Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Creative Coaching Groups: 6-Month Mentorship Program for Kidlit Writers and Illustrators

 SCBWI MD/DE/WV is proud to announce our new mentorship program for writers and illustrators! This 6-month mentorship program, available only to SCBWI members, will connect you with a published mentor author or illustrator who will provide detailed written feedback on your work each month and conduct monthly online small group meetings that provide support, brainstorming, and community. You will also have the opportunity to improve your craft through peer critiques. Each cohort will be capped at 3-6 participants.

This program is for you if:

-You have a manuscript or portfolio completed or in progress.

-You have been attending a critique group regularly and are beginning to get positive feedback on your work or have a few manuscripts under your belt.

-You have submitted to agents and publishers and received personalized comments in response.

-You have published in other fields or other genres of children’s books and want to break into something new.

-You’re an experienced writer or illustrator but just not sure about your new project.

-You’re looking for feedback to take your work to the next level.


Note: If you are brand-new to writing or illustrating children’s books, we suggest that you work with a critique group for at least six months prior to registering for the mentorship program. For more information about critique groups, contact our region’s Critique Group Coordinator, Mike Karg


Each Creative Coaching Group includes:

Monthly mentor critiques: You will submit your work for critique each month and receive a detailed written critique from your mentor, for a total of 6 critiques. (See submission details below for each cohort.) It’s up to you whether you want to submit new work each month, or revise your work and resubmit for another pass. Illustrators will also have the option to follow targeted illustration prompts.

Monthly peer critiques: You will complete a monthly written peer critique for each of the other members of your cohort, and receive written critiques from your peers each month. (Middle Grade and Young Adult cohorts are capped at 3 members, the Nonfiction cohort is capped at 4, and Picture Book and Illustrator cohorts are capped at 6.)

Online group meetings: You’ll meet with your mentor and cohort for seven 60-90 minute meetings.  (See groups and dates below.) These live online meetings will be a chance to ask questions, brainstorm, get clarification about critiques, and receive craft and career guidance tailored to the needs of the group.

Email group: Your cohort will connect via an email listserv facilitated through Google Groups. This will be your place to share resources, ask questions, and connect with your cohort.


Upcoming Sessions:

July-December 2021 Program Details – general registration opens June 1, 2021.

Scholarships are available and applications will be accepted through May 15, 2021.  Find out more about scholarships here.