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By Ann Rousseau Smith, SCBWI CenCal News Liaison


SCBWI Cen-Cal 2018 Mentor Program: Matching Successful PAL’s with Promising Writers

Our 2018 Middle-Grade Mentor is Mary Hershey.

About Mary: Mary Penney Hershey (a.k.a. Mary Penney) is the author of five humorous (and heartfelt, she hopes) middle grade novels. Her next novel, entitled Green Eyes & Ham will be published by HarperCollins in winter 2018. Mary holds a Master’s Degree in Education and is a certified personal and executive coach. She is a long-standing SCBWI Cen-Cal member and served on the board for our region for a number of years. She has taught workshops for Cen-Cal events and served on the faculty at SCBWI nationals. She is profoundly grateful for all the guidance she has received over the years from other writers and is thrilled to serve as our 2018 mentor.

About the Program: Applications for the 2018 mentorship will be accepted from February 1, 2018 through February 14, 2018. Applicants should send a completed application (found here: Mentee app 2018) and the first ten pages of a middle grade novel plus the synopsis to Assistant Regional Advisor Rebecca Langston-George at cencal-ara@scbwi.org. Please do not contact the mentor directly. The mentor will read the applications and manuscripts and select one or more candidates to mentor. The mentor reserves the right to not select a candidate should no manuscripts be deemed a good fit. The selected candidate(s) will be notified by March 1, 2018, then be asked to send a check for $875 to SCBWI Cen-Cal to cover the tuition of a six-month mentorship. The mentorship will run from March 5 to September 5, 2018 with the mentor and mentee communicating at least twice a month through a method chosen by the mentor (email, Skype, Zoom, etc.) to shape the mentee’s manuscript.

Questions: Please contact Rebecca Langston-George at cencal-ara@scbwi.org


The 32nd Annual WritersDay 2017: Brave Heart, Brave Start

Rebecca Langston-George ARA, Mary Ann Fraser RA



Writers’ Day 2017 Contest Winners

Picture Book
Most Promising: Under the Cloud Apple Tree, by Michelle La
Special Mention: Louise and the Stinky Cheese, by Delfina Salimbene

Middle Grade
Most Promising: Ellie Lou, It Could Happen to You, by Christina Gessler
Special Mention: The Infinite Sisterhood of the Whispering Sea, by Andrea Loney

Young Adult
Most promising: Any, Remixed, by Andrea Custer
Special Mention: The Enchanting, by Lisa Marnell


Save the Dates!

For more information, go to http://cencal.scbwi.org

All events are subject to change:

February 2018
County-Wide Critiquenics
Various Locations

April 7, 2018
Novel Intensive
9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Faculty: Amy Goldman Koss and Eugene Yelchin
Cal Lutheran University, Commons Room
Registration opened January 1, 2018

May 5, 2018
9:30 am to 4:30 pm
Faculty: Maria Middleton, Art Director Random House Books for Children and Antoinette Portis
Thousand Oaks Library Community Room
Registration opens February 1, 2018



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: http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/SCBWI-CCal/

FEBRUARY: Wicked Like a Wildfire, by Samantha Mabry (YA)
Sarah and James find work at a mysterious (cursed?) desert ranch. Gorgeous prose, romance, intrigue — magical.

MARCH: Long Way Down, by Jason Reynolds (YA)
Will’s older brother was shot, rules say revenge is up to him. Free-verse novel takes place in 60 seconds. In an elevator.


For more fantastic content, community, events, and other professional development opportunities, become a member today! Not sure if there is a chapter in your area? Check here.



Images provided by SCBWI Central-Coastal Region, and Sarah Parker-Lee with Maryann Frasier