NV Mentorship Program Information

Every other year (bi-annually), Nevada SCBWI hosts its flagship Mentor Program, the first of its kind among SCBWI.

Nevada SCBWI is committed to giving our members the best opportunities to improve their writing and to get closer to their goals of seeing their works published. One of the best ways to learn is to work with an author-mentor who have published and are experienced writers who enjoy mentoring other writers. The key is that our NV Mentors are not only experienced professional writers, they want to help yet-to-be published writers produce a more polished manuscript. We don't guarantee publication but many of our past mentees have published or signed with agents since their involvement in the program.

During the program, each mentor works with 2 or 3 mentees. The mentors are making a special commitment of time and insight because they all love to see writers and artists succeed. If you would like to be a participant in this program, as a "mentee," you will need to commit to spending time on your revision with the aim of improving your craft.

Our highly knowledgeable past and current mentors have included National Book Award Finalists, New York Times bestselling authors, Caldecott Medal–winning illustrators, Coretta Scott King Award winners, Charlotte Zolotow Award winners, million-selling series authors, art directors, editors, publishers, and agents. We hand-pick mentors who are gifted both at creating children’s books and at teaching. Many Nevada Mentor Program alumnae have gone on to win awards, land agents, and sign book deals.

This program is designed to help you grow. We guarantee that you will meet, work personally with, and learn from some fine professional writers. We do NOT guarantee that you'll find an agent. However, many mentees have found agents after the program and published.


The success of the program is based on a several factors:

* Focused, one-on-one mentor relationship to guide your entire manuscript from an experienced author and teacher

* In-person meeting with mentors and other mentees in the program to create a supportive community that lasts after the program.

* Craft sessions on various elements of the story, technique, and workshops on query letters

* Group critique/feedback and agent critique

* 6 month timeframe to allow for revision with opportunity to schedule Zoom/Skype/Facetime meetings online or telephone calls with your mentor scheduled in advance at the beginning of the program to help keep a deadline in mind.

* A final review after revision


What to Expect from the Mentor Program:

The Mentors choose the participants for the program by a blind application process. Number of acceptances are based on the number of qualified manuscripts.

Nevada residents may receive grant assistance from the Nevada Arts Council.

Who Should Apply

As with all SCBWI functions, the application process is open to any SCBWI member. This program is for SCBWI members only. Additionally, because the program is being designed and underwritten by the Nevada Region of SCBWI, some weight will be given to members from our regions and the immediate vicinity (see the application process).

This is NOT an entry level program. It is designed for pre-published writers and illustrators who have been working at their craft and are producing publishable or almost publishable work, or for published members who want to improve their skills or branch into a new genre of children's books.

Pre-Published Authors:

Consider applying if:

·      You have been attending a critique group regularly and getting positive feedback on your work or have a few manuscripts under your belt.

·      You have submitted to agents and publishers with "good rejections"

·      You have been invited to send more work to an editor.

·      You have published in other fields or other genres of children's books and want to break into something new.

·      You aren't sure if you fit any of the above categories, but the program seems made for you, and you are willing to work hard and to respond to constructive criticism and comment.

Published/Agented Authors:

Consider applying if:

·      You want to change genres.

·      You're a midlist author who wants to publish higher (to push your craft and claim a more prominent place in the market).

·      You have recently lost an editor or publishing house and are looking for a new one.

·      You're just not sure about your new project.

All Applicants:


If your work is longer than 85,000 words, there is an additional fee of up to $1000. The publishing industry generally recognize that chapter books are no longer than about 20,000 words, MG of about 45,000 with fantasy/science fiction being a bit longer to about 55,000 words, and YA being about 85,000 words or shorter. Again, science fiction and fantasy tend to be longer.

How to Register

Current Mentorship Faculty

2021 Mentorship Program Information