New and Improved Mentorship

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What's New?

Though a lot is changing, there's no need to eliminate what has always been the core of the mentorship experience. We will still engage experienced authors and illustrators just as we always have. Our super-secret superstar judges will still provide you with written feedback on your submissions (this alone is worth the entry fee!). You will still have at least six months to work with your mentor. And we will still have the same number of entries available to our members.



⭐The mentorship will now take place place in the same calendar year instead of coinciding with a school year. ⭐Registration opens on January 2. ⭐The mentee will be announced at the end of March. ⭐The mentorship will begin on April 1 (no kidding!) and end the Friday before Thanksgiving.


Registration Fees

⭐To continue attracting high-quality mentors, the registration fee is now $55. ⭐To defray costs and maintain the positive mentorship experience members have come to expect the chosen mentee will be asked to contribute an additional $100 ⭐Please read “Why the cost Increases?” below to understand this new fee, and read “Is the extra $100 really necessary?” to learn about what a bargain this really is.



Need-based scholarships will be available to any winning mentee who may need one.


Golden Ticket

All winners will receive a “golden ticket” to submit their mentorship projects to an acquiring editor, agent, or art director. These respected professionals will be hand-picked and approved by our executive team, so you know you will be paired with a reputable leader in the field.


Gold Form

Mentors will now use the Gold Form to provide feedback to the first- and second-place runners-up to maintain consistency with the chapter’s other paid critique options (e.g., conference critiques, Critique Carousel, etc.). The Gold Form was created by SCBWI International as a standard across all regions, ensuring that you receive a higher quality of feedback for your submissions.


Critique Carousel Entry

First-place runners-up will receive one free entry to our annual Critique Carousel for any project.


Bookstore Gift Card

Second-place runners-up will receive one $25 gift card for the SCBWI Member Bookstore

Why are things changing?

As the needs and makeup of our membership change, we try to review our programs to see what is working and what needs to keep up with the times. For our long-time members, we want to introduce a different experience. For all our members, we’re improving the value of the entire experience.

Why the cost increases?

Since its inception, the Mentorship has either had no entry fee or a nominal one. We pay our mentors and judges an honorarium for the hours of work they put in, and these honoraria have only changed minimally. After 25 years, it is time to increase our fees so we continue to attract high-caliber mentors and judges.

It's also important to point out that historically, the chapter has always lost money on the mentorship. In the past, this was not a problem because in-person conference registration fees and other revenue streams allowed us to offer the mentorship, regardless of its negative budget impact. As post-COVID budget challenges change the fiscal realities, we no longer have the discretionary budget we once did. But we still want to offer this opportunity to members.

In addition, the more we can keep our budget in line, the more opportunities we can continue to provide to the membership. Fiscal responsibility keeps our offerings varied and relevant for the entire chapter.

Doesn’t my membership cover these costs?

Yes and no. All membership dues are paid to SCBWI International, not SCBWI-MI. Our budget is determined by the income we receive for our regional conferences, webinars, intensives, critiques, etc. As our costs rise, we do our best to mitigate these increases for our members. For the mentorship, we can no longer avoid the price increases.

Is the extra $100 really necessary?

Actually, this is a steal! Consider the fees that several other regional SCBWI chapters charge for their mentorships. They can range from $500-$900, even though they offer virtually the same mentorship format! Non-SCBWI mentorships can cost over $1000.

Workshops, webinars, and intensives can cost about $50 each, so six months of those would cost $300, they aren’t one on one, and you might not even work on your current project during them.

Author coaching (in which you work with an editor on a regular basis for a set fee) can often cost $500 or more for five hours of coaching per month. Over six months, that’s $3000.

But we offer an intense one-on-one experience in which you and your mentor determine what you work on, how often, what feedback is needed, and how to take your specific project and skill set to the next level. What you learn and how much you learn is only limited by your level of determination. All for less than the cost of a one-day SCBWI-MI conference.

Okay, you’ve convinced me. What next?

Check out our mentorship homepage for all the information about our upcoming mentorship, the new mentor, eligibility requirements, and submission instructions, FAQs, and more.