The Folio Society launches The Book Illustration Award


Announcing the first in an exciting suite of 75th birthday celebrations, The Folio Society, London publisher of award-winning and beautifully produced illustrated hardback books, available worldwide, announces that entries are open for the launch of the international Folio Book Illustration Award (Folio BIA).

This new, free-to-enter competition, aims to find new illustration talent from around the world for narrative fiction, a genre that The Folio Society publishes to great acclaim. An annual international competition, it is open to illustrators, student or professional, who have not previously been commissioned by The Folio Society. Entrants will illustrate a single scene of their choice from Edgar Allan Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death.

Selected from a shortlist of 6, the winning entrant will receive a £2,000 cash prize plus a £500 Folio Gift Voucher with the remaining 5 shortlisted artists each receiving a £500 Folio Gift Voucher. The expert judging panel is: Yuko Shimizu, award-winning New York-based illustrator and instructor; Tom Walker, Folio Publishing Director; Sheri Gee, Folio Art Director and Raquel Leis Allion, Folio Art Director. The winner and 5 shortlisted runners-up will be offered the opportunity of a portfolio review with the Folio Society Art Directors.

Commenting on the launch, Joanna Reynolds, CEO The Folio Society says, ‘The Folio Society has proudly published beautifully illustrated books and produced editions of the best of contemporary and classic narrative fiction for 75 years. What better way to recognise this, our 75th birthday and the fabulous contribution of illustrators everywhere, than through an accessible and international competition.’

Tom Walker, Publishing Director, The Folio Society says: ‘Taking this classic American writer, and inviting visual interpretations of his evocative and timeless short story, we hope to discover amazing talent from a diverse and distinctly 21st century array of illustrators. We hope that artists from all over the world will bring their unique depiction of Poe’s chilling tale to contemporary and future generations. I am confident it will be the start of many new, great careers.’

Sheri Gee, Art Director, The Folio Society adds, ‘At Folio, we’re always on the lookout for fresh talent suitable for our books and I’m itching to see the creative responses evoked by this spine-chilling story. The concept – to illustrate one short story, for the joy of seeing a multitude of responses rather than for publication – is going to prove invaluable for us in pursuit of great illustration for commissions to come.’ There is no fee to enter the Folio BIA. The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe is available to download free of charge.

The Award opens 4 May 2022 and closes 23 June 2022. A longlist of 20 entries, chosen by the judges, will be exhibited on The Folio Society website from 27 July 2022 with the 6 shortlisted entries, one of whom will be the winner, announced online on 8 September 2022.

Illustrators can visit to find all the necessary details to enter this exciting competition.