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by Brenda Scott Royce

SCBWI-L.A. is thrilled to announce the winner of the 2022 Nonfiction Mentorship Contest!

The competition was steep and the submissions enticingly diverse, making the decision a difficult one for mentor Joseph Taylor.

Ultimately, he chose Sarah Gottlieb as the winner of the six-month one-on-one mentorship!

Sarah’s nonfiction writing is driven by curiosity and infused with a healthy dose of magic, wonder, and hope. These qualities are perhaps not surprising considering she once lived next door to E.B. White’s old summer house: “a magical place where you expect Stuart Little to run by at any moment on a Barbara Cooney backdrop of lupines.” Her work-in-progress, What We Don’t Know… Yet, delves into mysteries that scientists haven’t quite solved, prompting readers to come up with their own hypotheses. 

“I’m delighted to get the chance to work with Sarah Gottlieb this year on her writing projects,” Joseph said. “She has a passion for science, a knack for finding story ideas, and an engaging middle-grade voice. I’m grateful to SCBWI-L.A. for supporting a mentorship focusing on middle-grade nonfiction.”

Congratulations, Sarah!

Mentor/Mentee Bios:

Joseph Taylor was recently named editor of Muse, the acclaimed children’s science magazine from Cricket Media. An award-winning science and biography writer for kids, his work has appeared in Muse as well as its sister literary publication, Cricket. His educational book, Dancing Through Darkness: The Story of Alicia Alonso, was published by Heinemann, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Joseph holds a master’s degree in science writing from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s in social science and American studies from the University of California, Berkeley.


Sarah Gottlieb grew up on the coast of Maine. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania she pursued a career in digital content marketing, writing about everything under the sun. Bitten by the travel bug, she set off for a year backpacking around the globe, blogging as she went. The urge to share with children a sense of wonder at the many mysteries that still remain unknown led to writing What We Don’t Know… Yet. She currently resides in Los Angeles and has been a member of SCBWI-L.A. since 2017.

If you’d like to learn more about additional SCBWI-L.A. contests and how you can participate, check our contest page.

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 author.

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