The Book Illustration Competition 2020

Win a career-changing commission to illustrate The Folio Society’s new anthology of love poems – applications are now open.

This is the tenth Book Illustration Competition and this time we’re on the hunt for an illustrator for Love Poems, selected and edited by Imtiaz Dharker.

The winner will be commissioned to complete a further six illustrations and a binding for the book which will be published by The Folio Society. The winner will be paid £5,000 while five runners-up will each receive £500.

Learn more about the competition see a gallery of past winners’ work and read testimonials from previous participants.

About the book:

Love Poems, selected and edited by Imtiaz Dharker, is a brand-new anthology of love poetry ranging through time and across cultures. For this competition, we are asking you to illustrate three poems by Imtiaz Dharker, Emily Dickinson and John Donne.

Imtiaz Dharker is a poet, artist and film-maker. Her poetry, published in six collections, has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Radio 4 and the World Service; her drawings have been shown in eleven solo exhibitions around the world; and her video work includes films for NGOs working in the areas of shelter, education and women’s and children’s health in India. She was Poet in Residence at Cambridge University Library, won the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2014 and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

This year's judges:

Imtiaz Dharker Editor, Love Poems
Marie-Alice Harel Winner, Book Illustration Competition 2019
Sheri Gee Art Director, The Folio Society
Tom Walker Publishing Director, The Folio Society
Colin McKenzie Director, House of Illustration
Olivia Ahmad Curator, House of Illustration

Entry fee:

Standard entry: £25

Student entry: £15*

*If longlisted, you will need to provide proof of student status

Key competition dates:

Friday 17 January 2020: competition closes

Friday 14 February 2020: longlist announced; voting opens for the People’s Choice Award

Wednesday 18 March 2020: shortlist, the People’s Choice Award Winner and the overall Competition Winner announced at the Awards Night at House of Illustration

How to enter:

Ready to get stuck in? Find out how to enter now.