Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2022 SCBWI Midsouth Mentorship Program

Date(s) - 02/01/2022 - 09/01/2022


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Congratulations to our 2022 SCBWI Midsouth mentoring pairs:

Shari Barkin, mentored by Rita Lorraine Hubbard

Nichole Robinson, mentored by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb

Leah Lavigne, mentored by David Arnold




The SCBWI Midsouth Mentorship Program exists to connect unpublished writers with established professionals in their field over a nine-month period. Through the mentoring relationship, mentees will receive critique and career advice to give them a “hand up” in the world of children’s publishing.


Who is the program for?

Current members of SCBWI Midsouth who are writers of picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and young adult novels and seek to be traditionally published. All levels of experience are welcome.


How does the program work?

Writers interested in the program will register, pay a $15 application fee, and submit a completed questionnaire and writing sample between 8 a.m. CST January 3 and midnight CST January 21, 2022.  Each mentor will choose one mentee based on the application package. Chosen mentees will be announced in January, 2022 and the mentorship period will run from February to September, 2022.

Each chosen mentee will receive four meetings with their mentor. These meetings can be in person, or by phone or Skype. Each mentor will set individual goals for the span of the mentorship based on the needs of their mentee. This will include at least fifty pages of manuscript critique for novelists, and two additional manuscripts for picture book writers. It could also include revisions and/or query letters, depending on the needs of the mentee. Mentors will also give career advice as needed, and be available for questions by email. Mentees will turn in additional pages or revisions as scheduled with their mentor throughout the nine month period of the mentorship.


What does it cost?

If chosen as a mentee, the cost of the program is $325, payable by January 29, 2022. Chosen mentees will also receive a $100 tuition discount on the 2023 SCBWI Midsouth Conference. 


What do previous mentees say about it?

Over the course of the mentorship, my mentor shared both craft and career advice. Her insights on pacing and character development were the most valuable parts of the experience for me. My novel is so much richer than it was a year ago, and I am a more confident writer. On a personal level, I have loved gaining a friend who is willing to share the ups and downs of her own writing journey. Community is so important for writers, particularly when “normal” life has been redefined by a pandemic. – Amy 


I completely hit the jackpot with my mentor, especially during, let’s face it, a very challenging year for so many people. I received so much encouragement and practical help with my manuscripts and craft that I know helped me grow as a writer–but also, I have made a wonderful wise literary friend who “gets” me. What a gift this process has been, and how I hope to someday be in the position to do the same for someone else! 🙂 Thank you, thank you, for the opportunity. – Elayne


My mentor was terrific! She was encouraging, thoughtful and accessible. Because I am revising my novel, she steered me to resources, shared her personal experiences with drafting and revising and critiqued everything I sent to her in a timely manner. She had a good sense of my story’s focus and themes and helpful suggestions on how to not lose sight of them through the revision process. – Laura




Meet our 2022 Mentors!


David Arnold

David Arnold is the New York Times bestselling author of The Electric Kingdom, Mosquitoland, Kids of Appetite, and The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik. He has won the Southern Book Prize and the Great Lakes Book Award, and was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start for his debut. His books have been translated into over a dozen languages. He lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with his wife and son. Learn more at and follow him on Instagram @iamdavidarnold.





Rita Lorraine Hubbard

Award-winning author Rita Lorraine Hubbard is a retired special education teacher of 20 years who now champions unsung heroes whose stories need to be told with courage and heart. Her books, THE OLDEST STUDENT: HOW MARY WALKER LEARNED TO READ; HAMMERING FOR FREEDOM: THE WILLIAM LEWIS STORY; and AFRICAN AMERICANS OF CHATTANOOGA: A HISTORY OF UNSUNG HEROES, have garnered honors and awards that include the New Voices Award, the East Tennessee Historical Preservation Award, the 2021 Floyd’s Pick Honor Book Award, and the 2021-2022 Texas Bluebonnet Master List Award. Rita is currently working as a researcher for Chattanooga Design Studio’s Westside Evolves project, and as lead researcher for a Civil Rights project for a documentary filmmaker in the Chattanooga area. Rita also owns and manages The Black History Channel.




Kristin O’Donnell Tubb

Kristin O’Donnell Tubb is the author of Luna Howls at the Moon, Zeus, Dog of Chaos, The Story Collector series, A Dog Like Daisy, John Lincoln Clem: Civil War Drummer Boy (written as E.F. Abbott), The 13th Sign, Selling Hope and Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different. In 2022, watch for The Decomposition of Jack, about the son of a roadkill researcherKristin lives near Nashville, Tennessee with her bouncy-loud family. Just like her two dogs, she can be bribed with cheese. Kristin can be found far too often on Facebook (, Twitter (, and Instagram ( .  Oh, and she has a website, too:





How do I apply?

1. Log in as an SCBWI member and complete the registration form below. There is a $15 application fee, payable through the registration form.

2. Click here to download the questionnaire and fill it in. You can fill in the answers on the document using Word or Pages (or print it, write in the answers, and scan the pages). Email your completed questionnaire and your writing sample in .pdf format to between January 3 and January 21, 2022. Please put your name and the category of your work in the subject line. (Example: Jane Doe, Picture Book submission)

Writing Sample Submissions:

All submissions should be double-spaced in black, 12 pt Times New Roman font with 1″ margins. Please number pages in the header and include a cover page with title, author name, and contact information (cover page will not affect overall page count). Writing samples should be submitted as a .pdf document.

Picture Books:

Please submit one OR two completed picture book manuscripts. Manuscripts should be text only (no dummies), but may include illustrator notes.

Chapter Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult Novels:

Please submit up to the first 30 pages of your project. As part of the same .pdf file, also submit a 1-2 page synopsis of your project (synopses may be single-spaced, but should conform to all other formatting).


If you have questions, please contact the Mentor Coordinators at


The application period for the 2022 SCBWI Midsouth mentorship program has ended. Please see top of the page for this year’s mentoring pairs.