The NV Mentorship Program was founded by Ellen Hopkins in 2006. Since then, the program has helped dozens of authors debut their stories.
Nevada SCBWI is committed to giving our members the best opportunities to improve their writing and illustrating skills and to get closer to their goals of seeing their works published, or published at a higher level. One of the best ways to learn is to work with a successful professional. Every other year (bi-annually), Nevada SCBWI hosts its flagship Mentor Program, the first of its kind among SCBWI. We arrange for well-published professional children's book creators to work with participants chosen during a blind application process. During each program, each mentor works with a small group of 2 or 3 people. 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, a "mentee," you will need to commit the same amount of time, work, and flexibility with the aim of improving your craft.
We are very proud of the eight successful Mentor Programs. 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 cannot guarantee publication. But we can guarantee that you will meet, work personally with, and learn from some fine professional writers.
In the past, the Mentorship Program selected both illustrators and novelists; however starting 2018, the Mentorship Program will offer two different programs. For illustrators and picture book writers, the program will be held as an intensive rather than as a mentorship.
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 revisions
What to Expect from the Mentor Program:
The Mentors choose the participants for the program by a blind application process. We accept between 20 and 30 participants in Las Vegas.
The program begins with a 3-day retreat/workshop for the mentors, mentees, and a guest editor/agent.
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.
Consider applying if:
- You have been attending a critique group regularly and are beginning to get very positive feedback on your work.
- You have submitted to publishers and received "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.
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.
- YOU MUST HAVE A PROJECT UNDERWAY THAT YOU PLAN TO WORK ON THROUGH THE MENTORSHIP PROGRAM.
It also helps if you like to have fun.