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Wonderland Award

Eleventh-Annual Wonderland Award

About the Award

The Wonderland Award is an annual multidisciplinary competition that encourages new scholarship and creative work related to Lewis Carroll (1832–1898). The award was established in 2004 with the sponsorship of Linda Cassady.

The 1st award was made in spring 2005; speaking at that event was the great-granddaughter of Alice, Vanessa St. Clair. Since then, there have been more than 300 student submissions and the success of the program prompted USC to open the competition to students from other Southern California colleges and universities.

Entry and Judging Criteria

The format for Wonderland Award entries is limited only by the imagination. We accept a broad range of submissions, including scholarly essays, poems, performance pieces, videogames, animation, visual artworks, music, digital compositions, and films.

Prize-winners will be selected from among all eligible entries received by a panel of qualified independent judges based on a numerical point system, for a maximum of 16 points, utilizing the following criteria:

By submitting an entry, you agree all award submissions become part of the G. Edward Cassady, M.D. and Margaret Elizabeth Cassady, R.N. Lewis Carroll Collection of the USC Libraries and grant the USC Libraries a non-exclusive license to publish the entries in the future.


Judges for Wonderland XI

Angela A. Diamos
Associate Professor, Animation
School of Media, Culture & Design
Woodbury University

Angela has animated effects for Fantasia/2000, Tarzan, Hercules, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, The Emperor’s New Groove, Star Trek, Battlestar Gallactica, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and Quantum Leap. Angela is now channeling her talent into teaching and her personal work.

Having realized the potential in video imagery, Angela now explores the use of video and digital imagery as an art medium.

“In my work I play with the combination and juxtaposition of disparate elements. Coming from a film background (effects animation and photography) and working within that ephemeral world of non-reality, I now find myself caught up with the digital medium. Digital technology has allowed me to customize and further my craft and to incorporate the digital world, which is now a part of our environment.”

Karen Mortillaro

Master sculptor Karen Mortillaro is collected not only for her figurative work but also for her illusions, conceived in the imagination and executed with a detailed distinction that collectors find astonishing. Her work is found in both public and private collections.

Karen attended the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, where she earned her B.F.A. and M.F.A. She was named to the Dean’s List and received a full graduate school scholarship. She was the recipient of the Elsie de Wolfe Fellowship. In 1995 Karen was selected from among ten eminent sculptors to create the Writer’s Guild of America Award statuette given annually to writers in film, television, and theater. She also designed the Julie Harris Award for the Actors Fund. Karen is in Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who of College and University Women, and Who’s Who in Computer Graphics. She holds a U.S. patent for her illusionary techniques.


Andrew and Lindsey Woodham

Andrew and Lindsey Woodham were coined the King and Queen of Wonderland from 2012-2014. Andy, a PhD candidate in the Genetics Molecular and Cellular Biology Program at USC and a cancer researcher in the Kast Lab, called upon the other half of his brain delving deep into the many aspects of Lewis Carroll’s life, and in the process became the only three-time first place winner of the USC Wonderland Award. His wife Lindsey received her Master’s in Liberal Studies from USC in 2013 and is currently a USC immunology research lab manager, but also found her niche exploring the frabjous wonders of Wonderland and won awards during these three consecutive years. Married in May of 2014, the couple has enjoyed competing together not only in the Wonderland Award, but in many running events such as the Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon where they dressed as the White Rabbit and Alice, and in the Crosswords LA Competition. They are both fellows of the USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study, and have presented their Wonderland pieces at the Lewis Carroll Society of North America meeting in 2013. They look forward to judging Wonderland XI knowing what it takes to win the Carrollian crown. Additionally, they will be receiving some help from a little Tweedledee, as they are expecting their first child who should arrive in just in time for the tea party!


Richard Rayner, USC Masters in Professional Writing (MPW) Program, Lecturer

Richard Rayner was born in the north of England, educated at Cambridge University, where he studied philosophy and law, and has lived in Los Angeles for twenty years. He is the author of ten books, both fiction and non-fiction, including 'Los Angeles Without a Map' (filmed from his own script with David Tennant, Vinissa Shaw, Johnny Depp and Julie Delpy),  'The Blue Suit' , 'Murder Book', and, most recently 'A Bright and Guilty Place'. He writes for the Los Angeles Review of Books, the LA Times, the New Yorker and other publications. He continues to write for TV, as well as film.  He teaches at USC in the Masters of Professional Writing program. He is married with two sons. One boxes and surfs and is in high school; the other studies at USC and plays violin. Both are fluent in English, and in Finnish too, the language of their mother.


Linda Cassady, Wonderland Award and Cassady collection donor

It is through the generous donations of Linda Cassady and her husband Dr. George Cassady that the Wonderland Award is made possible.  Their collecting efforts continue to make the Cassady Lewis Carroll collection what it is today, a research destination for all things Carrollian.

