by Ann Rousseau Smith, CenCal News Liaison


wr16 group Facebook

Writer’s Retreat, January 15-17, 2016

SCBWI CenCal Announces Its First Mentor Program

The SCBWI CenCal Digital Mentorship intends to match well-published, knowledgeable local CenCal PAL members* with promising mentees to provide one-on-one writing feedback and guidance. Three mentorships will be offered in 2016: one each for picture book, middle grade, and YA.

Mentors will be announced and application materials made available at by the first week of 2016. Mentee applications will be accepted electronically February 1 through 14, 2016. Submissions will include an application and full picture book text OR first ten pages of a middle grade or YA manuscript along with a synopsis.

Those accepted for mentorships will be notified by March 1, 2016 and the mentorship will run from March 6 through September 3, 2016. Mentors and mentees will communicate at least twice a month during the six month mentorship via a method chosen by the mentor (e-mail, Skype, Zoom, etc.) on a mutually agreed upon schedule.

During the mentorship the mentor will read one complete (or in-progress) manuscript, offer critical feedback, and support the mentee as he or she revises, offering suggestions and feedback throughout the revision process. The fee for a middle grade or YA mentorship is $875 and a picture book mentorship is $450 payable to SCBWI CenCal upon selection as a mentee. Questions about the mentorship should be directed to the CenCal team at

*SCBWI membership levels: PAL (published and listed), Full (published unlisted), Associate (unpublished).ArtWorks 2016 adSave the Dates!

For registration information go to

February 1, 2016
New! Mentor Program
Opens for Applications

March 26, 2016
Rejection Pity Party

May 7, 2016
Thousand Oaks


Book Talk is a monthly book discussion group taking place on the SCBWI Central-Coastal California listserv. Discussions begin on the first of each month, facilitated by Lynn Becker ( To become a member of the listserv, go to:

FEBRUARY: Echo, by Pam Munoz Ryan (MG)
Starting with a fairy tale come to life, it weaves together three plot strands with one magical harmonica and “the silken thread of destiny.”

MARCH: The Thing About Jellyfish, by Ali Benjamin (MG)
Friendship, fitting in, the science of jellyfish, and death all converge in this poignant and powerful National Book Award finalist.


A Day to Remember: Writers’ Day, October 17, 2015

Kelly Delaney,Celia Lee,John Cusick

Faculty speakers (left to right) Kelly Delaney (Alfred A. Knopf), Celia Lee (Scholastic), John Cusick (Folio Literary Management)

Sarah Shealy, Barbara Fisch

Blue Slip Media (left to right) Sarah Shealy and Barbara Fisch



Spotlight Presenters (left to right) Robin Yardi, Julie Dillemuth, Rebecca Langston-George


Writers’ Day 2015 Contest Winners

Young Adult
Most Promising: Close Enough for Jazz, by Jenny Howard
Special Mention: The Copper Thief, by Josué Rado (Josué Rhoads)

Middle Grade
Most Promising: I Am Hattie, by Christina Gessler
Special Mention: Tear Glass, by Rea Berg

Picture Book
Most Promising: Pedro Flores: The Sensational Yo-Yo Man, by Marie Cruz
Special Mention: Copycats! Sharkskins to Beetle Bumps: True Stories of Nature Helping People, by Kristin Nordstrom


Our Talented Winners! (top row left to right) Kristin Nordstrom, Christina Gessler, Marie Cruz (bottom row left to right) Josue, Rhoads, Rea Berg, Jenny Howard