Press Release: The Book Illustration Competition 2020 Announces Longlist

The Book Illustration Competition 2020 Announces Longlist

14 February 2020: The Folio Society and House of Illustration are thrilled to announce the longlist for the annual Book Illustration Competition (#BIC2020).

Now in its tenth year, The Book Illustration Competition is a partnership between The Folio Society and House of Illustration. To date, the competition has received thousands of entries and resulted in spectacular books, including V&A Illustration Award-winning titles.

This year from over 470 excellent entries, 25 have been selected for the longlist. The winner will receive a prestigious £5,000 commission from The Folio Society to illustrate their new collection of Love Poems selected by Imtiaz Dharker. Five other shortlisted entrants will each receive £500. As part of the Book Illustration Competition’s committment to nurturing new talent, exceptional student entries will form part of the shortlist.

Sheri Gee, Art Director at The Folio Society, and Colin McKenzie, Director of House of Illustration had the difficult task of selecting the longlist. Sheri Gee says: ‘The 25 entries form a sum of many parts: superb draughtsmanship, clever symbolism, and representing intensity, including some very promising burgeoning careers in our student entries. Those entries that managed to combine those parts captivated us instantly. I’m excited to see what the judging panel will make of the selection.‘

Colin McKenzie says: ‘We were, once again, delighted by the huge response to the competition. The three poems we selected for illustration inspired over 470 entrants from all over the world, both students and professionals. Though love is a challenging subject to illustrate there are some very strong contenders on the longlist which will make the final judging a difficult task.’

Entries were received from 51 countries including the United States, Italy, Germany, Spain, Canada, Israel, Korea, France, India, Australia, Sri Lanka, Brazil and Russia, and over 38% of them were from students.

This year also sees the return of the popular stand-alone People’s Choice award. Voted for online, the People’s Choice can be selected from any of the longlisted entries. The People’s Choice winning artist will receive £100 worth of books from The Folio Society and a membership to House of Illustration.

The shortlist and the winner will be selected from the longlist by Imtiaz Dharker, who selected the Love Poems collection, Marie-Alice Harel, winner of the Book Illustration Competition 2019, Sheri Gee, Art Director and Tom Walker, Publishing Director both from The Folio Society and Colin McKenzie, Director and Olivia Ahmad, Curator, both from House of Illustration.

The awards will be announced at an awards night at House of Illustration on 18 March 2020.

For media enquiries please contact

UK & ROW Ken Hooper, Cherish PR
020 3626 0282,

US & Canada Cathleen P. Williamson
(617) 435-5505,