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Shawna J. C. Tenney, Storyteller


My childhood was spent creating imaginary worlds in backyard forts, playing dress up with old hand-me-downs, and hanging out in the fairy tale section of my library. I gained a love for picture books at an early age from my mom who read to me every night. Some of my favorites were:  Imogene's Antlers by David Small, Roxaboxen, by Alice McLerran, and The Widow's Broom by Chris Van Allsburg.


In school I was much more interested in drawing on the back of my school work than doing the actual work itself. Though I loved to draw, I hadn't imagined it was something I'd pursue as a career, when I found myself accidentally placed in an AP Art class due to a scheduling conflict. This proved fortuitous as I went on to graduate from BYU with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Illustration!


Today I tell my stories through color, composition, whimsical characters, and words. I'm inspired by my connections with other authors and illustrators. I volunteer for my SCBWI chapter, and help organize the local illustrators' conferences. I am the former host for the Stories Unbound Podcast with the Oatley Academy of Visual Storytelling and I run a monthly critique group.

I love adventuring with my family. I am obsessed with taking too many pictures and scrap-booking them all, (to my family's chagrin). I enjoy sushi, Indian food, and dark chocolate, British shows, old movies, hiking, and playing with puppets. Occasionally I talk to animals. On good days, they talk back.

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