Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2020 Middle Grade Writer Mentorship

Date(s) - 06/01/2019 - 06/30/2019
12:00 am


No Categories

Announcing the 2020 Writer Mentorship Program!

The 2020 writer mentorship focus is MIDDLE GRADE with debut author and local Kansas/Missouri SCBWI member Niki Lenz! Application for the Ellen Dolan Mentorship for Writers is open to any current KS-MO SCBWI member not published or under contract in MG.  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 2019. The scholarship will include conference registration AND a critique with the editor/agent/author of the winner’s choice. Registration for an intensive will be at the winner’s expense, but they will be provided with an opportunity to register early to ensure the first-choice intensive selection.

Cost: Free to SCBWI KS-MO members

When: Deadline to apply is June 30, 2019

Register: Opens June 1, 2019  

Please submit the following to 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 Niki. Think of it as a query letter to Niki.) 

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: Niki Lenz

Niki Lenz lives in Kansas City, Missouri, with her husband and children. She studied elementary education at Southwest Baptist University and taught kindergarten for six years. She enjoys reading, travel, glamping, polka dots, red lipstick, and oldies music. Bernice Buttman, Model Citizen is her first novel. Her forthcoming novel, Team Gravy, will be published by Random House in 2020. Follow her on Twitter at @NikiRLenz or visit