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We Need Diverse Books: Mentorships

In 2023, WNDB will offer fifteen mentorships split among the following categories: Picture Book Text (PB), Middle Grade (MG), Young Adult (YA); and Illustration (IL). (Please note there is NO separate nonfiction category and both fiction and nonfiction writers will enter their application by target age category). The winners will communicate with the mentor for approximately one year in a mentor/mentee custom-defined program. This mentorship period will run from January to December 2023. The Mentorship Program is open to applications from September 1, 2022, through 11:59 pm EST on September 30, 2022. We strongly encourage applicants to submit their application materials early.

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Read our press release about the 2023 Mentorships.


The writing mentorships are available to diverse writers or any writers or illustrators who have completed a full draft of a manuscript for children or teens featuring a diverse main character or diverse central subject matter. The illustration mentorship is available to any diverse illustrator who has a portfolio and several sample illustrations completed.  

For the WNDB definition of diversity, please find it here.

Applicants may only apply for one of the four mentorship categories, so it is up to the applicant to research the available mentors and decide which category will be most suitable for their work. Applicants who do not comply with submission rules will be disqualified. Previous recipients of a WNDB Mentorship may not apply.

This is an opportunity to be matched with an experienced children’s book creator and receive individual support and feedback on a completed draft of a work-in-progress or your portfolio.