SCBWI

Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Mentorship Program

 

 

YOU DON’T NEED TO LIVE IN NV TO APPLY. The program is a combination of 1-1 mentorship via in-person meetings, conference workshops, and agent meetings.

Every other year (bi-annually), Nevada SCBWI hosts its flagship Mentor Program, the first of its kind among SCBWI.

Nevada SCBWI is committed to giving our members the best opportunities to improve their writing and to get closer to their goals of seeing their works published. One of the best ways to learn is to work with an author-mentor who have published and are experienced writers who enjoy mentoring other writers. The key is that our NV Mentors are not only experienced professional writers, they want to help yet-to-be published writers produce a more polished manuscript. We don’t guarantee publication but many of our past mentees have published or signed with agents since their involvement in the program.

During the program, each mentor works with 2 or 3 mentees. 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, as a “mentee,” you will need to commit to spending time on your revision with the aim of improving your craft. The Mentorship Faculty is on the menu on the sidebar, but here is a shortcut as well: FACULTY.

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 guarantee that you will meet, work personally with, and learn from some fine professional writers. We do NOT guarantee that you’ll find an agent. However, here is a list of mentees who have found agents after the program and published. (This is not a final list since we don’t actively keep it current, but update it when we hear about one of the mentees. The list is on the sidebar menu as well.) LIST of Agented Mentees.

 

FOR WRITERS

As of 2019. the NV Mentorship Program will only have writers in the program.

FOR ILLUSTRATORS or Picture Book Writer-Illustrators: If you are an illustrator, we highly suggest that you consider the Storyteller Academy by Arree Chung. We recognize his highly successful program and decided not to replicate an illustrator program. Please visit the Storyteller Academy website.

 

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 revision with opportunity to schedule Zoom/Skype/Facetime meetings online or telephone calls with your mentor scheduled in advance at the beginning of the program to help keep a deadline in mind.

* A final review after revision

 

What to Expect from the Mentor Program:

The Mentors choose the participants for the program by a blind application process. Number of acceptances are based on the number of qualified manuscripts.

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.

Pre-Published Authors:

Consider applying if:

  • You have been attending a critique group regularly and are beginning to get very positive feedback on your work or have a few manuscripts under your belt.
  • You have submitted to agents and publishers with “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.

Published/Agented Authors:

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.

All Applicants:

  • YOU MUST HAVE A PROJECT UNDERWAY THAT YOU PLAN TO WORK ON THROUGH THE MENTORSHIP PROGRAM.
  • If your work is longer than 85,000 words, there is an additional fee of up to $1000. The publishing industry generally recognize that chapter books are no longer than about 20,000 words, MG of about 45,000 with fantasy/science fiction being a bit longer to about 55,000 words, and YA being about 85,000 words or shorter. Again, science fiction and fantasy tend to be longer.

2019 Mentorship DATES

INFO SESSION: There will be a free Zoom online informational meeting about the NV Mentorship Program on October 28, 2019 at 9:45am for 30 minutes or so. Register here for the free meeting:

Due Date Schedule:

  • Sep. 1 – Dec. 15, 2018 – Open application process.
  • Oct 28, 2019 – General program informational session. Register HERE
  • February 15, 2019 – Announcement of Mentee Selection
  • February 20, 2019 – Selected mentees must email or mail manuscripts to mentors
  • Program Fee due in whole or in payments starting Feb. 20, 2019 by check. If making payments, additional fees will be due Mar 1 & Apr 1. All fees must be paid by April. All decision to participate must be made by February 20.

If mentee does not submit by 2/20/19, they forfeit and an alternate will be selected

  • May 3-5, 2019 – Kick-off for the Mentorship Program at Gold Coast Hotel in Las Vegas in conjunction with NV SCBWI conference.
  • November 8-10, 2019 – Optional 2nd meeting for mentees in Virginia City, Nevada (end of program). Agents will also attend this event.
  • If you’ve been selected, please make sure you make reservations at the Gold Coast Hotel for your hotel rooms using the room block since the price is better. Please go on-line toGoldcoastcasino.com/groups and use group code: A9WBC05 or call into The Gold Coast Hotel Reservations at 888-402-6278  before March 1, 2019. We only blocked 50 rooms total for the entire conference, and it is on a first-come-first-served basis for all mentees and conference attendees.

You must first register for the Mentorship Program. The fee to register is $50. Every applicant will receive a critique of their pages by a mentor or agent regardless of being selected for the program as part of the application process. You will submit 20 pages for the program application for the application, but only the first ten pages will receive a written critique. Applicants can not choose if their pages are critiqued by an agent or mentor.

The program fees for 2019 are $1350 (This does not include the hotel accommodations at Gold Coast – you must stay at the Gold Coast and use one of the room blocks if participating in the program. The rooms are $110 per night. Call the Gold Coast at 888-402-6278 and give group code A9WBC05. We are trying to include all meals but it will be dependent on how many mentees are selected for the program. Regardless, if we don’t have banquet style meals, the costs will be reasonable. We’re reviewing all options to convenience (time savings for attendees), cost, and taste to make a decision. Some of the cost of the program is subsidized by the revenue made from the conference that is open to non-mentees in May. The program can not operate financially without the conference.

OPTIONAL Add-on to the NV Mentorship Program – Reno Writer’s Retreat:

There is an optional agent program at the end of the mentorship program this year that is different from last year. We will have at least 2 agents during Reno Writer’s Retreat at St. Mary’s Art Center in Virginia City, NV.

