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Julie Dillemuth


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"

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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, 2023 Santa Barbara Writers Conference Scholarship for Nonfiction

  • Semifinalist, 2022 Ojai Film Festival Screenwriting Competition

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

  • Runner Up, 2019 Creative Book Awards, The Peace Crane Project, for Mapping My Day

  • Honorable mention, 2017 Purple Dragonfly Awards for Mapping My Day

  • Winner, 2012 Highlights for Children Fiction Contest, 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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