SCBWI

Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2021 Mentorship Contest

PRIZE:

Six-month mentorship with Joseph Taylor. The mentorship will include six months of interaction and critiques, including an initial call to establish the goals, expectations, and parameters of the mentorship, weekly email check-ins, and a monthly meeting by phone or Zoom.

ABOUT THE MENTORSHIP:

The contest is open to writers of middle grade and/or young adult nonfiction. The mentorship will focus primarily on craft-related issues and fine-tuning manuscripts. While you will submit only one writing sample with your application, the mentorship is not limited to one project. You may want to discuss multiple ideas but work intensively on one manuscript, for example. Joseph says, “I aim to take a broad approach but also meet you where you are and adjust the focus accordingly.”

The mentorship will cover elements of successful nonfiction writing (including structure, openings, transitions, narrative techniques, poetic devices, voice, use of quotes, and point of view, among others); research, reporting, and interview techniques; and the importance of backmatter and supplemental materials. Joseph can also offer guidance regarding agents for nonfiction writers, queries and submissions, how to complete a full book proposal, and tips for marketing and author websites.

“Are you ready to roll up your sleeves to produce nonfiction work that is worthy of publication for older kids and teens? If so, I hope you will submit some work and place yourself in consideration for this mentorship.”
—Joseph Taylor

ELIGIBILITY:

1. You must be a member in good standing of the SCBWI-L.A. or Cen Cal region.
2. Associate or Full members may apply. (No PAL members).*
3. Limited to one entry per person.

*SCBWI membership levels: PAL (published and listed), Full (published unlisted), Associate (unpublished)

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

1. DO NOT contact the mentor directly.
2. Applicants not in compliance with the rules or that do not adhere to the application instructions will be disqualified.
3. To ensure fairness to all, no questions will be answered.

CONTENT:

Your submission will consist of two parts:

I. Written responses to the following:

1) How long have you been a member of SCBWI?
2) How would you describe the stage you are in as a children’s writer?
3) Do you see yourself primarily as a middle grade or young adult nonfiction writer? If not, what other types of writing have you been focusing on? If so, have you done other types of writing that matter to you?
4) What subject areas most interest you as a nonfiction writer? Would you describe yourself as a generalist or specialist or something else?
5) Have you shared your work with others in children’s literature (critique partners, SCBWI workshops, course instructors, classmates, agents, editors, etc.)? How has this process worked for you?
6) What do you hope to gain by having a mentor?

II. Your Project

Please submit the first 10 to 20 pages (double spaced) of a nonfiction middle grade or young adult manuscript. A work-in-progress is acceptable.

In addition, please submit a brief (2-3 sentence) synopsis and a title and/or subtitle that make clear what the book is about. Please specify whether the project is MG or YA. Finally, if there is anything you’d like to share about the manuscript you are submitting, you may include a brief statement.

Please send as either a PDF or Word document. Include your name, email address, and other standard information in the top left-hand corner of the first page.

SUBMISSION:

1. Your submission must be emailed with the subject line MENTOR CONTEST to: scbwilamentor@gmail.com

2. In the body of your email include:

– Your current SCBWI member name
– Address
– Phone numbers
– Email address

3. Provide your written answers to the questions in Roman numeral I (above) as a PDF or Word attachment. Name your file: LAST NAME_ANSWERS. Example: Giblin_Answers.pdf

4. Provide your manuscript sample and synopsis described in Roman numeral II (above) as a PDF or Word attachment. Name your file: LAST NAME_MANUSCRIPT. Example: Giblin_Manuscript.pdf

5. Entries must be received by 11:59pm on 6/18/21.