Date: Nov 8-9, 2019

St. Mary’s Cost: $200 includes shared room in St. Mary’s Art Center plus breakfast & lunch for the stay. We are still calculating the cost of dinners and may decide to include or pay separately depending on our finances. We need to breakeven in costs for this program. (You may opt to stay at a hotel or elsewhere in Virginia City at your own cost if you don’t want to share a room. If we run out of rooms or there is a roommate issue and require attendees to stay elsewhere, we will figure out a subsidy for the extra costs, but it is only if we lack space.)

There will be a separate registration in June 2019 for St. Mary’s Retreat after mentees are selected to confirm who will attend.

 

APPLICATION ITEMS:

Please carefully read the application details including submission information below.

You will submit 2 files. The entire application document of all the pages must be included in one MS Word document titled with your Lastname-firstname-agegroup-genre-Application. This file includes your 20-page manuscript as well as pages 1 to 20. The second file is a separate 20-page manuscript that must be titled by Lastname-Nameofmanuscript-agegroup-genre.

Example for file 1

Mun-Cynthia-MG-fantasy-Application.docx (whatever extension for a Word file you have)

YA for Young Adult, MG for Middle Grade. Picture book TEXT only – PB. We are NOT offering illustrator mentorships, but if you’d like to work on text, it is possible.

Example for file 2

Mun-TITLEOFMANUSCRIPT-MG-fantasy.docx

Please ask for help from someone if you do not know how to do this. We will delete participants for not following directions and refund the fee. Not following submission instructions is the number one reason why agents don’t read your queries.

 

CONTENTS OF THE APPLICATION

File 1:

Pages 1-20 your manuscript – in proper format. If you’re not sure about formatting, please review the bottom of this page: Formatting

Page 21 of the Application should be your contact information that includes the following:

* Name (not your pen name)

* Title of your manuscript, age group, genre, word count

* Email address – we will be using this email address during the entire program, so, please put an email that you check often. We’ve had issues regarding folks not receiving email in the past.

* Mailing address

* Phone number. Preferably a mobile #. This is for time sensitive quick communication needs when an email just won’t do

* Indicate the order of preference for mentors. Mentors will pick manuscripts based on their interest of the work. If more than one mentor selects your manuscript, we’ll review your preference and assign as appropriate. If any of the mentors who choose your manuscript is a good choice, please indicate that you have no preference.

Page 22, please include a one page maximum artist statement as to why you write. Double spaced, 12 point font. Please put your name on this page as well.

Page 23, please include SCBWI Event attendance and membership info. Please take a photo of the event history information from your SCBWI member profile page online. If you’ve been to many, we just need the first page that shows your name as well.

Directions on where to find event attendance history information:

  • Go to SCBWI. Org. Sign in.
  • Go to Myhome on the right hand side, click on it then it should take you to your profile page
  • On the left hand side of the profile page, below the words that say “Change Password” you’ll see “Event History”
  • Click on Event History and it should display all the SCBWI events you’ve attended. Take a screen shot or take a photo then paste this photo into your word document as part of file 1.

REMINDER – FORMATTING your manuscript:  your 20 pages for submission. Please make sure your file is a in Word format and you follow the formatting guidelines posted here at the bottom of the page on this link: https://nevada.scbwi.org/critique-groups/

EMAIL SUBMISSION: email both documents in one email with SUBJECT line 2019 NV Mentorship Program Application and send it to Nevada@scbwi.org.

These instructions are specific BECAUSE it helps us organize and find your information quickly. SCBWI NV administrators are all volunteers so please help us save time. If this program takes more time than we have to offer then we won’t be able to offer it in the future.

For questions about the program can be sent to nevada@scbwi.org. Please consider attending the Questions session on October 28 2018. We are all volunteers so please help us reduce the number of emails we receive.

Please put 2019 Mentorship Question in the subject line This email is not checked daily. You might be able to find your answers by asking folks on the SCBWI NV Facebook page. I have asked past mentees if they would be able to answer questions through Facebook. There is also a list of past mentees on the website, if you’d like to speak to them as well.

FREE INFO SESSION: There will be a free Zoom online informational meeting about the NV Mentorship Program on October 28, 2019 at 9:45am for 30 minutes or so. Register here for the free meeting: https://nevada.scbwi.org/events/free-qa-session-about-nv-mentorship-program/

Due Date Schedule:

  • Sep. 1 – Dec. 15, 2018 – Open application process.
  • Oct 28, 2019 – General program informational session.
  • February 15, 2019 – Announcement of Mentee Selection
  • February 20, 2019 – Selected mentees must email or mail manuscripts to mentors
  • Program Fee due in whole or in payments starting Feb. 20, 2019 by check. If making payments, additional fees will be due Mar 1 & Apr 1. All fees must be paid by April. All decision to participate must be made by February 20.

If mentee does not submit by 2/20/19, they forfeit and an alternate will be selected

  • May 3-5, 2019 – Kick-off for the Mentorship Program at Gold Coast Hotel in Las Vegas in conjunction with NV SCBWI conference.
  • November 8-10, 2019 – Optional 2nd meeting for mentees in Virginia City, Nevada (end of program). Agents will also attend this event.
  • If you’ve been selected, please make sure you make reservations at the Gold Coast Hotel for your hotel rooms using the room block since the price is better. Please go on-line toGoldcoastcasino.com/groups and use group code: A9WBC05 or call into The Gold Coast Hotel Reservations at 888-402-6278  before March 1, 2019. We only blocked 50 rooms total for the entire conference, and it is on a first-come-first-served basis for all mentees and conference attendees.