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The Book Illustration Competition 2020 is now open for entries

The Folio Society and House of Illustration’s competition seeks illustrator for Love Poems.

Book Illustration Competition

The Folio Society and House of Illustration have opened the Book Illustration Competition 2020. This year, they are looking for an artist to illustrate ‘Love Poems’, selected and edited by Imtiaz Dharker.

The partnership between The Folio Society and House of Illustration for the Book Illustration Competition 2020 (BIC) will offer both students and professional illustrators the opportunity to win a highly sought-after commission from The Folio Society. Those interested in submitting their work have until Friday 17th January 2020 to enter the competition.

The Folio Society

Max Loffler, winner of the BIC 2018 award, created the stunning cover and illustrations for The Folio Society edition of The Selected Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.

The tenth competition asks entrants to illustrate poetry for the first time by creating three pieces for Love Poems, a brand-new anthology selected and edited by Imtiaz Dharker that ranges through time and across cultures. The three poems to be illustrated for the competition are by Dharker, Emily Dickinson and John Donne. The poems, and other details on how to enter the competition, can be downloaded from the House of Illustration website.

Applying for the Book Illustration Competition 2020

The annual international competition is open to any illustrators over the age of 18 who have not been previously commissioned by The Folio Society. All entries are judged anonymously by a panel of judges which will be announced in December 2019.

The longlist will be announced on 14th February 2020, coinciding with Valentine’s Day. The winner will be revealed at an awards ceremony at House of Illustration, receiving a commission from The Folio Society worth £5,000 to complete the illustrations and the binding for this edition. Five other shortlisted entries will receive a prize of £500 each.

The Folio Society

Darya Shnykina, winner of the BIC 2017 award, her impressionism artwork are showcased on the cover and inside illustrations for The Folio Society edition of Mansfield Park.

Art Director at The Folio Society and BIC judge, Sheri Gee, said: “This is the first time we have asked entrants to illustrate poetry – and by three different poets. I look forward to seeing how they’ll translate each poem’s imagery in their illustrations and their ability to evoke emotion. Poetry isn’t easy to illustrate – it’s not necessarily about being literal, so I think we’ll be equally challenged when judging.”

Director of House of Illustration and fellow judge Colin McKenzie, said: “We are delighted to be launching the tenth Book Illustration Competition with The Folio Society, once again offering illustrators this unmissable opportunity to work to a live brief set by one of the UK’s most prestigious publishers. We’re excited that for the first time this year the selected book takes us into the world of poetry and look forward to seeing the ways in which entrants will respond to the three very different poems that have been chosen.”

Since launching in 2009, the competition has become known for identifying and celebrating the best illustration talent in the UK and overseas. Last year Marie-Alice Harel won the opportunity to illustrate The Folio Society edition of Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones which will be published in October 2019.

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