Mentor Programs

© Kathryn Rammell

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:

The Power of Mentorship: Or How Roald Dahl Helped Me Become a Writer

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

  • What: a 4-month mentorship with an agented picture book author or agent, exclusive workshops from industry professionals, publishing business intensives, community building, more
  • Who: un-agented picture book authors, illustrators, and author-illustrators, plus agented PB creators without agented-represented picture book deals
  • When: apply for mentorship March 18-April 4



Middle Grade/YA/Adult

Author Mentor Match for MG/YA writers;
 currently inactive

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: watch website for announcements
Pitch Wars: Pitch Wars and #PitMad have stopped their program

  • 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: by March 31, 2023
  • What: apply to a 4-month mentorship.  
  • Who is eligible: writers of MG, YA, adult novels 
  • When to apply: watch website for details
  • 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)
  • What: apply to a mentor for your MG, YA, or adult manuscript
  • Who is eligible: un-agented authors of color who are ready to query
  • When to apply: between August 26-30, 2021
  • Whatapply for a MG, YA, or adult mentor
  • Who is eligible: not traditionally published author over 18 years old
  • When to apply: April 22-25, 2022
  • What: apply for a mentorship with middle grade author Jessica Vitalis
  • Who is eligible: Canadian writers
  • What: apply for a year-long mentorship for a novel manuscript
  • Who: aspiring authors (at least 50% BIPOC mentees will be chosen)
  • When to apply: Oct 31-Nov. 6, 2023

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 one-year mentorships with award-winning book creators (PB text, illustration, MG, YA)
  • Who is eligible: children's writers or illustrators from diverse backgrounds
  • When to apply: Aug. 15-Sept. 15, 2023
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: yet to be published traditionally LGBTQ+ writers & illustrators
  • When to apply: Jan 15- Feb. 1, 2024

  • What: a mentorship program for writers who identify as Latinx
  • Who: un-agented, unpublished writers of books
  • When to apply: check in the fall 2024 to apply for 2025 cycle
  • What: pairs writers from underrepresented groups with experienced book publishing editors (from Simon & Schuster)
  • When to apply: keep an eye out for 2024 mentorship

Agent Mentorships

  • What:  a year long mentorship program with experienced agents to increase the promotion and retention of people in the business from historically underrepresented groups; also a summer fellowship program for college students
  • When to apply: Feb. 1 deadline for Mentorship program; March 1 for summer fellowship

  • What: A podcast about the publishing journey