Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Mentorship Program

We are excited to announce our 2nd annual Mentorship Program for Writers and Illustrators. 



All writers and illustrators submitting for Individual Consultation critiques at the 2020 conference will be eligible to apply for the program. 


Program goals

…to help writers and illustrators move forward in their careers by providing professional guidance as well as craft/artistic instruction

…to help the mentee understand the revision process


Selection process

Mentee nominees will be selected by professional faculty at the Golden Gate Conference based on their submission piece for Individual Consultation critique. Mentors will make final decisions based on a blind selection process after the conference. One winner in each category of Picture Book, Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Illustration will be chosen for the Mentorship Program. Three writers and one illustrator will be chosen. Note: Once you have been awarded a Mentorship, you are not eligible for the program again for three years.


Program Duration

The duration of the program is 6 months. Communications between Mentor and Mentee will include up to 3 meetings, either in person or by video conference as well as 2-3 written editorial communications.



Other than the critique fee, there is no application fee if you opt into the evaluation process. If you are chosen to be mentored, there is no additional cost for the program




CHRISTY HALE – Author/Illustrator

Christy Hale has illustrated numerous award-winning books for children, including two that she also wrote. She received a B.A. in Fine Arts and Masters in Teaching at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, then worked as an art educator for several years. She relocated to New York, earned a B.F.A. in illustration at Pratt Institute, then worked in publishing as a designer and art director. Christy has also taught at the Center for Book Arts and as an adjunct professor in the Communication Design department at Pratt Institute—all while beginning her illustration career. She has worked in the children’s book industry since the mid-80s and has helped develop the careers of many new creators.

Christy is the consulting art director for Lee & Low Books and has been in this role since 1991. She teaches an online course in Writing for Picture Books through the illustration department at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.



Erin Dealey is the author of over a dozen picture books, including Snow Globe Wishes (Illus. Claire Shorrock, 2019), K is for Kindergarten (illus. Joseph Cowman) and Deck the Walls (illus. Nick Ward)/ all with Sleeping Bear Press; five books with illustrator Luciana Navarro Powell/ Kane Miller including Grandpa’s Favorite and companion book Grandma’s Favorite, as well as Babies Come From Airports –a kids’-eye view of international adoption; and two with Atheneum/ S&S: Goldie Locks Has Chicken Pox, and Little Bo Peep Can’t Get To Sleep (illus. Hanako Wakiyama), which have taken her to school visits as far south as Brazil and as far north as Tok, Alaska.

Among Dealey’s forthcoming picture books are Dear Earth…From Your Friends in Room 5 (Harper Collins / illus. Luisa Uribe, Fall 2020) and Peter Easter Frog (Caitlyn Dlouhy Books/Atheneum, illus. G. Brian Karas, 2021). Dealey is the PR Coordinator and Assistant to Deborah Warren at East West Literary Agency, and former SCBWI Co-RA. Follow @erindealey on Twitter & Instagram, and check out her blog at
**Mentorship does not guarantee offer of representation from East West Literary Agency.



Marilyn Hilton is the author of the APALA award-winning Full Cicada Moon and the Sue Alexander award-winning Found Things. She has also published numerous short stories, essays, and poems in various journals, and has been nominated for a 2019 Pushcart Prize for poetry. She holds a MA in English/creative writing and a BA in Japanese. She also spent a year studying ochado (tea ceremony) at Urasenke Konnichian in Kyoto. Marilyn was a mentee in the 2010-11 Nevada Mentor Program, where she completed a middle-grade novel, made lasting friendships, and developed a deep respect for mentorship programs.



Mina Witteman is a published children’s author, writing in English and Dutch. She has seven middle grade novels out in the Netherlands, the latest is the fourth book in her hugely popular Boreas series. She has a Dutch Little Golden Book to her name, as well as over forty short stories published in Dutch read-aloud anthologies and children’s magazines. Mina sold her debut, De wraak van Deedee (Deedee’s Revenge) upon finishing the four-year course Writing Prose for Children at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, through which institution she also received her certification in Teaching Creative Writing. Trained through the master program Book Editing of the University of Amsterdam, Mina is a seasoned independent editor who has worked and works for prestigious publishing houses, both in the Netherlands and in California.

Mina is SCBWI’s International Published Authors’ Coordinator and a Program Associate for the Bay Area Book Festival, where she is responsible for the children’s and young adult programming. She is a longtime member of and judge for the EU Committee for the Undiscovered Voices Competition of SCBWI British Isles, as well as a longtime judge for the Young Authors Fiction Festival of the American Library in Paris. Mina Witteman lives in Berkeley, California. You can visit her website at

Last year’s winners

See who won last year!