Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Mentorship Program


Looking for one-on-one help from an expert?

SCBWI-Canada East and SCBWI-Florida have joined forces in creating a Mentor Program for SCBWI members to receive individualized help from more experienced writers and editors. To encourage as many members to participate as possible, we are offering this program with an open deadline. In other words, there is no date by which you must make the initial submission of your manuscript. The deadlines that you and your mentor will be expected to meet thereafter will be determined once the two of you are matched up. Here’s what you need to know about the program:

How it will work:

Picture Books/Nonfiction: For manuscripts up to 3,000 words, you will pay $200 plus a $50 SCBWI administrative fee.

If your manuscript is longer than 2,000 words, you will get two critiques and two Skype, Google Hangout, or phone sessions.

If your manuscript is 2,000 words or less, you will get four critiques of that manuscript and two Skype, Google Hangout, or phone sessions. Or, if you prefer, you may add one additional manuscript, no longer than 2,000 words, and get two critiques and two Skype, Google Hangout, or phone sessions.

Novels/Nonfiction: For novels and full-length nonfiction manuscripts, you will pay $4.00 per page plus a $50 SCBWI administrative fee. There is a $250 minimum charge for this category.

For that, you will get two critiques and two Skype, Google Hangout, or phone sessions. If the second pass of your manuscript is substantially longer than the first one, the price may have to be adjusted to accommodate the extra pages.

What you need to do if interested:

Take a look at the Meet Your Mentors page, and select your top two choices of mentor. Send the names you have chosen with one picture book manuscript, or five pages and a synopsis of your longer work as follows:

If you are choosing Canadian mentors, send your materials to
If you are choosing U.S. mentors, send your materials to
If you are choosing a Canadian mentor and a U.S. mentor, send your materials to and

Manuscripts must be double spaced, in 12 pt. font and Times New Roman, with one-inch margins on all sides. You may separate your chapters by putting four spaces between them.

What will happen after you send in your manuscript:

If one of your chosen mentors is available, we will match the two of you up, and give you a deadline for sending your mentor the manuscript(s) (usually one month later).

At the same time, you will send your $50 administrative fee and half your payment through PayPal.

If you are choosing a Canadian mentor, send your money to If the code in front of your mentor’s name reads “Canada,” send your fee in Canadian dollars. If it reads “Canada-USD,” send your fee in U.S. dollars.

If you are choosing a U.S. mentor, send your money in U.S. dollars to

Your mentor will return your manuscript(s) with his/her critique by a predetermined deadline date that is no more than three months later. Around that time, you will have your first Skype, Google Hangout, or phone session. You will then have two months to revise and send back your manuscript(s) to your mentor, and to make your final payment to Linda Bernfeld or Alma Fullerton.

You will receive your final critique and Skype, Google Hangout, or phone session no later than one month after your manuscript has been returned to your mentor. (Those with more than one picture book may work out a schedule to accommodate the additional Skype, Google Hangout, or phone sessions.)

Because we don’t know how many manuscripts we’ll get, your first- or second-choice mentor might not be available. In that case, we may suggest another mentor, or you may choose to opt out of the program.

If you have any questions about the Mentor Program, please email Dorian Cirrone or Linda Bernfeld in Florida, or Alma Fullerton or Michelle Jodoin in Canada.