Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Mentor Program Kudos

Look what others have said about the mentor program!

The mentorship experience has been the best use of my time and money that I’ve spent developing my craft. This kind of ongoing feedback is literally priceless and I can see (and so can others!) the improvement in my writing, both on the sentence level and on the story level. I keep recommending the mentorship (and Anna-Maria) over and over.

Anna-Maria has made me feel so supported, truly going above and beyond to provide feedback and to engage with me in discussing my work. Her talent and skills are incredible – she has unequivocally been the perfect mentor for me. It is amazing to me how much she notices, and she brings things up in a way that I’m able to understand. Then we hit the next layer. Through her continuous support, I feel like I better understand character motivation, relationships, setting things up (and resolving them), reactions in scene, and more. By no means is my work done – I definitely have more to learn, but what I’ve learned by working with her makes me feel like my foundational abilities as a writer have strengthened and improved. I’m hopeful to be querying this novel before the end of the year.

I’m so grateful to Anna-Maria for her mentoring and so grateful to Michelle Begley, who I wish I could have known, for bringing this wonderful program to our chapter.
Coral Jenrette


My mentor and I were a team. Our partnership was collaborative and I learned so much about the craft from her; enough to tackle a complete rewrite with confidence. The Michele Begley Mentorship Program was intense, but I didn’t expect anything less. So glad I applied for the program.
Sindhu Vijayasarathy (winner of the 2017 SCBWI Emerging Voices Award)


I worked with my mentor on my first story, and the time I spent with her was invaluable. We went through many revisions and she just had so much knowledge and advice that helped me to get the manuscript ready to send out. And I’m happy to announce that that story, The Perfect Blindside, is being published on August 1st, 2015! I just can’t express how much this opportunity to work with a mentor helped me. I’m not sure my story ever would have gotten to the point of readiness that was needed to garner a publisher’s interest without the mentor program.
Leslea Wahl


I am so grateful for Michelle Begley and her creation of the mentor program. I believe every positive step in a writer’s journey (like being accepted into the program) nourishes creativity and craft. Each “attaboy” gives us the necessary fuel to keep moving, motivated and energized. Michelle’s mentor program was a HUGE boost in my writing career. Thanks to Michelle I connected with my mentor (Lindsay) who tirelessly provided feedback so I could edit and edit and edit my story. When I thought I was done, I edited one more time… then I connected with my agent! Behind every author and book there’s a village of people who helped deliver that story to its final stage. I am so grateful that Michelle was part of my village.
Kim Tomsic


For me, participating in the mentor program was a huge confidence booster at a time when I wondered if my writing was worth anything. I kept the “you’ve been accepted” message from Michelle on my answering machine for months. My mentor was so kind, encouraging, and enthusiastic, and thanks to her I will forever remember to omit that and always put a header in my manuscript, along with many other invaluable lessons. As a result of my work in the program, I signed with a literary agent and I can’t wait to see where my writing will take me next.
Jennifer Simms


This program was everything I had hoped it would be and so much more. My mentor was absolutely phenomenal. Not only were her critiques and suggestions incredibly helpful, but she was also so encouraging along the way. I didn’t go into the program expecting to overhaul my entire book (and quite honestly, had I known that would be the case, I probably wouldn’t have applied). But that’s exactly what happened, and I couldn’t be happier that it did! It required a lot of hard work with tight deadlines, but I’m so pleased with the end result and feel a greater sense of confidence when submitting it now for publication.
Paige Brettingen


My mentor has been tremendous. She has helped me fine tune my characters and plot. I know that my manuscript is much stronger as a result of her guidance. I’m so happy that I decided to participate in this program. It’s exactly what my manuscript needed.
Cathy Rouse