Entering an illustration competition is one way of getting your work seen.
Many competitions invite industry professionals as judges. The judges can include illustrators, as well as publishers, art directors, editors and designers. Some illustration competitions also offer prizes to winners. These may be monetary prizes, but may also include valuable opportunities such as portfolio reviews or even an offer of publication.
Here is a list of some competitions for picture book illustration. Please remember to carefully read the rules and eligibility requirements before entering any competition.
The Macmillan Prize
The Macmillan Prize is specifically picture book illustration. It is for students at UK higher education institutions. Some institutions offer online-only courses. Check with your institute to determine your eligibility if you are enrolled in such a course.
Picture This illustration competition
This competition is open to entrants from The United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and South Africa. Winners get to be part of a travelling exhibition and presented in a special catalog at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.
The Klaus Flugge Prize
The Klaus Flugge Prize is awarded to promising first –time picture book illustrators in the UK (or UK edition, see site for full details)
The Templar Illustration Prize
The Templar Illustration Prize is for aspiring illustrators in the UK and Ireland in celebration of Templar’s 40th anniversary. At time of writing, it is not known if the competition will be ongoing.
Competition co-sponsored by Clavis Publishing and the city of Hasselt.
The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) has different awards and grants. You have to be a member of the society to participate. Regional chapters may offer additional awards for local members.
Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award
The Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award recognizes excellence in Canadian illustrated picture books. Both author and illustrator need to be Canadian citizens or permanent residents to be eligible for this award.
Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award
This annual award under the Canada IBBY section honors a Canadian illustrator of a picture book published in Canada in English or French.
Little, Brown Emerging Artist Award
The Little, Brown Emerging Artist Award is for aspiring picture book illustrators in the US. Winner gets a monetary prize as well as a trip to the company’s offices in New York to meet with the editorial team, and potential offer for publication.
World Illustration Awards: Children’s Books Category
The World Illustration Awards is an international illustration competition organized by the Association of Illustrators. While not specifically a picture book competition, it does feature a special category for Children’s Books
Compostela Prize for Picture Books
Specifically for books in any of the official languages in the Iberian peninsula (Galician, Catalan, Basque, Castilian Spanish and Portuguese).
A La Orilla Del Viento Picture Book Competition
Picture book competition for Spanish language picture books. Entries welcome from major Spanish-speaking countries, including USA.
Scholastic Picture Book Award
A joint initiative between the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) and Scholastic Asia, the award focuses on Asian-themed picture books.