Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

SCBWI Midsouth Mentorship Program

Date(s) - 10/30/2019 - 11/30/2019
12:00 am - 11:30 pm


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The SCBWI Midsouth Mentorship Program exists to connect unpublished writers with established professionals in their field over a nine-month period.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?

Writers of picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and young adult novels who are current members of SCBWI Midsouth 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 October 30 and November 30, 2019.  Each mentor will choose one mentee based on the application package. Chosen mentees will be announced in December, 2019 and the mentorship period will run from January to September, 2020.

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 December 15, 2019. Chosen mentees will also receive a $100 tuition discount on the 2020 SCBWI Midsouth Fall Conference.


Meet our 2020 Mentors!

David Arnold

David Arnold lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with his (lovely) wife and (boisterous) son. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Mosquitoland, Kids of Appetite, & The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik, which has been optioned for film by Paramount. His books have been translated into over a dozen languages. Learn more at and follow him on Twitter @roofbeam and Instagram @iamdavidarnold.



Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley won a Newbery Honor award and hit the New York Times Bestseller List in 2016 for her 16th book, the World War II novel The War That Saved My Life. She also gained widespread acclaim for Jefferson’s Sons. For nearly 20 years she’s made her home on a farm in eastern Tennessee with her former high school sweetheart and their two children. She competes in the obscure equestrian sport of eventing, loves to travel, experiments with fiber arts, and never stops reading.



Sharon Cameron

Sharon Cameron is the #1 NYT best-selling author of The Dark Unwinding (2012), A Spark Unseen (2013), Rook (2015), The Forgetting (2016), The Knowing (2017), and The Light in Hidden Places (2020), all from Scholastic Press. Her books have been published in multiple languages and have won the Parents’ Choice Gold Award, the Westchester Fiction Award, earned starred reviews from Booklist, SLJ, and Kirkus, and have been chosen for numerous lists, including Indie Next Top Ten, YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults, and Audible Best Books. When not writing, Sharon can be found shooting her longbow, thumbing through dusty tomes, or continuing her lifelong search for secret passages. She lives with her family in Nashville, TN.

Debbie Dadey

A former first grade teacher and school librarian, Debbie is the author and co-author of 168 traditionally published children’s books. Her first book, co-authored with Marcia Thornton Jones, Vampires Don’t Wear Polka Dots became The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids series with sales of over 43 million.  The Narwhal Problem is the newest in Debbie’s Mermaid Tales multi-cultural series from Simon and Schuster. Debbie’s focus has been on chapter books, but she has published three novels and two pictures books.

Debbie has lived in many states, but now lives in a log cabin in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. She visits schools around the world and speaks to adults at conferences about writing for children. You can find out more about her on, and Photo credit: Don Fields


Amanda Driscoll

Amanda Driscoll was born and raised in Louisville and currently resides in Prospect, Kentucky. Like any good Kentucky-born girl, she grew up drawing horses. Her love of art led her to Murray State University, where she earned a degree in Fine Art/ Graphic Design. She was a graphic designer for years before she had children, rediscovered her love of picture books, and found her true passion. She is the author/illustrator of three picture books: Klondike Do Not Eat Those Cupcakes! (2018), Wally Does Not Want a Haircut (2016), and Duncan the Story Dragon (2015), as well as the forthcoming Little Grump Truck (2021), all published by Knopf. For more about Amanda and her books, visit her website at:


Jessica Young

Award-winning author and teacher Jessica Young writes picture books (Play This BookPet This BookMy Blue is Happy) and chapter books (the Haggis and Tank Unleashed series, the Finley Flowers series). When she’s not writing, she loves sharing the creative process with kids! Find out more:




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 October 30 and November 30, 2020. 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


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The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy
To register for an SCBWI event, you are required to acknowledge our Anti-Harassment Policy.
Scroll to the bottom to read the policy.

You will then be able to click the checkbox indicating that you have read our policy.


The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is dedicated to providing a safe and harassment-free environment for all of its members and will take any and all necessary steps to address and prevent harassment at events associated with SCBWI. Harassment under this policy may include verbal comments, written comments, displayed images, or behaviors such as intimidation, stalking, body policing, unwelcome photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, unwelcome sexual attention or advances, and bullying or coercion.


The SCBWI Member Anti-Harassment Policy applies to all situations of harassment or intimidation at any SCBWI Event. An “SCBWI Event” is any event, meeting or activity that is authorized by an SCBWI Regional Manager to be sponsored by, or affiliated with, SCBWI. SCBWI events may include, if properly authorized by an SCBWI Regional Manager, the Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles, the Annual Winter Conference in New York, regional conferences, meetings and meet-ups. This SCBWI Member Anti-Harassment Policy also applies to “SCBWI On-Line Interactions,” which include communications and content posted on, or directed towards, SCBWI’s Social Media accounts or sent through any of the communication tools available on SCBWI’s website, SCBWI’s Social Media accounts under this policy include the official SCBWI accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and LinkedIn.



