Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Sometimes When You Enter...You Win! SCBWI KSMO Rocks!

The Missouri Kansas SWCBI Regional Team has been hard at work putting all the pieces together for a fantastic 2017 Middle of the Map conference. A large part of that planning includes coordinating the contests for the Ellen Donal Mentorship award, the Clare Vanderpool Work of Promise Scholarship and the Middle of the Map Illustration Contest. This year, we also added a Portfolio Mentorship for our illustration members.

A special thank you to all the coordinators and judges who helped to select these winners. Also, a huge thank you to the members who submitted to the contests. It was very exciting to see so much amazing work coming from our membership.

The competition was steep across all the contests and it took much time and deliberation for our amazing volunteer judges to narrow each of them down to one winner. However, those decisions have been made and we are pleased to announce the recipients for each contest below. We look forward to seeing the work that each of these members do this year!

Ellen Dolan Mentorship for Writers
We are so excited to announce the 2018 Ellen Dolan Mentorship winner, Sharon K. Mayhew. She will be working with the wonderful PB author, Ann Ingalls on her manuscript over the next year. She has also received a scholarship covering her registration cost to the Kansas/Missouri SCBWI conference in November.
Sharon, born just outside of London, began writing very young and continues to write today. She fulfilled her dream of becoming an elementary teacher in 1988, in Arkansas and taught for seventeen years. Her classrooms were always filled with books and writing activities. Her third and fourth graders became part of her life, not just for the year or two she had them, but many of them are still close to her and confide in her in both good times and bad. One of her most prized awards is the SEAM award. It was presented to her for her achievement in teaching children with all levels of needs, from special education students through the gifted ones.
 She began seriously writing in 2008 when she relocated to northern Iowa. The long winters gave her ample time to sit by the window in her office and write stories.
Sharon has been an active SCBWI member since 2007. In 2014, she joined an in-person critique group and in 2016 SCBWI leadership asked her to start another critique group for beginning writers. Teaching, reading and writing remain her passions today.

CSchmidt_headshot.jpg-1Clare Vanderpool Work of Promise Scholarship
We are pleased to announce the 2017 Clare Vanderpool Work of Promise Scholarship Winner, Christina Schmidt. SCBWI Kansas/Missouri offers this scholarship to our fall conference each year in honor of the 2011 Newbery winner and SCBWI Kansas member, Clare Vanderpool.  The scholarship includes conference registration and a one-on-one consultation with the faculty editor or agent of the recipient's choice. Christina was chosen for the honor based upon her manuscript submission for FADED, her second YA novel, which was selected by a committee of authors.
After eight years as a Research Biologist in the pharmaceutical industry, Christina left her job to become a full-time mom and finally pursue her lifelong passion for writing. During those whirlwind years of raising young children, she had parenting essays published in “American Baby” magazine and on Mothering.com, but novels were always her ultimate goal. She eventually found a home with SCBWI and started building her fiction-writing foundation. She’s been an active member for six years. Christina lives in the St. Louis area with her husband and their three boys. 

2018 Illustration Mentorship
We are very excited to announce our first Illustration Mentorship recipient Stephen Dallas. He will have the amazing opportunity to improve one of his illustrations with the support of mentor Stephen T. Johnson. He will also receive a scholarship covering registration cost to the Kansas/Missouri SCBWI conference in November.
Stephen Dallas is a pre-published illustrator living and working in Overland Park, Kansas. He loves the art of storytelling and would like to illustrate graphic novels for middle grades and young adults. Stephen is most inspired by rock and roll, indie board games, and Kung Fu films. He feels this opportunity is a great way to go back to fundamentals and better establish the root of the story being told. 

2017 Middle of the Map Illustration Contest
We are thrilled to announce the winner of the Middle of the Map Illustration Contest, Rob Peters. Rob’s artwork, which illustrates the theme “Middle of the Map” will be used on many of our 2017 conference promotions and materials. He has also received free tuition to the conference, a free portfolio review with the faculty of his choice, and a small booklet of his illustration and contact information will be distributed to all of our conference faculty.
Rob Peters has a degree in Visual Communications from Judson College in Elgin, IL. He worked as a cover designer and illustrator for Jostens Yearbooks for 7 years. Now he works as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. He lives in Topeka with Janie, his wife, and family.


Congratulations to Chris, Rob and Stephen! I'm super excited about having the opportunity to work with Ann Ingalls. Ann has an amazing resume' and I can't wait to learn from her. If you want to check her out and all of her amazing books....

I hope you will enter your state SCBWI contests or other writing contests. Entering contests is a great way of practicing deadlines. Deadlines will come when you get that contract. Have you entered any contests lately? 



  1. Yahoo!!!!!! That's so exciting! Congratulations - you're going to have an amazing experience!!! :)

  2. YAAAHOOO for you!! for sure you deserve it.


  3. Hi Sharon - that's amazing and so well done. What a great opportunity to have a year's worth of mentoring with Ann Ingalls - I must go over and 'meet' her. Bet you're as chuffed as anything ... congratulations on winning the Ellen Dolan award ... and being part of the great group. Lots on offer here - so interesting to see the other winners ... and to read you'll be going to the SCBWI conference in a couple of months ... gosh - enjoy and once again so well done - cheers Hilary

  4. Congrats, Sharon! What a great opportunity for you. Very excited for you.

  5. Hi human, Sharon,

    That's totally pawesome news. Hearty congrats, my lovely human friend who I had breakfast with.

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny 🐶