Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Katie Brown Recipient of 2015 Cynthia Leitich Smith Mentoring Award

Eleven finalists were chosen from our Writers & Illustrators Working Conference critiquing faculty on March 7 for the Austin SCBWI Cynthia Leitich Smith Writing Mentor Award, and 2015 mentor Brian Yansky has announced Katie Brown as the recipient. Congratulations, Katie!

Brian will mentor Katie for a year on her novel.

Brian said of the manuscripts: "There were a lot of very good manuscripts in the batch sent to me for the mentorship. They made it difficult to choose one. The one I did choose, Katie Brown's CON, is a YA that felt familiar and at the same time different. It has a compelling narrative that makes me want to see where the story will go, which I think of as the first requirement of good fiction. I'm happy to have the opportunity to work with her."

The other finalists for the award are Gale Albright, Sue Cleveland, Jeff Crosby, Heather Helene, Rebekah Junkermeier, Karen Lemens, Rebekah Manley, Meg Moring, Carmen Oliver and Sarah Propeck

Brian Yansky is the author of young adult novels ALIEN INVASION & OTHER INCONVENIENCES, its sequel HOMICIDAL ALIENS & OTHER DISAPPOINTMENTS and his most recent UTOPIA, IOWA, among others. Visit his website.

The Cynthia Leitich Smith Writing Mentor Award began in 2014 with Cynthia herself as the mentor. The recipient, Laney Nielsen, snagged an agent with the novel she worked on in the mentorship.

The mentorship is awarded annually through the critiques at the Austin SCBWI annual conference. We look forward to seeing who will win in 2016.