Code of Conduct

All participants in SCBWI Events and SCBWI On-Line Interactions, including faculty, staff, and attendees, are required to comply with the following anti-harassment code of conduct. The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits harassment, including but not limited to the following behaviors:

  • intimidation, stalking, or following.
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events.
  • Inappropriate physical contact.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Abusive verbal comments.
  • Quid pro quo– sexual harassment that occurs when one in an authority position requests sex or a sexual relationship in exchange for professional consideration or favors.
  • Harassment does not include respectful disagreement or reasonable and respectful critique made in good faith. SCBWI continues to welcome and appreciate presentation of appropriate controversial ideas, free speech, and creative artistic expression. SCBWI encourages members to hold one another accountable to the Code of Conduct as stated in this part of the Policy and to take the perspectives of others seriously when a disagreement arises.


Reporting Procedures

Any person who believes there has been a violation of the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy can report the offense in one or all of the following ways:

  • Certain SCBWI Events, including the Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles and the Annual Winter Conference in New York, will designate one or more Safety Team Members who will be available during the conference to provide a safe space for members to report an incident. The Safety Team Member will report directly to the conference director or regional advisor in charge.
  • A complainant may submit a complaint under this policy to the Director of Community Marketing and Engagement, the Director of Illustration and Artist Programs and/or your Regional Manager.
  • SCBWI has a dedicated email address for reporting any potential incident of harassment under this policy. Anyone who chooses to report an incident can find the Anti-Harassment Report Form on the SCBWI website (About > Anti-Harassment) or use the following link: Reports should include the substance of the complaint, date, and whenever possible, a list of witnesses or a reference to the relevant URLs, if the offense occurred through an SCWBI On-Line Interaction.


SCBWI will investigate all complaints subject to the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy. If the policy applies, SCBWI will investigate the matter and take whatever action is necessary and appropriate to prevent a recurrence and protect the environment at SCWBI Events. If a complaint is made anonymously, please note that SCBWI will not be able to follow up on an anonymous report with the complainant directly, as SCBWI will not have contact information for the anonymous complainant. Moreover, anonymous complaints may hinder SCBWI’s ability to investigate the complaint.  SCBWI will take steps to protect the confidentiality of the complaint, to the extent possible.  However, complete confidentiality may not be possible in all circumstances.  SCBWI will make every attempt to respond to a named complainant in a timely fashion.

If appropriate, SCBWI may report the incident to local authorities.



The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits retaliation against a member of the SCBWI community for reporting harassment, intimidation or discrimination, or for participating in an investigation relating to any complaint made under this policy. The sanctions for retaliation are the same sanctions available to address any other violation of the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy.



SCBWI takes all allegations of harassment seriously. Complaints will be investigated by SCWBI if they fall within the scope of SCWBI’s Anti-Harassment Policy. Depending on the results of the investigation, SCWBI will determine whether a sanction is appropriate.


Sanctions for faculty, speakers, staff or board members may include any of the following:


  • warning the party involved that the particular behavior is inappropriate and must be ceased;
  • immediate removal from a particular event;
  • denial of access to SCBWI spaces and venues on a temporary or permanent basis;
  • withholding of a contracted honorarium;
  • prohibition from future speaking engagements;
  • prohibition from future faculty appointments;
  • expulsion from SCBWI; and/or
  • removal from the Board of Advisors or Board of Directors, when appropriate.


Sanctions for attendees, members, and guests can include any of the following:

  • warning the party involved that specified behavior is inappropriate and must be ceased;
  • immediate removal from a particular event, without refund;
  • denial of access to SCBWI spaces and venues on a permanent or temporary basis;
  • termination of SCBWI membership, without refund; and/or
  • prohibition of future SCBWI membership.


If the conduct at issue involves one of SCBWI’s employees, SCBWI will handle utilize whatever corrective action is appropriate based on the result of the investigation and subject to SCBWI employment policies and practices.



SCBWI will make every reasonable effort to conduct all investigations into allegations of harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in a manner that will protect the confidentiality of all parties and witnesses. Notwithstanding the above, confidentiality is not absolute, and those with a legitimate business reason to know and be informed of the allegations will be so informed. Parties to the complaint should treat the matter under investigation with discretion and respect the reputation of all parties involved.



If you wish to file a complaint or an anonymous complaint, CLICK HERE to access the Anti-harassment Report Form.


If you have questions regarding this policy, you may send an email to Please include the words "anti-harassment policy" in the subject line.

I have read and accepted the SCBWI Anti-Harassment policy.