, , , , ,

book-coversLong-time SCBWI member Carmel O’Mara-Horwitz submitted this year’s winning proposal to mentor an illustrator in the art of building a portfolio for the children’s book market. The contest to pick her mentee from among our Associate and Full members begins January 3, 2017.

The six-month mentorship, which runs May 1–Oct. 30, 2017, will help the chosen illustrator to evaluate and improve the art in their portfolio and to create a couple new pieces as necessary. O’Mara-Horwitz will focus the mentee’s learning on the following:

  • Understanding the difference between making fine art or a single drawing versus storytelling with character development for a picture book – and how to convey this understanding in a portfolio
  • Discovering and understanding the audience for a successful picture book
  • Understanding book construction, pacing, and layout and how to convey this in a portfolio
  • Exploring the different platforms for storytelling such as pop-up book construction, apps and digital media

teachingCarmel O’Mara-Horwitz is an award-winning author and illustrator of books for children and adults. Her first book, Good Morning/Good Night, was translated into three languages and has been republished in multiple formats. It was chosen as “Pick of the List” by Publishers Weekly and presented with an ABBY award. Besides writing and illustrating traditional and pop-up books, O’Mara-Horwitz has been a Certified Art Teacher and a freelance designer for toys, packaging and home decor.

O’Mara-Horwitz earned her BFA in fine art and illustration at Cal State University Long Beach and has studied with renowned artist Uri Shulevitz. She also attended Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and assisted with student portfolio reviews. She is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Movable Book Society. Among other things, O’Mara-Horwitz ran a successful Kickstarter campaign, which led her to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and connections with many different publishers.

carmel“I would love the opportunity to help a beginning illustrator unlock the secrets of this ever-changing business and to pass on my experience as a published illustrator and author. Also, I would like to convey the learning I have had in my 24 years of attending SCBWI conferences as well as seminars I’ve taken with other professionals.”

– Carmel O’Mara-Horwitz

To enter the 2017 mentor contest for illustrators, you need to submit up to 10 images that you feel are ready to include in a children’s book portfolio, as well as answer five written questions related to your interests, goals and experience. The deadline for submission is Feb. 14, 2017. See our website for full details.


By Marcelle Greene
SCBWI-L.A. Contest Coordinator

Photos/Illustrations by Carmel O’Mara-Horwitz