Posted by: Kathy Temean | December 24, 2013

Santa’s on His Way! Delivering Kudos – Happy Christmas Eve


This perfect Christmas Eve illustration was sent in by Children’s author/illustrator Elizabeth O. Dulemba Her debut mid-grade historical fiction book, A BIRD ON WATER STREET is coming out in May from Little Pickle Press. Learn more at:

Barbara DiLorenzo emailed me to let me know she had won 1st Place Prize for her picture book story “Atlantic Avenue Dragon.” In her email she included a link to the Atlantic Ave BID site, where they had posted a statement from Barbara. After reading it I felt I would share the inspiration Barbara talks about, since it is a perfect fit for the holiday season and the new year. Here is Barbara:

When Josef Szende called me about the Atlantic Avenue BID Children’s Literature Contest, I thought he was checking to make sure I had everything ready to go for the December 21st reading at Table 87. I was happy he called, because I wanted to make sure it was ok if I included an illustration in my presentation.

But then he said that he was calling to let me know I had won the Grand Prize. Me. Grand Prize. That absolutely never happens. I was so happy, and yet, I started crying. Poor Josef.

But the reason I started to cry is that my creative journey has been a long one. After graduating from art school well over a decade ago, I became a web designer. I had majored in illustration, but the practicality of paying the bills won out. I found that collaborating with people was enjoyable, but there was something disheartening about the work. Every year or so, my web sites would be completely erased and redone, usually by me. There was no trace left of all the hard work, the problem-solving or the design.

So in 2010, when my family and I moved to New York City, I decided to quit working as a web designer, and focus exclusively on my art and writing. I also taught art classes at The Creative Center, which was great to get me out of the apartment and socialize with folks.

In the past three years, I have been attending Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conferences, lectures, critiques and networking events. I joined the Children’s Book Illustrators Group. I took Children’s Book Boot Camp classes with Pat Cummings (who is absolutely awesome and I love her so much), and worked within a few different online critique groups. My biggest highlight was last year when agent Adriann Ranta, of Wolf Literary Services, LLC, signed me.

But all of that effort has not lead to a book contract… yet.

So when Josef called, I cried. A panel of judges validated my choice to write for children. That is the prize in all of this. The vote of confidence, from a group, was really what I needed the most. We tell children to believe in themselves, and to follow their path. But it’s so hard to set that example.

You can read the rest using this link:

barbaraDiLorenzoSCBWIMetroNYLogoBarbara won $1000, and a critique with one of the judges below: 

Bruce Degen Illustrator, ‘The Magic School Bus’ series
Nancy Doniger Illustrator, “Lemonade, and Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word”
Melissa Guion Author and Illustrator, “Baby Penguins Everywhere!”
Rachel Orr Agent at Prospect Agency
Namrata Tripathi Senior Editor at Atheneum
Tamson Weston Freelance children’s book editor

I asked Barbara how she found out about the contest and she said she attended the Pat Cummings Children’s Book Boot Camp this summer and Pat told her about the contest. 

On December 30th I will post Barbara’s winning story, so check back.

But Barbara also found out this past week that she tied for runner-up in the SCBWI NYC Logo Contest. Ruth Chan was the other runner-up for the SCBWI Metro NY logo competition. 

Congratulations! I am sure this is just the beginning of good things to come in 2014. Kudos to Elizabeth, too. We’ll want to see more of your book in May.

Merry Christmas! Enjoy the spirit of the night and the celebration of Christmas with your family and friends. If you get the time stop by tomorrow, you will find a beatiful  illustration by Susan Detwiler and lovely poem by Eileen Spinelli.

All of you are in my thoughts,



  1. 2013 was an inspiring year for you Barbara. Here’s to a wonderful 2014. All the best to you!


    • Thank you Adrienne! And I should mention, you were helpful in critiquing my manuscript before I sent it to Atlantic Avenue BID. I owe you a bottle of champagne! Next year, I hope you feel comfortable enough to put your gorgeous work out there. I love your illustrations so much. Tons more people would too if they could just see it!


  2. Gorgeous illustration, Elizabeth and a great big Congrats! to both you and Barbara. Such uplifting news 🙂


  3. Merry Christmas, Kathy! 🙂


  4. Thank you so much to Kathy Temean. You really are supporting so many individual dreams by helping and promoting this community of growing writers and illustrators. Thank you for all that you do. Big hugs!


  5. Merry merry Kathy!!! Did you like the winner of the NYmetro logo? Laurent loved it and I loved the whimsy and retro feel. Hope it’s a great holiday!! Hugs From: Writing and IllustratingSent: Tuesday, December 24, 2013 12:05 AMTo: chris@catugeau.comReply To: Writing and IllustratingSubject: [New post] Santa’s on His Way! Delivering Kudos – Happy Christmas Eve

    Kathy Temean posted: ”

    This perfect Christmas Eve illustration was sent in by Children’s author/illustrator Elizabeth O. Dulemba Her debut mid-grade historical fiction book, A BIRD ON WATER STREET is coming out in May from Little Pickle Press. Learn more at: http://ABirdOnW


    • Chris,

      I hadn’t seen the winning illustration. Just went looking on the Internet for it. I love it! I’ll have to show it off on another post. Are you home for Christmas or out visiting?

      Merry Christmas,



      • Chris,

        Forgot to ask if you could encourage the illustrators you represent that were featured on Illustrator Saturday during the last five years to send me a piece that was not featured? I am putting together a post this Saturday of what they are doing now. thanks!


  6. Barbara, wow! Congratulations and thanks for sharing your inspiring story.


  7. P.S. Love Elizabeth’s dreamy Santa scene.


  8. Thank you, Kathy, for posting this! What a beautiful way to start the New Year. As 2014 quickly approaches, I appreciate hearing that hard work DOES find its reward.:) I intend to dig in an write/revise/submit like a fiend! Congratulations, Barbara! You inspire me.:)


  9. Thanks so much for featuring my work, Kathy! I hope you have a happy, healthy, and successful New Year! 🙂 e


  10. Congratulations, Barbara! It sounds like a wonderful story!


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