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Illustrated Silent Book Contest 2020

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Illustrated Silent Book Contest 2020

International Illustrated Silent Book Contest 2020 expressly dedicated to illustrated books without words has been recently announced for entries inviting all illustrators with new book project of any nationality to participate.


The town of Mulazzo and the International Organisation of Book Towns present the 5th edition of the International Illustrated Silent Book Contest for 2020 expressly dedicated to silent books, that is, illustrated books without words.

Given that the illustrated book and the visual language of illustrations and pictures are in no way secondary to written language, with a universal power and potential that supersedes any barrier of language or genre, the Silent Book Contest invites authors and illustrators to think up and design a book conceived exclusively for the telling of a story through illustrated images, on any subject and intended for a wide and diverse section of the reading public, regardless of genre or age.

Submission requirements:

It is possible to participate with 1 to a maximum of 3 unpublished projects for each Author.

The book project must not contain words, with exclusion of the title and possible subtitle. The narration must be realized exclusively through the illustrations and have narrative and stylistic coherence. There are no limits regarding age or reader group, and the subject matter is open.

No book projects that contain illustrations featuring either single words or partial texts will be accepted for selection. Pop-up books, cartoons and comic strips without words and “colouring book” will no be accepted. Furthermore, book projects containing photographic images, or that are not illustrated, or that do not correspond to the present definition of illustrated images will also not be accepted for selection.

The illustrations featured in the book projects can be in colour or black and white, with unlimited traditional or digital techniques and media.

The book project should be presented on double pages with a open format of 57cms in width by 28.5cms in height (to give a closed format of 28.5cms x 28.5cms and opening from right to left) and with a prefixed number of double pages : 14 double pages in basic 57 cm format x 28.5 cm in height, plus front and back cover.

The Book projects sent in different format, due to excess or defect, from the one specified above and / or exceeding by excess or defect by the number of pages will not be admitted in the competition.

The book project must be presented scrupulously following these indications:

It will be complete with the number of 14 double pages, plus front and back cover in the format indicated in point D, complete with all the definitive internal illustrations paginated and the final cover illustration.

For each book project sent to the competition, a complete layout should be created. The layout must be a single digital file with a maximum size of 10Mb, exclusively in high-quality PDF format.

The complete layout must be sent exclusively as a digital file in high quality PDF format by 31st January 2019.

From the book projects enrolled and sent to the competition, an International Jury will select from 5 to 10 final book projects from which will be judged the winner of the International Silent Book Contest 2020 to be announced and exhibited at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

The award ceremony will be held in August 2020 at Montereggio di Mulazzo, Italy.

Entry fees:

Entry fee is 50 Euro for each book project.


Participation is open to all illustrators with new book project of any nationality, place of birth or residence, provided that they are over the age of 18 on the 15th February 2020.


The author of the book project selected as the winner will receive an award of 4.000 Euro as an advance against royalties and a publishing agreement according to international standards. The winning book project will be published by Carthusia Edizioni.

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