Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2021 SCBWI Utah/Southern Idaho Mentorship

Date(s) - 06/01/2021 - 07/07/2021
12:00 am


The SCBWI Utah/Southern Idaho Mentorship Program was created to help writers polish their manuscripts with the help of established professionals in their field. Over a period of six months, mentees will receive critique and career advice from their mentors to help them succeed in the world of children’s publishing.

In this inaugural year, you must be a member of the Utah/Southern Idaho Region to apply.


Important Dates:

  • Application Period:                                           June 1-30, 2021
  • Announcement of Mentees:                           September 1, 2021
  • Critiques Sent for those not selected:         September 8, 2021
  • Mentorship Period:                                            October 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022



  • Application Fee: $40 (Includes a critique if you are not selected as a mentee)
  • Registration Fee: $350 for the selected mentees. (This year, scholarships will cover this cost.)



Members of the SCBWI Utah/Southern Idaho Region who have not yet been published or signed a book contract in the category they are applying for are eligible. Agented authors are welcome to apply if they are otherwise eligible.


Program Description:

 Writers interested in the program will register, pay a $40 application fee, and submit a completed questionnaire and writing sample between June 1 and June 30, 2021 (see below for more information about the writing sample).  Applicants may only apply for one mentorship per year. Each mentor will choose one mentee based on the application package. Chosen mentees will pay a non-refundable $350 registration fee. In this inaugural year, both chosen mentees will receive a scholarship to cover the cost of the registration fee.

Applicants who are not selected will receive a critique of the work they submitted from the mentor for their category. These critiques will be sent back to applicants by September 8, 2021. Because the mentors will be providing critiques, the number of applicants for each mentorship will be capped.

The selected mentees will be announced on September 1, 2021, and the mentorship period will run for six months, from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022.

Each chosen mentee will receive four meetings with their mentor. These meetings can be in person, by phone, or by video conference. 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 (3 total) 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 six month period of the mentorship.


How to apply:

  • 1. Log in as an SCBWI member and complete the registration form below. There is a $40 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 June 1-30, 2021. Please put your name and the category of your work in the subject line. (Example: Jane Doe, Picture Book submission)


* Note: Because the mentorship is only open to members of the Utah/Southern Idaho Region, a password is required, which has been sent out via email. If you are a member of the region and did not receive the password, please email Janet Johnson at


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 completed picture book manuscript. Manuscripts should be text only (no dummies), but may include illustrator notes.

Middle Grade and Young Adult Novels:

Please submit up to the first 10 pages of your project. As part of the same file, also submit a 1-2 page synopsis of your project (synopses may be single-spaced).


If you have questions, please contact the Mentor Coordinator at


Meet our 2021 Mentors:

Kristyn Crow is the author of numerous children’s picture books, including the ZOMBELINA series (Bloomsbury), BEDTIME AT THE SWAMP (Harpercollins) , SKELETON CAT (Scholastic), and ALL ABOARD THE MOONLIGHT TRAIN (Doubleday). She has received starred reviews, a blue ribbon from the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, and an AML Picture Book Award. Her books ZOMBELINA and ZOMBELINA SCHOOL DAYS were featured in the New York Times. Kristyn is also the screenwriter for Clark Planetarium’s ACCIDENTAL ASTRONAUTS, an educational dome theater film for children, now playing in 21 planetariums nationwide. Kristyn has been a chairperson for “Writing for Charity” for ten years, providing books to needy children in impoverished nations, and donating to organizations such as WE NEED DIVERSE BOOKS. She was also a contributing author to “TRUE HEROES,” where children stricken with cancer were written as the heroes of fictional stories. She has authored hundreds of articles on special needs parenting topics for foundations such as AUTISM SPEAKS, based on her experiences mothering a now-adult son with autism. Kristyn enjoys working with at-risk youth, teaching creative writing projects.


Josh Allen is a writer and a college professor. He’s been teaching creative writing at BYU-Idaho for sixteen years, helping students develop the skills they need to pursue their writing dreams. He holds an MFA in creative writing from Old Dominion University, and his first book, OUT TO GET YOU: 13 TALES OF WEIRDNESS AND WOE, received two starred reviews and was a Junior Library Guild selection. His second book, ONLY IF YOU DARE: 13 STORIES OF DARKNESS AND DOOM, will come out this August. His work has received praise from The American Library Association, The Children’s Book Council, The Wall Street Journal, Kirkus Reviews, and more. He’s frequently taught lessons on craft and storytelling at national conferences including the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents Workshop, the Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference, UNLV’s Summit on the Teaching and Research of Young Adult Literature, and Storymakers.