Aliya Chen’s Winning illustration of Elise Steven’s story Untrained Luck. Chen won the Golden Brush Award. Illustration courtesy Aliya Chen

By: Stewie the Art Expert Cat

Hollywood, CA (The Hollywood Times) 4/9/19 – “The main point of this award is to give these early career artists and writers a leg up in their career” says Echo Chernik, coordinating judge of the illustrators of the contest created by the late L. Ron Hubbard. —of note, he was a major author and supporter of the arts and not only THE Scientology guy.

Echo Chernik. (Photo by Cynthia Underwood)

I’m Stewie the Art Expert Cat coming to you live from L .Ron Hubbard’s Writers and Illustrators of the Year Black-Tie GALA award ceremony.

Ms. Chernik further elucidated the extent of the award. This award is not simply a big, super revered clear trophy that collects dust on a shelf. When one wins, they are awarded an invaluable week long workshop on the business of how to be an illustrator. Winners are educated on topics such as “how to handle clients”, “how to deal with contracts” and “how to make money as an artist”, among other things. These are things not taught in university but only learned through years of experience.


This is me. I’m a cat:

Stewie the Art Expert Cat (Photo courtesy of Cynthia Underwood)

This major career jump-start award program has enabled past winners to go on to be well-renowned in the sci-fi fiction world and in illustration.

Illustration by Yingying Jiang. Photo courtesy Yingying Jiang

What a fantastic show of emotion on the boy’s face in this winning illustration by YingYing Jiang. And yet, while I’m engaged with the boys expression, it’s the cat who entrances me. This is not simply because I’m a cat too. No. The viewer is sucked into the action by the expression the drawn kitty cat is showing us.

As a cat myself, I read intense WANT of the glowing toy. This want is so great that I don’t even notice the untied shoelace waiting to be killed, although, this does add local color to the scene.


The twelve winning artists each illustrated one of the winning authors sci-fi short stories.

In her acceptance speech, Yingying touches on nearly all artists experiences when she says: I’d  like to thank my parents for not panicking when I told them I want to pursue art.


Gunhild Jacobs, Executive Director of Author Services who, btw, represents ONLY L. Ron Hubbard (Meowza!) said when asked by my human mom, Cynthia Underwood, what knocked her socks off about this years awards “this is my first year in my 34 years of directing that the winners were so able to eloquently express how they felt about receiving this award.”

Gunhild Jacobs and Cynthia Underwood. Photo courtesy Cynthia Underwood



Since I’m an art expert, I’m focusing on the art in my article. To read about the author winners please read my human mom’s article here: Cynthia Underwood’s article


Honestly, the only thing missing from this awards ceremony were mice for me to chase.


Qianjiao Ma’s Illustration for first prize story by Andrew Dykstal