How to Submit Your Entry

All students must fill out the online application form and attach their artist statement using the link below. In order to ensure complete fairness during the judging process, we ask that students submit their entries without identifying information (name, school, etc.) on the project itself.

When possible, the electronic files should be attached to the online form. These will be used for the potential publication of submissions later by USC. The student submission is judged on quality and presentation so the student may find it beneficial to provide a hard copy of any print-based or art submission.


For all entries that need to be submitted in person (artwork or other types of three-dimensional objects), please contact:
Abby Saunders
University of Southern California
Doheny Memorial Library, Room 226
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0189
(213) 740-3672

Where to Start

To get ideas and learn more about the life and work of Lewis Carroll, explore the G. Edward Cassady, M.D., and Margaret Elizabeth Cassady, R.N., Lewis Carroll Collection. Visit the USC Libraries Special Collections in Doheny Library, Room 206, to view rare Carroll-related books, illustrations, and artwork. We are currently at work on a bibliography of the entire collection. Please check back soon for more information!

Browse the Cassady Collection Bibliography:




Previous Winners

Previous winners include molecular biology graduate student Andrew Woodham, music industry graduate student Veronique Van Pelt, specialized journalism graduate student Brandon Reynolds, critical studies doctoral candidate Ghia Godfree, biomedical engineering major Arvind Iyer, English doctoral candidates Natasha Alvandi and Jonathan Hamrick, undergraduate theatrical design major Lauren Tyler and creative writing major Charles Mallison. You can see many of their entries in our virtual Wonderland exhibition. You may also browse a list of all the previous submissions through our online Finding Aid.

Facebook Group

Visit the USC Libraries Wonderland Award Facebook page for contest updates, images from past Wonderland Award ceremonies, and resources you can use to complete your entry.

About the Lewis Carroll Collection

The primary purpose of the award is to promote and encourage the use of the G. Edward Cassady, M.D., and Margaret Elizabeth Cassady, R.N., Lewis Carroll Collection, held in Doheny Library at USC.

This Collection was established in 2000 with a gift of over 100 books and ephemera by George Cassady, M.D., and named in honor of his parents. The following year, an endowment was established by Dr. Cassady to expand the Collection and to bring national attention to the high level of interest in Carroll’s works on the USC Campus. The Cassady Family Endowment for Lewis Carroll Studies at the University of Southern California has hosted an annual meeting of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America and cosponsored with the Huntington Library a symposium on Carroll’s studies and their influence on modern society.

The Carroll Collection has now grown to contain more than 3,000 rare books, early pamphlets, letters, and other items related to the work of Lewis Carroll. Included in the Collection are early works Carroll inscribed to friends, books from Carroll’s own library, many copies of Carroll’s work from Alice’s library, limited collectors’ editions, and most works by major illustrators of the Alice stories. First editions of early translations into German, French, and Italian, and important bibliographic and biographical works stand side-by-side with signed copies of early movie scripts, playbills from early stage adaptations, Victorian-era playing cards, and pop-up books. More recently, comic books, graphic novels, manga editions, literary parodies, computer games, movies, and original art work related to Carroll and his Alice books have joined the Collection.

About Lewis Carroll

Best known for his Alice books, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and its sequel, Through the Looking Glass (1871), Dodgson’s published works concern the fields of mathematics, logic, poetry, principles of parliamentary representation, and university administration, to mention but a few. Additionally, Dodgson is renowned as the greatest photographer of children during an era when albumen plates were handmade on site and exposures commonly required a minute or more.

Participating Institutions

Students from the following universities and educational institutions are invited to submit entries for the USC Libraries Wonderland Award:

  • Alliant International University Library
  • American Film Institute
  • Antioch University
  • Art Center College of Design
  • Azusa Pacific University
  • Biola University
  • Cal Poly Ponoma
  • California Baptist University
  • California Institute of Technology
  • California Institute of the Arts
  • Chapman University
  • Claremont School of Theology
  • Concordia University
  • CSU Dominguez Hills
  • CSU Fullerton
  • CSU Long Beach
  • CSU Los Angeles
  • CSU Northridge
  • CSU San Bernardino
  • Fielding Graduate University
  • Fuller Theological Seminary
  • Hebrew Union College
  • Hope International University
  • La Sierra University
  • Loma Linda University
  • Loyola Marymount University
  • The Master's College
  • Mount St. Mary's College
  • National University
  • Occidental College
  • Otis College of Art and Design
  • Pacific Oaks College
  • Pepperdine University
  • Point Loma Nazarene University
  • San Diego State University
  • Southwestern Law School
  • Thomas Jefferson School of Law
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California, Riverside
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • University of La Verne
  • University of Redlands
  • University of San Diego
  • University of San Diego Libraries
  • University of Southern California
  • Vanguard University of Southern California
  • Western State University College of Law
  • Western University of Health Sciences
  • Westminster Seminary California
  • Whittier College
  • Woodbury University

Additional Questions

For all questions regarding the competition, contact Abby Saunders at (213) 740-3672 or