Our mentors are published authors who are also great teachers and have experience mentoring other writers. We will have agents/editors as additional faculty to participate during the program to provide feedback on mentees’ work. You are asked to choose your mentors in the application or indicate no preference. (The program may add one more mentor.)
(In alphabetical order)
Arree Chung – Author Illustrator
Arree Chung makes picture books, but he did a lot of other things before finding his true passion. Arree began his career in consulting where he made lots of spreadsheets. Arree left the consulting field for an opportunity at Pixar. At Pixar, Arree learned the secret to success: loving what you do. To pursue his passion, Arree enrolled at the Art Center College of Design where he learned to draw, paint, and think differently. In Steven Turk’s Children’s Book Illustration class, Arree discovered his love for creating children’s picture books and the rest is history!
In the past decade, Arree has worked in the games industry as a Designer and Art Director. Arree’s first debut picture book, “Ninja!” hits shelves June 3rd, 2014. When Arree is not practicing his Ninja moves, you can find him playing basketball or riding his bike.
Kait Feldman – Associate Editor, Arthur A. Levine Books.
Kait Feldmann joined Scholastic in May of 2014 and is currently an Associate Editor at Arthur A. Levine Books, where she is building a list of picture books, graphic novels, and stories in translation from around the world. She is excited to be working with debut authors and illustrators such as Aida Salazar, Molly Mendoza, Jon Lau, and Sarah Jung. Kait is a proud hapa (mixed-race Chinese) and founding member of People of Color in Publishing. She is a strong advocate for diverse representation on and beyond the page and is particularly passionate about editing humorous and heartfelt stories featuring kids of color. Follow her on Twitter @kaitfeldmann.
Jenny Bent – Agent, The Bent Agency
Hannah Mann – Agent, Writer’s House
Hannah Mann grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and has always loved stories. She got a BA in Narrative Studies from the University of Southern California, and as Steven Malk’s assistant since 2013, she has had the privilege of working closely with a variety of extraordinarily talented bestselling and award-winning authors and illustrators. In 2017 she began building her own client list of authors and illustrators, focusing on character-driven Children’s work, from the youngest picture books to mature YA.
Quressa Robinson – Agent, Nelson Literary
Quressa Robinson joined the Nelson Literary Agency in 2017 after working at a previous agency and as an editor for five years. She is originally from San Francisco, but has been living in New York City for over a decade. As a New York based agent, she is eager to build her MG, YA, and Adult lists. When not curled on her couch reading, she plays video games, enjoys too much TV–mostly Sailor Moon and Harry Potter (Slytherin!), eats delicious things, drinks champagne, hangs out with her very clever husband, and adds another “dramatic” color to her lipstick collection. Quressa is also a member of the 2017-2019 WNDB Walter Grant Committee and holds an MFA in Creative Writing: Fiction from Columbia University.
DongWon Song – Agent, Howard Morhaim Literary
DongWon Song is an agent at Howard Morhaim Literary Agency representing science fiction and fantasy for adults, young adult, and middle grade readers as well as select non-fiction. He was formerly an editor at Orbit, a product manager for an ebook startup, and has taught as an adjunct instructor in the publishing program at Portland State University.
Jim Averbeck works, plays, and evades the law in San Francisco, California. His first book, In a Blue Room, was a Charlotte Zolotow Honor book. His popular books Except If and Oh No, Little Dragon! feature charming protagonists with pointy teeth. His book, The Market Bowl and his middle grade novel A Hitch at the Fairmont were Junior Library Guild Selections. His most recent book, One Word From Sophia, was an IndyNext Top 10 for Summer 2015. Accepting PB Text & MG.
Ellen Hopkins is a poet, freelance writer, and the award-winning author of twenty nonfiction titles, three novels for adults, and thirteen NY Times Bestselling novels-in-verse. She has published hundreds of articles on subjects ranging from aviation to child abuse to winegrowing. Ellen is a regular speaker at schools, book festivals and writers conferences across the US, and now throughout the world. Accepting YA.
