Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators


Mentorship Timeline

Oct 1 – Nov 5:  Application submissions (by email only)

Nov 15-30: Notification Window

Dec 1: Send full manuscript to mentor

Jan 1: Full Payment due

Jan 15 – May 31: Mentorship period

Last Sunday in April *: Dinner for participants and mentors

*if last Sunday falls on Easter, the dinner will be the following Sunday

See the MICHELLE BEGLEY MENTOR PROGRAM menu at the top of the right sidebar menu for access to more information!

2017-2018 Michelle Begley Mentor Program Information is now up-to-date.

Our local chapter wants to help you succeed; it’s what we’re here for. The Mentor Program was born of the desire among our members for intensive one-on-one craft focus. In 2015 it was renamed to the Michelle Begley Mentor Program in honor of the volunteer, Michelle Begley, who speerheaded the effort to start and coordinator the program. Sadly, Michelle passed away in 2015, but her talent and spirit live on in this program and beyond.

The Mentor Program is designed for the unpublished writer or illustrator who feels their work is possibly-perhaps-maybe close to ready for submissions to editors and agents.  Or maybe you’ve already submitted heavily but receive those so-called “positive” rejections.  Or perhaps your critique group is stumped why you’re not published already.  If any of this sounds familiar, the Mentor Program may be for you.

The mentors we’ve selected are all as generous as they are talented.  They, too, want to help you succeed in the crazy, frustrating, and wonderful world of writing and illustrating for children.  They’ve been through the rigors of revision and rejection.  They know the frustrations you face.  And in spite of their busy schedules and deadlines, these people want help you through some hard spots in your journey of honing your craft.

This program is not a promise you’ll be published.  But if you work hard and give the mentorship all of your best effort, your craft will improve.

Please take the time to visit each mentor’s website.  With your application, you must select one or two mentors to whom your work will be submitted. Use the tabs above to read about the mentors and find the best fit for you and your work.


RMC-SCBWI Full members (includes self-published, POD, etc), Associate members, and PAL members who are not yet published in the genre in which they wish to be  mentored (e.g., a PAL author who has picture books published, but would like help working on a novel or a PAL author who has published novels, but would like to learn to write picture books. PAL authors cannot be published or under contract for the genre in which they would like to be mentored).

What to Expect

The actual mentorship lasts six months (see timeline at right), beginning with your original submission directly to your mentor once you’ve been accepted.  During the mentorship, you communicate with your mentor at least once per month via e-mail, phone, or in-person if you and your mentor so choose.

Expect to work hard on your manuscript(s) with the goal of revision completion by the end of the mentorship. Be open to constructive criticism and be prepared for intensive critique.

NOTE: This is a blind application process; mentors will not know whose work they’re reading. Your name will appear ONLY on your application form, and you will be assigned a number for your work sample, synopsis, and artist statement. Mentors select mentees based on the application, artist statement, and manuscripts or illustrations they have received.


The cost of the program is $530

Mentees who are accepted to the program will be emailed a PayPal invoice to be paid in full before the start of the program on January 1, 2018. (You can pay via PayPal, debit, or credit card)

Those looking for financial assistance should visit the Mentor Program Scholarship page.

Email our Mentor Program Coordinator Jennifer Simms.
Or if you have many questions, email Jen with your phone number and she'll give you a call!

Application Tips

• Send only your best, most polished work

• Follow manuscript formatting guidelines

• Read the books or check out the art of the mentors to help find a match