Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2020 Nonfiction Mentorship Competitions

We’re delighted to announce that SCBWI-MI will hold TWO nonfiction mentorship competitions in 2020. One will be for nonfiction picture books, and the other will be nonfiction Middle Grade or Young Adult books.
Eligibility: Both mentorships are open to SCBWI members (of all membership levels) who live in Michigan, with one exception:
Won and Done: If you have previously won any mentorship competition offered by SCBWI-MI, you are ineligible to apply for another. Runners-up are welcome to apply.

Winners receive a year-long mentorship with Stephanie Bearce or Patricia Newman. The mentorship includes six submissions by the mentee and six critiques by the mentor.

All applicants receive constructive comments from three super-secret, superstar judges.

The Nonfiction picture book mentorship with author Patricia Newman:
Patricia Newman’s award-winning books show kids how their actions can ripple around the world. She is the author of Robert F. Sibert Honor Book Sea Otter Heroes: The Predators That Saved an Ecosystem; as well as NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book Eavesdropping on Elephants: How Listening Helps Conservation;  Zoo Scientists to the Rescue, a Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book; Green Earth Book Award winner, Plastic, Ahoy! Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch; Booklist Editor’s Choice title Ebola: Fears and Facts; and Neema’s Reason to Smile, winner of a Parents’ Choice Award. Newman hopes to empower kids to think about the adults they’d like to become. Her author visits are described as “phenomenal,” “passionate,” and “inspirational.” Our interview with Patricia will be posted on March 13, 2020 on the Mitten Blog.
The Nonfiction MG/YA mentorship with author Stephanie Bearce.
Stephanie Bearce is a history detective and a science nerd who loves turning her discoveries into books for kids. She is the award-winning author of 24 children’s books, including the Twisted True Tales from Science series and the Top Secret Files from History series. Stephanie is a frequent presenter at education conferences, children’s literature festivals, nerd camps, schools, and libraries. She is the winner of the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, the SCBWI Work in Progress Grant, the Clare Vanderpool Work of Promise Award. Her books have been selected for the NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) Recommended Reading List.  Our interview with Stephanie will be posted on March 20, 2020 on the Mitten Blog.
  • The submission window for both mentorships will open on May 5, 2020.
    The submission window for both mentorships will close when we receive 30 applications or on May 26, 2020 – whichever comes first.
  • We need 5 applications to hold these mentorships. Please apply and encourage your nonfiction-writing SCBWI-MI friends to apply.
  • The registration fee is $20, nonrefundable.
  • All applicants will receive constructive comments from the three super-secret superstar judges.
  • The winners of both mentorships will be announced at the end of July.
  • During the submission window, we will provide a link to the registration platform on this page.
  • Contact Ann Finkelstein, SCBWI-MI Mentorship Coordinator at annf1234 at gmail dot com for questions (but please read the submission instructions first.)