Posted by: Kathy Temean | February 9, 2014


jenniferReinherzcropped260It is always exciting when someone following my blog, writes to let me know how they submitted to a contest, etc. and won after reading about it on Writing &  Illustrating.

Well, that is what happened with the two following people:

Jennifer Reinharz was named the $500 grand prize winner in Build Creative Writing Ideas’ 1,000 Prompts, 1,000 Dollars writing  contest for her CrossFit inspired November blog post, “Discomfort”. Here is what Jennifer wrote:

“It was your blog that introduced me to the NJ SCBWI Regional Conference, gave me the opportunity to have the first pages of my  picture books critiqued, encouraged me to build a platform and start a blog of  my own, and informed me about this contest.  Thank you for all that you do  for us writers out there!” 

You can read her entry using this link:

karen fortunati260This one is from Karen Fortunati and very special, because it all started with the first writer’s retreat I put together after stepping down as SCBWI RA. Then over a year later she reads about a contest, submits and wins. Here is what Karen wrote:

“Kath, Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting the info about the 2013 YA Novel Discovery Contest. I just found out yesterday that I won for the first page that I drafted at our first Avalon Writer’s Retreat with (agent) John (Cusick) and (editor) Jessica (Garrison). As I was revising to get it ready for the contest, I remembered all of us sitting on the front porch – reading, critiquing, laughing…. it feels good finally to make some progress!”

sherisbook260 I met Sheri Oshins about nine, ten years ago when I was Regional Advisor or the NJSCBWI. She was fun, excited, and serious about learning everything she could about writing. She attended conferences, workshops, and she volunteered to help the New Jersey Chapter.

At the last conference I ran, I had invite Lionel Bender, the British author of more than 70 children’s illustrated information books, and is the editorial partner of book creation house Bender, Richardson. Sheri spent as much time as she could with Lionel, picking his brain to see if writing a non-fiction book would be something she should pursue.

shericroppedAfterwards she kept in contact with Lionel and less than two years later, Sheri has her debut non-fiction book coming out this month. I am so happy to see all her hard work pay off.

Now Sheri is the Assistant Regional Advisor of the NJSCBWI, so all that volunteering paid off, too.

Here is what Sheri had to say:

“I never imagined sitting next to the “right” person in a  kumbaya singing circle at the NJ SCBWI June Conference would land me my first  book contract. But there I was, singing along with fellow writers, editors,  agents, and publishers alike. And it was then that I began my professional  relationship with Lionel Bender of Bender Richardson and White. Because we were  singing songs of the 60s from the British invasion, it gave me a starting point to speak comfortably with Brit publisher Bender. Bender joked that it was strange for someone of my age to know all the lyrics of the songs in that  era. Raised by Flower Children, I explained the Beatles, Stones. Cat Stevens, and Crosby, Still, Nash & Young were next to religion in my  household.

Who knew then that my grasp of Rock ‘n’ Roll would lead to my first title only five months later, The Economics of  a Rock Concert, published by Crabtree February 28, 2014. When Lionel got the title sequence of the 4 book Economics series across his desk, he said only one writer came to  mind to write the Rock Concert title; Me! And it was all due to coming out of my shell on that warm June night in Princeton, NJ and deciding to sing a long, because…. You just never know, do you?” 

Congratulations to everyone!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Thank you, Kathy for highlighting my win and for everything you do!


  2. I want to say congratulations to my fantastic friend and writer Jennifer Reinharz! She is an inspiration!


  3. Kudos to all…and isn’t it great when we can facilitate the win-win for others!? it’s partially why we do what we do! kudos to you Kathy….


  4. Congrats to all! It is always so encouraging to see our talented NJ members achieve success.


  5. That’s great news for all of them. Thanks to you Kathy for informing us of so many important events.


    • Trying to fine sherry edgeberg


  6. Smiles and CONGRATS all around! Yay, Jennifer, Karen and Sheri! It really is amazing sometimes, as to where one thing will lead SO unexpectedly. Great stuff, everyone! 😀 😀 😀


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