Monday, May 21, 2012

Celebration of the 2012 New Voices in Children’s Literature

On Wednesday, May 16, the Shoreline Arts Alliance celebrated the 12th annual New Voices in Children’s Literature competition and bestowed the 2012 Tassy Walden awards at the James Blackstone Memorial Library, in Branford, Connecticut.

This annual juried competition was established in 2001 to encourage and nurture the creation and publication of exceptional quality books for children by unpublished Connecticut writers and illustrators.

The event was open to the public. And all had the chance to hear readings and view artwork from the winning submissions, as well as to mingle with other authors and visual artists at a reception following the awards presentation.

The evening started with presentations by children's book author and illustrator Deborah Freedman, a former Tassy Award recipient, and by author Doe Boyle, who is the Tassy Awards Committee Chair.

I had the honor to show my artwork at the event and present slides from my portfolio that was selected 2012 Winner in the Children’s Book Illustrator’s Portfolio category.

Ainu Girl and Cranes by Marcela Staudenmaier
Editors, publishers and art directors from major children’s publishing houses selected the following recipients for this year’s awards:

Picture Book (text):
  • Halloween House by Nicole Panteleakos, Plainfield
  • How Many Sleeps Till Grandma Comes? by Carol Boas, Wilton
  • A Princess Needs A Parade by Betsy Devany, Ledyard
  • Pond Monster by Jacquelin C. Devlin, North Haven
  • Little Brother by Jessica Loupos, Gales Ferry 

Illustrated Picture Book:
  • Aqua Marine by Lynne Stephens Massey, Norwalk
  • Aubrey and the Circus by Amanda Boyd-Yin, Stamford
  • The Amazing Imaginary Adventures of Skippy & Lou by Magge Gagliardi, Berlin
  • Abecedarium Insectarium by Lynne Stephens Massey, Norwalk 
  • Dear Friend by Marcela Staudenmaier, New Haven

Illustrator’s Portfolio
  • Anneliese Juergensen, Cheshire

Middle Grade Novel
  • The House and the Hurricane by Nick Appleby, Hamden
Honorable Mention:
  • Indiana Bamboo by Meira Rosenberg, Stamford
  • Paisley Flynn and the Magic Hat Society by Kimberly Ciecko, Madison      
  • Ibbie-Rae Paves the Way by Betsy Devany, Ledyard
  • The Weed Whackers, Open for Business by Barbara Gold, Stamford
  • Sarah the Bold by Eileen Lettick, Wallingford
  • In the Bag by Edna Wells, Northfield 
  • Listening in the Snow by Jeanne Zulick, Ellington

Young Adult/Teen Novel
  • Greetings from the Miracle by Bette Anne Rieth, Shelton
Honorable Mention:
  • A Novel of the Conquest, 1066 by Meg Eilidh Green, Milford
  • Center Stage by Leslie Cahill, Milford
  • Finding Beauty by Betsy Devany, Ledyard
Congratulations to this year’s Tassy Winners, Honorable Mentions and Finalists!

New Voices in Children’s Literature is produced in part with support from dedicated volunteers and generous funding from Jack and Helen Davis, Sennheiser Electronic Corporation and the CT Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts.  Special thanks to the Blackstone Memorial Library for the use of their auditorium for the awards presentation and reception and to the members of the Tassy Walden Awards committee for all the dedication in coordinating and overseeing this program each year.

If you live in Connecticut and are an unpublished author or illustrator, consider submitting for the 2013 Tassy Walden Awards competition. For more information visit