Mentorship Monday: Mentor Jessica Lee Anderson from Austin, TX

This Monday, we take a peek at the other side of the mentor partnership with Jessica Lee Anderson. She’s an accomplished author who  is part of the Avante-Garde  Mentoring Program ( organized by SCBWI-TX, Austin.  This program connects talented mentors with aspiring children’s book writers. Anyone would be lucky to work with Jessica Lee Anderson. Check her out at:

1. Please share a brief bio of you and your work.

Jessica Lee Anderson is the author of Trudy (winner of the 2005 Milkweed Prize for Children’s Literature), Border Crossing (Quick Picks Nomination), as well as Calli (2011, YALSA’s Readers’ Choice Booklist Nomination). She’s published two nonfiction readers, as well as fiction and nonfiction for a variety of magazines including Highlights for Children. Jessica graduated from Hollins University with a Master of Arts in Children’s Literature, and instructed at the Institute of Children’s Literature for five years. She is a member of The Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels and hopes to be more sweetheart than scoundrel. She lives near Austin, Texas with her husband and two crazy dogs.

2.  Why did you decide to become a mentor?

This has been a natural transition as my background is in education and I’ve always been passionate about helping people.  There are few things quite as exciting and energizing as watching your student or mentee succeed!

3.  How many writers have you officially mentored?

I don’t have an official count, but as a former ICL instructor and an active SCBWI member, I’ve mentored a good number of writers.  In addition, I’ve also helped writers by offering critiques and providing guidance as a member of The Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels.

4.  What strengths do you bring as a mentor?

I like to think of myself as a patient person and also very positive.  This year, I celebrated 10 years in the writing industry, so I hope to have some helpful experience to share as well. 

5.  Have you been a mentee? If so, what from that experience helps you be the best mentor you can be?

I consider myself to be lucky to have had such amazing mentors throughout my writing journey! My mentors have all been models in patience and encouragement—they’ve really set a great example that I hope I can exemplify.

6.  If you could mentor any writer throughout time, who would it be and why?

Hmm…there are so many writers I’d love to connect with in any sort of capacity!  Harper Lee ranks right up there for me, especially as there are some projects she set aside indefinitely.

7.  If you could be mentored by any writer throughout time, who would it be and why?

I think Shakespeare would have such amazing insights to offer.  I admit I could use plenty of poetic guidance! 

Thank you!

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