Mentorship with Celesta Rimington and Annie Bailey

The SCBWI Utah/Southern Idaho Mentorship Program was created to help writers polish their

manuscripts with the help of established professionals in their field. Over a period of six months,

mentees will receive critique and career advice from their mentors to help them succeed in the

world of children’s publishing.

This mentorship is open to all SCBWI members. 

Important Dates:

 Application Period:                  September 1-30, 2023

 Announcement of Mentees:         November 1, 2023

 Critiques Sent for those not selected:    November 15, 2023

 Mentorship Period:                    January 1, 2024 - June 30, 2024



 Application Fee: $45 (Includes a critique if you are not selected as a mentee)

 Registration Fee: $375 for the selected mentees. 


Members of the SCBWI who have not yet been published or signed a book or illustration

contract in the category they are applying for are eligible. Agented authors and illustrators are

welcome to apply if they are otherwise eligible.


Program Description:

Writers interested in the program will register, pay a $45 application fee, and submit a completed

questionnaire and writing sample between September 1 and September 30, 2023 (see below for

more information about the writing sample). Applicants may only apply for one mentorship per

year. Each mentor will choose one mentee based on the application package. Chosen mentees

will pay a non-refundable $375 registration fee (the application fee will apply toward this


Applicants who are not selected will receive a critique of the work they submitted from the

mentor for their category. These critiques will be sent back to applicants by November 15, 2023.

Because the mentors will be providing critiques, the number of applicants for each

mentorship will be capped.

The selected mentees will be announced on November 1, 2023, and the mentorship period will

run for six months, from January 1, 2024 to June 30, 2024.

Each chosen mentee will receive four meetings with their mentor. These meetings can be in

person, by phone, or by video conference. Each mentor will set individual goals for the span of

the mentorship based on the needs of their mentee. This will include at least fifty pages of

manuscript critique for novelists, and two additional manuscripts (3 total) for picture book

writers. It could also include revisions and/or query letters, depending on the needs of the

mentee. Mentors will also give career advice, as needed, and be available for questions by email.

Mentees will turn in additional pages or revisions as scheduled with their mentor throughout the

six month period of the mentorship.


How to apply:

 1. Log in as an SCBWI member and complete the registration form below. There is a $45

application fee, payable through the registration form.

 2. Click HERE to download the questionnaire and fill it in. You can fill in the answers on

the document using Word or Pages (or print it, write in the answers, and scan the pages).

Email your completed questionnaire and your writing sample in .doc format to between September 1-30, 2023. Please put your

name and the category of your work in the subject line (example: Jane Doe, Picture Book


Writing Sample Submissions:

All submissions should be double-spaced in black, 12 pt Times New Roman font with 1”

margins. Be sure to number pages in the header and include a cover page with title, author name,

and contact information (cover page will not affect overall page count). Writing samples should

be submitted as a .doc document. Please note that your submissions must be for the project

you plan to work on with the mentor.

Picture Books:

Please submit one completed picture book manuscript. Manuscripts should be text only (no

dummies) but may include illustrator notes.

Middle Grade and Young Adult Novels:

Please submit up to the first 10 pages of your project. As part of the same file, also submit a 1-2

page synopsis of your project (synopses may be single-spaced).

File Names:

Please name your files as follows:

Questionnaire: [First Name]_[Last Name]_[Mentorship Applying For].doc

Writing Sample: [First Name]_[Last Name]_[Title].doc


If you have questions, please contact the Mentor Coordinator at

Meet the 2024 Mentors

Celesta Rimington is the award-winning author of The Elephant’s Girl and Tips for Magicians. She once worked for an AZA accredited zoo in Nebraska, and that inspired the setting for her debut novel. The Elephant’s Girl is the winner of the 2020 Reading the West Award for Young Readers. It was a master list selection for the Texas Bluebonnet Award and has been on several state library association award and readers’ choice lists. It was selected by Mrs. Laura Bush for her 2022 Summer Reading List. Celesta’s second novel, Tips for Magicians, was a 2021 Junior Library Guild selection and a finalist for the 2021 AML Awards. Celesta holds a degree in sociology from Brigham Young University and is a graduate of The Institute of Children’s Literature. She's an elephant advocate, a musical theater performer, and a frequent presenter at writing conferences. She enjoys assisting writers in finding the gem and heart of their stories and strengthening characters and settings. Celesta now lives in the Rocky Mountains with her husband and two children where they have a miniature railroad with a rideable steam train.

Annie Bailey is a children’s author and songwriter. She is the author of the 10 Little Vehicle board book series which includes upcoming titles 10 Little Race Cars and 10 Little Construction Trucks (Summer 2024, Doubleday Books for Young Readers), the board book Hush, Little Hero (Little Simon) as well as the picture book Mud! (Abrams Appleseed). She has also released a children’s album titled There is Joy. Annie has served on the 2015 and 2016 Best in Rhyme Award committee and as Regional Advisor for the SCBWI Utah/Southern Idaho region. She lives in rural Idaho in a renovated farmhouse complete with her very own train car. (Which, of course, has time traveling capabilities.) Visit Annie at or on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram @byanniebailey.