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Julie Dillemuth with picture book Camilla, Cartographer


I'm a writer, a mom, a PhD, a storyteller. 

I have academic training as an archaeologist and a geographer.

When I need to rejuvenate my creativity, I turn to crochet and sewing.

I show up for social justice, social responsibility, sustainability, and women's rights.

     "Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,

     Healthy, free, the world before me,

     The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose."

                                      -- Walt Whitman, "Song of the Open Road"

Enjoy the Process

The first story I remember writing: when I was five or six years old I set up a desk in a closet, lugged over my mom's old Royal typewriter, and banged out an adaptation of the classic cat-sat-on-a-mat, adding a ghost and a cameo by Pug, of 1980s phonics reader fame.

2009 was the year I decided to get serious about a writing career. I had an idea for a rhyming picture book that had an underlying educational theme, spatial cognition. It was so much fun to write, and it was the first fiction story with a beginning, middle, end, and a point, that I had written in a very long time. Something clicked. Four months later I joined SCBWI, the professional society for children's book writers and illustrators, and began to learn the craft and the industry. I finally knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life: write stories.

In 2019 I revisited a long-held desire to write screenplays. I began to learn craft and build community. In 2020, it became even more important to focus on a new learning curve, a new challenge, a new way of storytelling. The joy of losing myself in my writing inspired the motto, "enjoy the process"; a motto I recommend to all writers.


And though I've written poetry for myself since my teens and had a poem published in 2016 (Highlights for Children magazine), it was only in 2023 that I wanted to start sharing my poetry and dive deeper into learning craft. I also adopted a new writing motto, "play," as a reminder to have fun with words and language.

I live in Santa Barbara, where the west coast faces south, with my husband, two kids, and sometimes a dog or a cat (we pet-sit and foster). My favorite down-time is a book and the backyard hammock.


Winner, Santa Barbara Writers Conference Scholarship Nonfiction Contest, 2023

Semifinalist, Creative Screenwriting Feature Competition, 2023

Semifinalist, Ojai Film Festival Screenwriting Competition, 2022 & 2023

Bank Street College Best Book of the Year 2019, for Camilla, Cartographer

Runner Up, The Peace Crane Project Creative Book Awards 2017, for Mapping My Day

Honorable mention, Purple Dragonfly Awards 2017 for Mapping My Day

Winner, Highlights for Children Fiction Contest 2012, with"Bear and Max"

Magazine and Journal Publications

"One For You" poem, Highlights for Children, March 2016

"Bear and Max" story, Highlights for Children, August 2013

 "Spatial Survival Guide: Tips and Tricks for Finding Your Way" nonfiction article in Odyssey, Nov/Dec 2012

"Navigation tasks with small-display maps: the sum of the parts does not equal the whole." Cartographica 44(3): 187-200, 2009

"Choosing the scale and extent of maps for navigation with mobile computing systems."Journal of Location Based Services 1(1): 46- 
          61, 2007 (Co-authored with Kirk Goldsberry and Keith Clarke) 

"Map size matters: difficulties of small-display map use." Proc. of the 4th International Symposium on LBS & TeleCartography, Nov. 8-
          10, Hong Kong, 2007

"Map design evaluation for mobile display."Cartography and Geographic Information Science 32(4): 285-301, 2005

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