Press Release: The Book Illustration Competition 2017 Announces Winner

BIC2017-1 The Book Illustration Competition 2017 Announces Winner


Darya Shnykina announced as winner of the annual Book Illustration

The Folio Society and House of Illustration are thrilled to announce Darya Shnykina as the winner of the seventh annual Book Illustration Competition – a unique partnership between The Folio Society and House of Illustration. Darya was presented with her prize, a prestigious commission worth £5,000 to illustrate Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park by eminent historian Lucy Worsley, at an exclusive ceremony held at House of Illustration on Thursday, 23 February.

Shnykina’s winning entry (left) was selected from hundreds of other entries and her illustrations won high praise from the judging panel. Darya is a student of the Moscow State University of Printing Arts. The shortlisted artists, who each receive £500, are Natasa Ilincic (Italy), Katie Ponder (UK), Meizhen Xu (Germany), Alexandru SavescuBIC-2 (Romania) and Pedro Silmon (UK).

At the ceremony, Lucy Worsley said ‘Darya did the perfect cover: fitting in beautifully with the rest of the series, charming to look at, clever with the layering, and bold. But we were equally charmed by her illustrations for inside which managed to suggest character and some of the powerful feelings in the novel, like anger and disappointment.’

Folio Society Art Director, Sheri Gee commented: ‘The winner was a hands down unanimous decision. Taking all things into account we found the binding design exquisite and were all very taken with the illustration style. It has a delightful palette without any saccharine overtones. The scenes are both original and forthright in their composition. I look forward to working with Darya on the rest of the commission.’.

Colin McKenzie, Director of House of illustration, said: ‘Darya is a very worthy winner – the binding she produced had immediate impact, supported byBIC-3 extremely strong page illustrations. It is particularly exciting to have a student as the winner this year and I know that she has a really great career ahead of her’.

2016 BIC winner and member of the 2017 judging panel, Alan Marks said: ‘As an entrant in last year’s competition I was really interested to be among this year’s judges and I enjoyed looking at and discussing the work of other illustrators. Darya’s elegant binding works beautifully with the series. She has a terrific technique and her illustrations evoke the period and the characters well; she also picked up on the caustic humour in the novel.‘

Colin also announced the winner of the first ever Visitors’ Choice Award, Katie Ponder. Selected by members of the public from the longlisted entries, she will receive books worth £100 from The Folio Society and a year’s membership to House of Illustration. The illustrations by all 23 longlisted entrants are exhibited at House of Illustration, King’s Cross, London until 12 March 2017.

BIC-4Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, illustrated by Darya Shnykina, will be available from The Folio Society ( in October 2017.

For further press information or imagery in the UK, please contact

Nicola Handley at Cherish PR
020 3685 0810,

For further press information or imagery in the US and Canada, please contact

Cathleen Williamson, W & Co.
(617) 435-5505,

Notes to editors

Entrants to the 2017 Book Illustration Competition came from the UK, USA, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Australia, Canada, France, Finland,BIC-5 Romania, Taiwan, Armenia, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Denmark, Greece, India, Latvia, Malaysia, Portugal, Russia, Switzerland and Ukraine.

The Book Illustration Competition is a partnership between The Folio Society and House of Illustration. The annual international competition is open to illustrators over the age of 18, both students and professionals, not previously published by The Folio Society. To date, the competition has distributed nearly £45,000 worth of prizes and has received thousands of entries. The winner will receive the prestigious Folio Society commission worth £5,000 to illustrate the competition title. Five runners-up will each receive £500.

For nearly 70 years, The Folio Society has been publishing beautiful illustrated editions of the world’s greatest books. It believes that the literary content of a book should be matched by its physical form. With specially commissioned illustrations, many of its editions are further enhanced with introductions written by leading figures in their fields: novelists, journalists, academics, scientists and artists. Exceptional in content and craftsmanship, and maintaining the very highest standards of fine book production, Folio Society editions last for generations. @foliosociety

House of Illustration is the UK’s only public gallery dedicated solely to illustration, with a creative programme of exhibitions, talks and events. Founded by Sir Quentin Blake and opened in July 2014 at the heart of the King’s Cross regeneration area, it is the place to see, learn about and enjoy illustration in all its forms; from advertisements to animation, picture books to political cartoons and scientific drawings to fashion design. A registered charity, House of Illustration identifies and promotes new illustration talent, commissions new work and has a pioneering illustrator-led education and outreach programme. @illustrationHQ

2 Granary Square, King’s Cross, London N1C 4BH.
Registered Charity number 1095210