Erin Entrada Kelly
Erin Entrada Kelly received the 2018 Newbery Medal for Hello, Universe, the 2017 APALA Award for The Land of Forgotten Girls, and the 2016 Golden Kite Honor Award for Blackbird Fly.
Erin was raised in Louisiana, but now lives in the Philadelphia area. She is a professor of children’s literature in the graduate fiction and publishing programs at Rosemont College, where she earned her MFA. Erin has a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies and liberal arts from McNeese State University and an MFA in creative writing from Rosemont.
“When writing for children, don’t dumb-down the story. Kids aren’t dumb; they’re inexperienced. Everything is new, so grab that sense of wonder.”
Diana López is the author of the adult novella, SOFIA’S SAINTS and the middle grade novels, CONFETTi GIRL, CHOKE, ASK MY MOOD RING HOW I FEEL, AND NOTHING UP MY SLEEVE. She also wrote the novel adaptation for the Disney/Pixar film, COCO. Diana lives in Victoria, Texas where she teaches creative writing at the University of Houston-Victoria. She also assists with the magazine Huizache and works as the managing director of CentroVictoria, an organization that promotes Latino literature and art. Accepting MG.
Jenny MacKay has written 33 nonfiction books for middle-grade and teen readers on topics ranging from murder scenes and roller coasters to mythology and haunted houses. She has a master’s degree in creative writing and currently teaches college courses in English composition and communications. She has been a member of SCBWI since about 2007 (but who’s counting?) and has been a mentor for two of Nevada SCBWI’s Mentor Programs. She is a teacher at heart, and helping writers unearth and polish up the diamonds in their rough drafts is undoubtedly her favorite thing to do. She also preaches that a good story is a good story, whether it is true or make-believe, so she is equally happy working with writers to shape stupendous tales of both the fictional and the nonfictional kind. Accepting Nonfiction, MG, and YA
“Re-read your favorite books with the eyes of a writer and study how they crafted those scenes you loved the best.”
Heather Petty has been obsessed with mysteries since she was twelve, which is when she decided that stories about murders in London drawing rooms and English seaside villages were far superior to all other stories. Lock & Mori is her first novel. She lives in Reno, Nevada with her husband, daughter, and four hopelessly devious cats. Accepting MG & YA
Lynda Sandoval is a former police officer and 911 police/emergency medical dispatcher turned fiction writer and substantive editor, with twenty-six award winning published books to her credit. Her first novel for teens was selected by the Colorado Endowment for the Humanities as a Colorado Book Award finalist in Young Adult Literature. It was also named to the prestigious New York Public Library’s “Books for the Teen Age” list, selected by the American Library Association as a Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, and nominated for the King County Library System’s Evergreen Young Adult Book Award. She has taught fiction writing classes and workshops all over the country. Currently, she and her spouse co-own and run a small town yoga studio that serves as a community wellness hub and fundraising partner with local non-profits, and a holistic grooming and boarding facility for cats in western New York. She continues to edit award-winning LGBTQ fiction for Bold Strokes Books, Bywater Books, and Brisk Press. Accepting MG & YA.
Suzanne Morgan Williams
“You can be well into your WIP before you find the heart of your book. Then everything is measured by that and revision makes more sense.”
Suzanne Morgan Williams is one of the founders of the NV Mentorship Program. She is the author of the middle grade novel Bull Rider and eleven nonfiction books for children. Bull Rider is a Junior Library Guild Selection, is on several state award lists and won a Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City. Suzanne’s work is research based (both fiction and nonfiction) and her research and presentations have taken her from Mexico to the Arctic, from China to Cape Cod. Suzanne has not only been an administrator and mentor for SCBWI Nevada program, but she was a mentor for the first SCBWI Emerging Voices award. She was SCBWI Member of the Year in 2012. A writer for more than twenty years, she has found working with and developing connections with other book people to be pivotal in both her professional and personal life. She is currently working on a historical novel. Accepting MG and YA.