Press Release: BIC 2019 -Winner

The Book Illustration Competition 2019 Announces Winner

Marie-Alice Harel announced as winner of the annual Book Illustration Competition (#BIC2019).

The Folio Society and House of Illustration are thrilled to announce Marie-Alice Harel as the winner of the ninth annual Book Illustration Competition – a unique partnership between The Folio Society and House of Illustration. Marie-Alice wins a prestigious commission and £5000 to illustrate Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. She was presented with the award at an exclusive ceremony at House of Illustration on 26 February 2019 by Laura Cecil, founder of the first literacy agency for children’s books and Wynne Jones’s agent.

Harel’s winning entry (left) was selected from over 500 entries received from 47 countries. Marie-Alice is a French author and illustrator based in Edinburgh, Scotland. The shortlisted artists, who each receive £500, are Emily Altman (USA, studying in UK), Julia Bernhard (Germany, student), Marina Evlanova (Russia, student), Harry Woodgate (UK, student) and Tania Yakunova (Ukraine). Marie-Alice was longlisted for her entry in 2018, and Harry was also shortlisted in last year’s competition. Four of the shortlist are students.

Folio Society Art Director, Sheri Gee commented: ‘I was so impressed by the standard of illustration this year – narrowing it down to 5 runners up and a winner was no easy task but we couldn’t ignore the beauty and skill in the winner’s fairytale inspired illustrations. I’m looking forward to working with her on the rest of the commission.’

Colin McKenzie, Director of House of illustration, said: ‘Having received the highest ever number of entries from illustrators all over the world, judging was even more difficult than normal. It was wonderful to have Laura Cecil (Diana Wynne Jones’ literary agent) as part of the panel this year, and we are delighted with the shortlist and indeed the winner.’

2018 BIC winner and member of the 2019 judging panel, Max Löffler said: ‘Being part of a judging panel for the first time was an interesting experience. It was difficult to select a winner when there was such an exciting variety of visual approaches at such a high level of artistic quality.

Colin McKenzie also revealed the recipient of the People’s Choice Award, voted for by a record breaking 5279 members of the public online. The winner – Lulu Chen (Taiwan, student) – will receive books worth £100 from The Folio Society and a year’s membership to House of Illustration.

Diana Wynne Jones’s Howl’s Moving Castle, illustrated by Marie-Alice Harel and introduced by Marcus Sedgwick, will be available from The Folio Society ( in October 2019.

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