Introducing the PB Rising Stars Mentorship

By Ebony Lynn Mudd

This time two years ago, if you would’ve told me that I’d be preparing a blog post for Sub It Club instead of reading it still crossing my fingers wishing that just ONE query would stick…well, you know the line….I wouldn’t have believed you. 

In 2020, I was the new girl in the writing community, connecting with people in the Sub It Club Facebook group. And as the new girl in the writing community, I needed just that…COMMUNITY. And critiques. Lots and lots of critiques. Sub It Club is how I learned how instrumental Twitter is/can be for authors, especially via pitch contests. And a pitch contest is exactly how everything got started for me. Sub It Club was the bridge that changed it all. 

Now, two years later, I’m signed with Erin Murphy of Erin Murphy Literary Agency and have two unannounced picture book deals. I’m writing novels now too and have access to a career that I never knew was even possible when I got started. When I look back at the road that really led me here, it wasn’t just lined with my writing. Sure, I studied a lot of picture books…I worked on my craft…I even got to the place where I could write a good book. That’s all-important. But I’d truly be nothing without the people that shared their knowledge with me, teaching me things that were important beyond the page. I knew that whenever I had experience and knowledge to give another author, that’s the first thing I’d do— give.

So that’s exactly why me and Kailei Pew started the PB Rising Stars Mentorship Program—to give back. 

Our mentorship pairs up-and-coming mentors with up-and-coming mentees. Mentees understand that their mentors are new to mentoring, but experienced with agent calls, author-agent relationships, submission experiences, and contract language. Our mentors are more than fancy critique partners. They are agented, passionate, and have OVER 30 BOOK DEALS between them—most with big five publishers! Mentees will work with their mentors on at least one (or more!) PB MS or Dummy over the course of a three-month mentorship. And they’ll receive exclusive access to live workshops once a month from an industry professional. This mentorship is a platform to allow our mentors to share what they know before they have their books on the shelves and move on to mentor in other programs. 

And it all started with a tweet…

Kailei Pew had been battling between a desire to give back to the picture book community, after many hands helped her, and some major imposter syndrome. So she threw a tweet out into the universe, asking if anyone would be interested in a low-key, low-stakes, high-quality mentorship. Something that would help Kailei learn how to mentor but still be really beneficial to an up-and-coming author. And WOW, Twitter responded! In fact, the response was incredibly overwhelming and humbling. And not only were authors interested in being mentored, but other authors were interested in doing the mentoring. 

So I connected with Kailei when she tweeted, because it sounded like exactly the type of give-back opportunity I was craving. And now, here we are! Our passion for picture books, our desire to give back, and our excitement all matched so perfectly. Our skill sets really complement each other. Before we knew it, we were gathering mentors, getting training, creating a website, and preparing applications. 

We’re beyond humbled to be in a position where we can give back and share the things we’ve learned along this wild publishing path. All of us have conquered querying, agent calls, publishing contracts, and some of us are even on our second agent (ME!)… 

We hope that you’ll each check out our website, our mentors, and consider applying to this program to work alongside one of us for three months. We are each looking for different things, and we love how diverse all of our skill sets are. 

You can check out each mentor’s page here:

The website also has the eligibility requirements, FAQs, and if you have any questions before applying, you can email us at

If you’re ready to apply, the application links are inside each individual’s mentor page. Applications are open June 6th through Saturday, June 11th at 11:59 pm Pacific Time. 

We will announce who is selected via Twitter (@ebonylynnmudd & @pewkailei) and the website!

Remember, you’ll miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. So take your shot, put your best foot forward, and take a chance on you. We truly believe that we will all find our “yeses” as we continue to put ourselves out there. And we’re thrilled to be the ones offering the opportunity this time!

Ebony Lynn Mudd is a kidlit author and lover of diversity and equality. You can find her at, @ebonylynnmudd on Twitter, and on Instagram.

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