Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2019 Writer Mentorship

Announcing the 2019 Writer Mentorship Program!-NOW OPEN!

The 2019 writer mentorship focus is YOUNG ADULT. Our mentor is the wonderful author, Cynthia Leitich Smith. Application for the Ellen Dolan Mentorship for Writers is open to any current KS-MO SCBWI member not published in YA. Applications are screened by a panel of judges, with five chosen to submit for blind review to the mentor. The winner will work with the mentor for one year on a mutually agreed upon project.

The mentor will do one full read of the winning novel and provide notes and feedback. Following the reading, the mentor and mentee will “meet” via phone, Skype, or email (up to 3 times before the year is over) to discuss questions and revisions.

The winner will also receive a scholarship covering registration cost to the KS-MO SCBWI Middle of the Map Conference in 2018.

Cost: Free to SCBWI KS-MO members

When: Deadline to apply is June 30, 2018

Register: OPEN!  

Send Lynnea Annette (lynneaannette (at) an email with two Word attachments:  one is the first 10-pages of the manuscript AND 1-page synopsis, double-spaced with 12 point font, and one is your cover letter. (Include things like how long you have been writing, what types of manuscripts you’ve written, why you’d like to work with Cynthia. Think of it as a query letter to Cynthia.) 

Please read and follow these guidelines fully in order for your manuscript to receive full consideration.

1.  Do not place your name on either the cover letter or manuscript because the mentor will see both.  Instead, choose a nonsense word or phrase, and replace your name with that word on both the cover letter and the manuscript.

2.   Save your documents with that same nonsense word.  For example:  Lollyland letter.  Lollyland manuscript.

3.  Attach both the cover letter and the manuscript to an email These attachments must be Word documents.   

4.  In the body of the email only, reveal to Lynnea both your name and your nonsense word or phrase.  Anyone who puts her real or pen name anywhere in the attached application materials will be disqualified.  

About the Mentor: Cynthia Leitich Smith

Cynthia Leitich Smith (Pronounced Lie-tick. First a long “i,” then a short “i,” followed by a hard “k.”) is best known as an author of fantastical and realistic fiction for young readers.

She is the New York Times best-selling author of the award-winning Feral series and Tantalize series. These adventure-fantasies were published by Candlewick Press in the U.S., Walker Books in the U.K. and Australia/New Zealand, and additional publishers around the globe.

She also is the author of several award-winning children’s books, including: Jingle Dancer, Rain Is Not My Indian Name; and Indian Shoes, all published by HarperCollins. In addition, she has published short stories, nonfiction essays, and poetry for young readers.

Cynthia looks forward to the publication of her upcoming YA contemporary realistic novel, Hearts Unbroken (Candlewick, Oct. 2018). It is her first book with a Native protagonist since 2002.

She is a graduate of the William Allen White School of Journalism at The University of Kansas and The University of Michigan Law School.

She also serves on the core faculty of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults and is a member of the Honorary Advisory Board of We Need Diverse Books. Order books by Cynthia Leitich Smith.