2018 Illustrator Mentorship

Announcing the 2018 Illustrator Mentorship Program

Our region is pleased to introduce a new opportunity for regional SCBWI members. We are starting an illustration mentorship, to pair with the long standing Ellen Dolan Mentorship for Writers. We are so lucky to have our own Stephen T. Johnson as our first illustration mentor. Stephen is a talented artist, teacher, and winner of the Caldecott Honor. Application for the Illustration Mentorship is open to any current Kansas/Missouri SCBWI member not yet published in children’s book illustration (editorial publication, etc. is acceptable). The winner will work with the mentor improving a single illustration over the course of the mentorship. The mentor will critique the illustration twice during an agreed upon timeline, not to exceed one year. The winner will also receive a scholarship covering registration cost to the Kansas/Missouri SCBWI conference in 2017.


Cost: Free to SCBWI Kansas and Missouri members


When: We will begin accepting applications on May 1st. Please do not submit materials until this date. Deadline to apply is June 30, 2017



Email Amy Kenney at ksmo-ic@scbwi.org with the illustration you would like to work on with Stephen. Please read and follow these guidelines carefully in order for your submission to receive full consideration.


1.  Your illustration file needs to be sized at 72dpi, and saved as a jpg. The file name should include your initials, not your name. (e.g.: AEK_2017mentorship.jpg) 


2.   Include a brief bio in your submission email that lists publication credits, professional training, and what you hope to gain from the mentorship.


3.  Submissions should be sent to Amy Kenney at ksmo-ic@scbwi.org between May 1 and June 30, 2017.  Your email subject line should read “2017 illustration mentorship application.” 


4.   Failure to follow these guidelines will disqualify your application from consideration.


About the Mentor: Stephen T. Johnson


Stephen T. Johnson is a highly versatile American artist whose visually arresting and conceptually rich body of work forges connections between words, objects and ideas.  His art spans a broad range of concepts, contexts and mediums including painting, collage, drawing, sculpture and installations and can be seen in museum and gallery exhibitions, site-specific public art commissions, and through his original award-winning children’s books.


Much of Johnson’s work is characterized by an interest in the alphabet and language, which began with his book Alphabet City, a Caldecott Honor and New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year.  His most recent engagement with the alphabet is his ongoing series of “literal abstractions” which are the subject of his book A is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet, also a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year, and featured in several solo museum and gallery exhibitions.


Johnson’s drawings and paintings are in numerous private and permanent collections, including the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. and the New Britain Museum of Art, Connecticut.  Solo exhibitions of his work have been featured at the Memorial Art Gallery at the University of Rochester, New York; the Katonah Museum of Art, New York; and the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas. 

Among his public art is a large mosaic mural at the DeKalb Avenue subway station in Brooklyn, New York and a 58-foot long mural at the Universal City Metro Station in North Hollywood, California.


You can see Stephen’s beautiful work at his website: www.stephentjohnson.com.