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The Book Illustration Competition - BIC 2019

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The Book Illustration Competition - BIC 2019

The Book Illustration Competition, an unique partnership between House of Illustration and The Folio Society, has been recently opened for entries for 2019 seeking to identify and promote new talent in illustration.


The 2019 Book Illustration Competition has been recently announced for entries. Like an unique partnership between House of Illustration and The Folio Society seeks to identify and promote new talent in illustration.

Each year entrants are asked to submit 3 illustrations and a binding design for a book chosen by The Folio Society. The book to be illustrated this year is Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.This book is available as a paperback and e-book.

Howl’s Moving Castle is a best-selling fantasy novel by Diana Wynne Jones. It tells the story of Sophie Hatter who lives in Ingary, a land of seven-league boots, fire demons, witches, wizards and their apprentices, and just a few alternative worlds. When Sophie sets out to make her fortune, she unknowingly displeases the Witch of the Waste who turns her into an old crone. Her only hope of breaking the spell lies in Wizard Howl and his erratic moving castle…

Once you have read Howl's Moving Castle and are ready to start making your illustrations and binding, you will need to follow the competition's very specific instructions.

Submission requirements:

Only 1 entry per person is allowed
Your illustrations must be portrait.

You must submit 3 full-page illustrations. Each illustration must be for a different chapter, spread throughout the book. Do not illustrate the final chapter. Each illustration must be accompanied by a text caption (the caption tells judges exactly which section from each story is being illustrated in your entry, and how well it portrays the scene. It is a reference for the judges and later the commissioning process) with a maximum of 25 words. The caption should be taken directly from the text, and provide context for the illustration.

Submit your binding design, 3 illustrations and 3 captions in a single PDF.
This PDF should have five pages containing the following:

Page 1: First illustration
Page 2: Second illustration
Page 3: Third illustration
Page 4: Binding design
Page 5: Captions, in the same order as your illustrations

Save your PDF with the title YourName_illustrations_binding. Your name must not appear anywhere else on the document. The PDF must not exceed 3MB in size.

All entries must be appropriate for a trimmed page size of 246mm x 185mm. Your illustrations can either be surrounded by a white border or be designed to bleed off the page i.e. to go right to the edge of the page. If your design bleeds off the page please work to the following dimensions: 252mm x 191mm (which includes 3mm bleed). Your illustrations can be in any medium suitable for printing reproduction, in color or black and white.

The judges are looking for your unique interpretation of the book. Originality is as important as talent and technique. Your entry must be based on your response to the novel, not on any existing visual interpretations.

If you are long listed organizer will request from you master artwork. For your binding, the file format for master blocking artwork must be a 1200dpi layered Photoshop (.PSD) file with one color on each layer. For master printed binding artwork the file must be a 300dpi, CMYK and saved like a TIFF file. Master artwork for the 3 illustrations must be formatted as 300dpi, CMYK and saved like a TIFF file.

Send your application in one email to with the title 'Your Name BIC 2019'.

If your entry is long listed organizer will ask you to provide high resolution copies of your work and a brief biography so that your entry can be included in the online exhibition hosted on House of Illustration's website in February 2019. All long listed entrants will be notified on Monday 28 January 2019.

The shortlist and winner will be announced at our Awards Night on Wednesday 20 February 2019, along with the winner of the People’s Choice Award. Voting for the People’s Choice Award will be open from Thursday 1 February 201 until midnight on Tuesday 19 February 2019.

The winner of The Book Illustration Competition 2019 will be asked to provide a total of 9 illustrations for the final book, as well as a binding design, and must agree to complete the commission within The Folio Society's deadline.

Regular entry fee is 25 GBP instead for the student entry is 15 GBP.


The 2019 Book Illustration Competition is open to illustrators over the age of 18 from anywhere in the world, both student and professional, who have not been previously published by The Folio Society.


The winner will receive a career-changing commission, worth £5.000, to complete a total of nine illustrations and a binding design for the book, which will be published by The Folio Society in 2019. The 5 shortlisted entries will each receive £500 cash.

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