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     Here's where you'll find my Coloring Page Tuesdays, contributions to Illustration Friday, Blog Book Tours (interviews with authors and illustrators), movie and book reviews, marketing and illustration tips under Method, Events and Big News (mine and the industry's), and general things I just find interesting. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I'm the SmartWriters 2007 Grand Prize Winner!!!

     OMG OMG OMG I'm still reeling!!! The email came in about 6:00 this evening - silly me didn't put my phone number on the entry form. I honestly didn't think I'd win! At first I thought Roxyanne meant I'd won the illustration category (which would have been good enough!). But no!!! I won the SmartWriters 2007 W.I.N. Competition Grand Prize!! OMG.
     I can't tell y'all how much this means to me. I started in this business cold turkey right before 9/11. Like everybody else, I had all the stereotypical misconceptions about how it all works, and I have learned just about every lesson the hard way. But with every failure, I just grew more and more determined to keep trying. (Yes, I'm a bit stubborn).
     Things have been going well lately, I must admit. But I work so hard, no violins, just truth. I needed some reassurance that this was all going somewhere. And my dream is to write and illustate my own books. That's the goal. It's so frustrating to know what you want sometimes, and know that you have a lot of work ahead of you to jump the hurdles that need jumping. Sometimes it flat out gets you down.
     One of the things I find I have in common with others on this crazy journey is the conscious decision to stay positive, move forward, and not resent the need for growth.
     But it's a much needed shot in the arm to receive recognition like this. It's confirmation that you are supposed to be on this path, that it's the right one.
     I'm so pleased, so thrilled, so honored to be on this journey with all of you. What a funny quest to embark upon, but somehow it is so, so worth it.
     Thank you to Roxyanne Young, Verla Kay, Kelly Milner Halls and SmartWriters for such a well respected competition, but especially for everybody's kind comments and support. This is not a stand-alone honor, I assure you. I am on the shoulders of so many friends.

     Btw, one of the prizes in this year's SmartWriters.com competition is a copy of Anastasia Suen's "Picture Book Writing." I already have a copy, dogeared from the treasure it's been to me. Reading it at different stages of my career has revealed new and just as relevant information. So, I am "paying it forward." Email me below if you'd like me to forward you my winning copy. I'll hold a drawing at the end of the month. (Make sure you don't sign anonymously so I can get in touch with you if I draw your name.)
     Keep writing, keep dreaming, don't give up!!

Here's my winning entry (click to see it larger):

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

MAJOR CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! I've always loved your work, so I'm hardly surprised you've won the grand prize! I can't wait to hear further good news from you!!!! :-D
Kels (Kelsey, Cocoskeeper)

10:58 PM  
Blogger Kristi Valiant said...

Congrats Elizabeth! And what a nice compliment by Scott Piehl that pushed you to the Grand Prize! You sure will go far...

I'd love to be in your drawing for "Picture Book Writing." I'm an illustrator who is beginning my adventure in writing picture books too.

Lots of warm wishes and prayers that you'll get major recognition and publishing opportunities from this award.

11:05 PM  
Anonymous annie said...

Congratulations, E!
I'm a fan of your art and your article in the SCBWI's Bulletin has inspired me to change my blog to a website. (Working on it.) Best wishes in all that comes.

1:55 AM  
Anonymous debi in holland said...

I'm soooo happy for you, Elizabeth! You're right that this is a very reaffirming honor, and you so deserve it!

Enjoy it all!

2:50 AM  
Blogger karen lee said...

We always knew you were a W.I.N.N.E.R.! What great validation.

xoxo Karen

6:31 AM  
Anonymous TinaMack said...

Congratulations Elizabeth!

I love Lula's Brew! No surprise you are the Grand Prize WINner.

Thanks again for your feedback in the SCBWI portfolio exchange last month. Your comments inspired me to push ahead with a new sense of direction.

And...er...did I mention I LOVE Lula's Brew? The judges comments were terrific. :)


7:18 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

This is so great and what timing, huh!

Congratulations, and I'm sure I'll be saying that a lot over the next few months!

10:03 AM  
Blogger gail said...

Ooo! I can't believe I don't have a copy of that book yet. Put my name in the drawing too! Paying it forward...seems like a lot of that happens in this business.

"It's confirmation that you are supposed to be on this path, that it's the right one."...This is so true. I know I needed that in my writing. Like all creative people, it's easy to let self-doubt take over. I know my HM took care of that. Your regognition is so well deserved! You ARE on the right path.

And your winning entry, man, if a picture tells a story this is it! And so many layers to the story! Great job!

A super gianormous congratulations.

10:26 AM  
Blogger kdhamel said...

What a great accomplishment! Congratulations! Your art is wonderful and the prize is very well deserved!
It is such a nice idea to have a drawing for the book and I would love to be included. I enjoy following your website and others (like Karen Lee) to learn as much as I can about this business.
You are an inspiration for beginners like myself!
Best Wishes
Kelly Hamel

2:45 PM  
Blogger Colorado Writer said...

Huge congrats! I've been watching from the blue boards!


5:33 PM  
Blogger LindaBudz said...

Fantastic! Congratulations, Elizabeth. I love this illustration and I love your attitude! No wonder good things are coming your way.

8:00 PM  
Blogger roz said...


10:34 PM  
Anonymous Elaine Alexander said...

Congratulations on your exciting W.I.N.!! Fantastic artwork!

8:12 AM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Congrats! I've always thought your work was amazing. I'm glad you're getting recognition, you deserve it!

P.S. I'd love to be entered in the book drawing too.

10:34 PM  
Blogger EC (Lisa) Stewart said...

That's fantastic!! Congrats!

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Ayris said...

Your drawing is beautiful, as I expected. I love your work. Congratulations again!!!


4:51 PM  
Anonymous Mirely C. said...

"Felicidades para ti'!" means Congratulations to you. This is great!
This gives other writers the strength and inspiration, we all need to keep on writing and submitting. Jasmin and I are very happy for you.

Mirely C.

2:14 AM  
Anonymous Laurie said...

Congrats, Elizabeth! How totally awesome for you!!!!!!

Your winning illustration is so fun and whimsical. Love the witch shadow in the hallway. I didn't notice it at first, so it made me laugh when I did see it.

Keep up the terrific work!

12:14 PM  
Blogger Ghost Girl said...

Yes, yes! Congratulations, Elizabeth! I saw your name and the posts on the blue boards, but wanted to stop in here to say congrats! I hope it keeps coming for you!

7:43 PM  
Blogger jessica said...

Yay! Winner, winner, you're a winner no matter what you do. (What do you win?)

9:44 PM  
Blogger Don Tate II said...

Congratz, well deserved!

10:08 PM  
Blogger Kathy Weller said...

Wow, congratulations!!! Well deserved!!!

3:16 PM  
Blogger Tami said...

Congratulations on a great win!! That's a great illustration ... love the little witch in training. :-)

8:23 PM  
Blogger Annie Bailey said...

I love your illustration! A big congrats to you! I'd love to enter your contest as well if it's not too late.

11:06 PM  

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