Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2017 Mentorship Program



We are pleased to announce our mentees for the 2017 Mentorship Program. In the program's first year, fourteen writers will work one-on-one with a published author to analyze every aspect of their manuscript for a six-month period.
Thanks to all the entrants! It was difficult for the mentors to choose from so many excellent applicants. We look forward to reading more fabulous work by local writers next year and foster talent by establishing relationships with great mentors.


SCBWI WWA Mentorship Program 2017

Mentee Mentor Category
Lisa Cach Heideger Dori Hillestad Butler Middle Grade
Faith Conlon Dori Hillestad Butler Middle Grade
Rebekah Hosman Kim Baker Middle Grade
Sarah J. Mendonca Kim Baker Middle Grade
Dawn Marie Hooks Laurie Thompson Nonfiction
Linda Buck Laurie Thompson Nonfiction
Connor Desai Lisa Owens Nonfiction
Maria Marshall Lisa Owens Nonfiction
Shilpa Agarwal Lois Brandt Picture Book
Amy Poffenbarger Lois Brandt Picture Book
Kelly Rae Bahr Peggy King Anderson Picture Book
Melissa Koosman Peggy King Anderson Picture Book
Lenae Nofziger Jeanne Ryan Young Adult
Aubri Keleman Kevin Emerson Young Adult


Meet the mentors


Kim Baker_hs2

Kim Baker’s debut middle grade novel, PICKLE (Macmillan), was a Children's Choice Awards Book of the Year finalist, one of Mamiverse’s Top 50 Latino Children’s Books, and the recipient of an SCBWI Crystal Kite award. She is a former SCBWI Western Washington regional advisor and a longtime SCBWI lover. Kim has worked as a teacher and crisis counselor, but now makes up stories and gives the occasional writing workshop from Seattle. She can often be found in the woods, despite a chronic fear of bears. See more at



Dori Butler_hs2

Dori Hillestad Butler is an award-winning author of more than 50 books for young readersincluding the Haunted Library series, the Buddy Files series, and the King & Kayla series. Her Buddy Files #1: Case of the Lost Boy won a 2011 Edgar Award and her books have appeared on numerous children’s choice and teen award lists, including Washington’s new Otter Award list. Dori would love to mentor an SCBWI WWA member who is interested in easy readers, chapter books, series books, mysteries and/or MG/YA novels. Website: Facebook: Twitter: @Dorihbutler.




Version 2

Kevin Emerson is the author of sixteen novels for children and young adults, most recently LAST DAY ON MARS, BREAKOUT, and the ATLANTEANS series. His books have been published in ten different countries, and you could say he’s big in the Czech Republic. Formerly a science teacher, Kevin has taught with Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Writers in the Schools program and Richard Hugo House. He has won a spelling bee, lost a beauty pageant, and once appeared in a Swedish TV commercial. Learn more at



Jeanne Ryan_h2

Jeanne Ryan writes young-adult thrillers that could take place next week–but let's hope they don't! Her first novel NERVE, about an online game of truth or dare taken to dangerous extremes, was adapted for film by Lionsgate, spent six months on the NYT bestseller list, and has been published in twenty countries. Her second novel, CHARISMA, is about a cripplingly shy girl who accepts an underground gene therapy to transform herself from meh to magnetic, with unintended, and possibly lethal, consequences. You can find out more at





Laurie Thompson_hs2

A former software engineer, Laurie Ann Thompson writes for young people to help them better understand the world we live in and make it a better place for all. She strives to write nonfiction that encourages imagination and fiction that reflects universal truths, as seen in Be a Changemaker, an inspiring how-to guide for teens; Emmanuel’s Dream, a picture book biography of a man who changed perceptions of disability; My Dog Is The Best; and the upcoming Two Truths And A Lie series for middle-grade readers (co-authored with Ammi-Joan Paquette). Learn more at and on Twitter at @lauriethompson.



Since 1998 Lisa L. Owens has authored nearly 100 books for young readers. About two-thirds of those are nonfiction, and among her most popular are Space Neighbors, a picture book series about the solar system; American Justice I & II, which examine the cultural impact of famous 20th-century trials; and Frenemies: Dealing with Friend Drama, a self-help book for teen girls. As a former reporter, Lisa loves chasing the facts and shaping them into high-interest narratives that cultivate further curiosity. And, as a veteran in-house and freelance editor of thousands of published works, she also enjoys helping other writers make their own stories shine.  Author site: Twitter: @LisaLOwens Instagram: @llowriter.




Peggy Anderson_hs2

For 35 years, Peggy King Anderson has taught writers of all ages. She loves it!  She was awarded the SCBWI (W. WA) Lifetime Achievement award in 2012. She’s taught creative writing both in colleges, and in conferences ranging from SCBWI, to the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop in Chautauqua, New York. She has four published books, including THE FALL OF THE RED STAR (co-author, Helen Szablya), featured on Children's Book TV. Her MG historical fiction novel, TWO MOON JOURNEY, is due for publication in fall of 2018. She writes a monthly fiction series, TREE FROG TRAIL, for Pockets Magazine. Check out Peggy’s website at   


Lois Brandt, Writer, Seattle

Years ago, Lois Brandt peeked into her best friend’s refrigerator and found empty shelves and one small carton of milk; her friend’s family didn’t have enough money to buy food. Maddi’s Fridge, Lois’ first picture book, is the result of that moment. Maddi’s Fridge has been universally praised by teachers, librarians, parents, and –most significantly — young readers. It is the recipient of a 2014 Christopher Award and the International Literacy Association’s 2015 Book Award for Primary Fiction, among other honors. When she is not working on her own projects, Lois teaches writers of all ages, helping her students tell the stories they hold close to their hearts. Learn more at