Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

SCBWI Mentorship Programs

Get Mentored!

Many SCBWI regions offer mentorship programs that match established members with up-and-coming authors and illustrators. Some of these programs are open to just members in a particular region, others are open to any SCBWI member. You will find details and contact information for each program below.

A list of all SCBWI region mentorship programs can be found in the current edition of The Book: The Essential Guide to Publishing for Children. The Book is available as a free download to SCBWI members.


SCBWI CANADA EAST MENTORSHIP PROGRAM: Mentors go through two drafts of your novel or four drafts of your picture book, as well as meet once with you virtually to discuss your manuscript or career.

Contact: Alma Fullerton

Eligibility: Mentees must be SCBWI members

Fee: Varies, depending on length of manuscript

Application cycle: Always open; more details on the Canada East website.

Canada East PAL members may apply to serve as mentors. Contact Alma Fullerton for more information.


SCBWI-IL MANY VOICES W.I.P. MENTORSHIP: The Many Voices Work-In-Progress Mentorship recognizes an exemplary work-in-progress from SCBWI-Illinois diverse and underrepresented creators. The winner receives a six-month mentorship working with a seasoned author, illustrator, or author-illustrator. Goals of the mentorship are to 1) help the mentee ready a story for editorial submission, 2) help authors, illustrators, and author-illustrators grow professionally,  and 3) provide an opportunity for underrepresented voices within the Illinois region.

Contact: See website for details.

Eligibility: SCBWI-IL members from underrepresented communities (authors, illustrators, and author-illustrators) interested in publication who have never been traditionally published.

Fee: None

Application cycle: Every 24 months

Illinois PAL members may apply to serve as mentors. For details, contact Co-Regional Advisor Debbie Topolski.


SCBWI-IL ILLUSTRATOR MENTORSHIP: The intent of this mentorship is to give a boost to those who are on the verge of publication. Grand prize is a three-month mentorship with an Illinois PAL member illustrator.

Contact: Illinois Illustrator Coordinator

Eligibility: Open to all SCBWI members who are Illinois residents. See webpage for requirements.

Fee: None

Application cycle: Every 18 months

Illinois PAL illustrators may apply to serve as mentors. For details, contact Co-Regional Advisor Debbie Topolski.


LAURA CRAWFORD MEMORIAL MENTORSHIP: 6-month intensive program on an 18-month rotation. Established in 2015 in memory of picture book author Laura Crawford, Laura made it her mission to help other writers on their publishing journeys. The focus shifts between genres to reflect our dynamic region.

Guidelines for Entry: Application open to Illinois members who have not been traditionally published in genre or format of session focus.  Schedule, details and application form are here: .

Fee: None

Contact Person: Co-Regional Advisor Debbie Topolski


Creative Coaching Groups: Six-month mentorship program. Includes monthly mentor and peer critiques, online group meetings, and participation in an email Google Group.

Guidelines for Entry: SCBWI members only.

Fees: See website for details.

Contact Person: Kathy MacMillan


Description and/or Focus: Two annual mentorships, one for pre-published members and one for PAL members. Focus rotates each year (PB, MG, YA, illustration).

Guidelines for Entry: Eligible to members with primary residence in Michigan. Must submit written work/portfolio and application. Competitive process.  Schedules, details, and application forms available here.

Fee: Varies

Contact Person: Ann Finkelstein, Mentorship Coordinator


Description and/or Focus: 6 month mentorship, every other year (PB, MG, YA, NF, Illustration), blind application process

Guidelines for Entry: Must be SCBWI member, but does not need to be a member of the region, can be a member worldwide, must submit an application and/or portfolio

Fee: $1350 includes two full weekend retreats with mentors and guest editors/agents, plus the 6 months of mentorship with one full manuscript/portfolio revision.

Contact Person: Regional Advisor Cynthia Mun


Description and/or Focus: Authors of all genres can apply for a 7 month mentorship with a traditionally published author. Picture book authors can expect to work on three picture books over the course of the program. Novelists will work on a single novel, including a full read by the mentor. For other genres, details can be decided between mentor and author. Those not placed with a mentor receive a critique of their submitted ms.

Guidelines for Entry: Any author previously unpublished in the genre to which they are applying may submit application (self-publishing does not prohibit application). The program is geared to those who are already submitting and getting warm rejections.

Fee: $275 picture books, $550 novels

Contact person: Jo S. Kittinger

Mentors must be multi-published in the genre in which they are mentoring with traditional publishers and have a propensity for teaching/mentoring. Contact Jo S. Kittinger for more information.


Description: Members of the SCBWI Utah/Southern Idaho Region who have not yet been published or signed a book contract in the category they are applying for are eligible to apply. Agented authors are welcome to apply.

Guidelines for Entry: Writers interested in the program will register, pay a $40 application fee, and submit a completed questionnaire and writing sample between June 1 and June 30, 2021.

Applicants who are not selected will receive a critique of the work they submitted from the mentor for their category. Those critiques will be sent by September 8, 2021. The selected mentees will be announced on September 1, 2021, and the mentorship period will run for six months, from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022.

Fee: $40 application fee

Contact Person: Janet Johnson


SCBWI WWA Mentorship Program: Offered biennially and is open to SCBWI members. It covers six months of one-on-one work with a published author or published author/illustrator or published illustrator.

Fee: $700

Contact Person: Regional Advisor Holly Huckeba