the publishing industry, and refine their artistic skills through a series of critiques and consultations. This mentorship provides a valuable platform for emerging illustrators to grow and succeed in their careers. For more information please visit our Illustration Mentorship webpage.

We encourage you to take advantage of these fantastic opportunities to advance your career. Please ensure you follow all guidelines to receive full consideration for your submission.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at

By applying for scholarships or contests, if you win, you agree to be a judge the following year in that category.