Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Mentee News & Testimonials

“I learned to trust myself – the inner creative voice. I loved the sense of community at the retreat. It was magic. This is the best thing I have done for myself in recent memory.” –  Barbara Marquand

“Loved it, loved it, loved it! It broadened my writing world 100 fold – geographically, by networking and meeting amazing writers and illustrators, and by giving me incredible support and feedback…” –  Fran Slayton

“…Program is what I wish I could have had when I was beginning. A platform between writing for myself and hoping to get published, and into the world of those who take their writing seriously and expect to be published, as well as training for how to present your work to editors and art agents with love and responsibility and not excuses.” –  Teri Sloat, Mentor

“From the very begining of my decision to write for children I felt that I learned best by experience, not by reading about what to do. The mentorship program afforded me that opportunity for feedback … This seemed to exactly fit my learning style. The application process was easy enough but it was a big step for me. I really did keep my fingers crossed for several weeks. It was like winning the lottery.” – Sheryll Hoeberg

“I am proud to have been part of such a worthwhile and extraordinary experience.” –  Christina Tugeau, Mentor 

“I’ve learned to look at my writing and my book(s) in a new way. Thanks for the amazing opportunity, the warm hospitality, and the belly-laughing session. I love Nevada.” – Lindsay Eland

“The mentor program far exceeded my expectations. This was a life-changing experience for me. Without this program, my manuscript would be mouldering in the drawer.” –  Andrea Mock

“I’ve made new friendships and contacts here. My mentor was very generous in sharing helpful tips.” – Jeannie Harris

“This is a rare opportunity. The final weekend was great!” – Tracy Clark

“…Both quality and quantity of feedback from my mentor, Gordon Warnock, were excellent: relevant, insightful, and helped make my project grow from a sketchy 47 page cartoon, to a full fledged, full color graphic novel. This was the best thing I could have possibly done to advance my career… A big bonus was meeting so many wonderful writers and illustrators. I feel like I have a new instant family of other supportive, creative people to share ideas, successes, and everything life throws at us. Thank you for this marvelous opportunity.” –  Anne Belov


We are very proud of our Mentor Program alumnae. The following are some of our mentees who have found representation or have published their novel since our program, and the list keeps growing. This is not a complete list. (If you’re a past mentee and you have news, please email with the information.)


ANNE BELOV is represented by Gordon Warnock of Fuse Literary.

JANAY BROWN-WOOD signed with Karen Grencik of Red Fox Literary.


The Un-Common Raven: one smart bird, 2013 Southwest Book of the Year Panelist Pick; 2013 Finalist New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. Also Shade; A Story About a Very Smart Raven.
New in January 2020: Dear Hubby of Mine: Home Front Wives in World War II.

NAOMI CANALE is represented by Vicki Selvaggio of Jennifer de Chiara Literary Agency.

ELLE COSIMANO contracted with Kathy Dawson Books.

TRACY CLARK  signed with agent Michael Bourret of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.

AMY ALLGEYER COOK signed with agent Danielle Chiotti of Upstart Crow Literary and contracted with Albert Whitman Books for her book Water for Starfish.

MAYA CREEDMAN is represented by Amanda Ayers Barnett at Donaghy Literary Agency.

JULIE DILLARD signed with agent Josh Adams of Adams Literary.

LINDSAY ELAND has published two middle-grade novels, Scones and Sensibility (2009) and A Summer of Sundays (2013), both through Egmont USA.

JACKIE GARLICK signed a two book deal with Skyscape Publishing.

KRISTEN HELD contracted with Entangled Teen for her book Holding Court.

LOUISE HENRICKSEN is represented by Jennifer Unter at Unter Literary Agency.

MARILYN HILTON signed with Josh Adams of Adams Literary. She won SCBWI’s 2011 Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award. Antheneum published her middle-grade novel, Found Things. Dial Books published Full Cicada Moon.

CYNTHIA KREMSNER has contracted with Pelican Publishing to illustrate My Puppy Gave to Me.

CRISTOPHER LEDBETTER contracted with Evernight Teen for his book Drawn.

CRAIG LEW is under contract for his upcoming YA book written in verse with Little Pickle Press.

SYLVIA LIU won 2013 New Voices Award winner and Lee & Low published her debut picture book, A MORNING WITH GRANDPA.

KATHERINE LONGSHORE has published YA novels Gilt and Tarnish (Viking 2012 and 2013), and Manor of Secrets. She also had stories included in the anthology Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves (Zest Books 2012).

MICHELLE LORD contracted with Holiday House for her book Animal School.

JUDE MANDELL had poetry included in Lee Bennett Hopkins’ anthology Amazing Faces (Lee & Low 2010).

VALERIE MCCAMMON is represented by Mary Cummings of Betsy Amster Literary.

SARAH MCGUIRE signed with agent Tracey Adams of Adams Literary and has sold her debut novel Valiant to Egmont.

HAZEL MITCHELL  is represented by Ginger Knowlton at Curtis Brown Ltd, NYC.

CYNTHIA MUN is represented by Jenny Bent at The Bent Agency.

AMY CRISTOF NIELANDER is represented by Adria Goetz at Martin Literary Group.

RICK ROWE Self-published VOICES has been named winner of the 2015 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards silver medal in the Ebook category for YA Fiction. Book 1 of Jayden Banks and the Jameson Twins, Game On, has been judged and named a 2015 Benjamin Franklin Digital Award GOLD HONOREE!

JENNIFER RUDIN contracted with Koehler Books for her book Camp Utopia and the Forgiveness Diet.

KELLY SHEAHAN won SCBWI’s 2010 Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award.

FRAN CANNON SLAYTON contracted with Philomel for her book When the Whistle Blows.

HOLLY THOMPSON published her YA novels Orchards (Ember 2012, winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Young Adult Literature and an ALA-YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Book) and The Language Inside (Delacorte 2013, starred review, School Library Journal).

SUZANNE MORGAN WILLIAMS  contracted with Margaret K. McElderry Books for her book Bull Rider.

LEE WIND signed with Danielle Smith of Red Fox Literary.