Mentor Programs

© Emilie Boon

One of best ways to learn your craft and the business of children's writing is to get a mentor. You can network and find mentors individually, or apply to organized programs. Here are several highly recommended mentorship programs:


Picture Books

  • What: a 3-month mentorship with a traditionally published picture book author
  • Who is eligible: un-agented, not previously published, not under contract, and not been mentored in the past year


Middle Grade/YA/Adult

Author Mentor Match
  • What: a mentorship to revise a completed MG or YA manuscript with agented/published MG/YA authors
  • Who is eligible: un-agented & unpublished MG/YA writers
  • When to apply: AMM Round 9 opens January 2021 (sign up for the newsletter for news)
Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program
  • What: a six-month mentorship for advanced MG & YA writers with two in-person conferences
  • Who is eligible: SCBWI members
  • When to apply: by Jan. 31, 2021

Pitch Wars
  • What: apply for a mentorship to polish your completed, full-length MG, YA, NA, or adult manuscript with a published author to prepare for an agent showcase
  • Who is eligible: un-agented & unpublished writers
  • When to apply:  Sept. 27- Oct.1, 2020
  • What: matches emerging writers and published authors for a three-month series of modules on topics such as craft, revision, publishing, and the writing life
  • Who is eligible: members of AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs)
  • When to apply: open twice a year, in August 1-12, 2020 & January
  • What: apply to a 4-month mentorship beginning March 20, 2021. Apply to a weighted lottery to participate in #WTPitch, a Twitter pitch event, from which the mentors will invite submissions
  • Who is eligible: writers of MG, YA, adult novels 
  • When to apply: by Dec. 1, 2020
  • What: a 6-month mentorship programs beginning June 1, 2021 for your WIP to revise and prepare for querying
  • Who is eligible: authors and illustrators who identify as marginalized book creator
  • When to apply: May 1 (apply to be a mentor April 1-15)
  • What: a mentorship for authors debuting between June and Dec. 2021
  • Who is eligible: authors/illustrators identifying as marginalized book creator
  • When to apply: May 1 (apply to be a mentor April 1-15)

All Levels PB-YA

  • What: a variety of mentorship programs for children's authors and illustrators
  • Who is eligible: SCBWI members
  • When to apply: check individual listings
  • What: apply for one of 15 mentorships with award-winning book creators (12 writers, 3 illustrators)
  • Who is eligible: anyone who personally identifies with an underrepresented community or working on a book with a diverse protagonist
  • When to apply: Oct 1-31, 2020
  • What: a year-long paid customized course for PB, MG, YA writers. Includes one-on-one mentorship and two in person conferences
  • When to apply: by Nov. 15, 2018
Be Your Own Mentor (a website providing resources on revising, industry, craft)

  • What: a three-month mentorship for PB, MG, YA pre-published writers and/or illustrators
  • Who is eligible: traditionally unpublished LGBTQ+ writers & illustrators
  • When to apply: June 1-15, 2021