Folio Book Illustration Award 2023 is now open for entries

The Folio Society, London publisher of award-winning, beautifully produced illustrated hardback books, launches the international Folio Book Illustration Award 2023. This is the second year of the annual free-to-enter competition, which first launched in 2022 to mark The Folio Society’s 75th anniversary.

The Award is open to illustrators, student or professional, who have not previously been commissioned by The Folio Society, with the aim of finding, platforming and supporting new illustration talent from around the world. Selected from a shortlist of six, the winning entrant will receive a £2,000 cash prize plus a £500 Folio Gift Voucher, and the five runners-up will receive a £500 Folio Gift Voucher.

Tom Walker, Publishing Director, The Folio Society says: “Folio has been nurturing illustration for 75 years, and we were delighted to inaugurate the Folio Book Illustration Award in 2022 to continue this tradition. The standard of entries was superb, and I can’t wait to see what 2023 has in store.”

This year’s competition calls for submissions illustrating Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Fliers of Gy. The short story tells of a society of feathered people among whom a select few grow wings, a feature that gives them the ability to fly but that also carries great risk and leaves them shunned from society.

Sheri Gee, Art Director, The Folio Society says: “There was such a terrific amount of talent in last year’s entries for the FBIA. I’m really looking forward to seeing how illustrators worldwide will tackle The Fliers of Gy. It’s always so interesting how different illustrators work, which scenes stand out for them, and see how they decide to interpret a story, some similarly, some entirely differently.”

This year’s judging panel includes Evangeline Gallagher, winner of the Folio Book Illustration Award 2022, the inaugural edition of the competition launched to mark The Folio Society’s 75th anniversary. Evangeline Gallagher was selected from over 680 illustrators from 56 countries for their illustration of a scene from Edgar Allan Poe’s short story The Masque of the Red Death, and they have since gone on to work on illustrations for clients like Peachtree Publishing, Possum Creek Games, and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

Evangeline Gallagher says: ‘’I am beyond thrilled to be asked to help judge this year's competition! Winning the FBIA last year was such an honor and I'm so excited to take a look at some exciting work from this year's group of talented illustrators.”

Gallagher will be judging this year’s Award alongside Tom Walker, Folio Publishing Director; Sheri Gee, Folio Art Director; and Raquel Leis Allion, Folio Art Director.

Raquel Leis Allion, Art Director, The Folio Society says: “Last year I had the pleasure of looking through nearly 700 entries for our FBIA competition. There was an astounding amount of talent. This year I am looking forward to seeing how artists and illustrators approach the new text, and discovering even more talent.”

The Award closes on 19th April 2023. A longlist of 20 entries, selected by the judging panel, will be exhibited on The Folio Society website from 23rd May 2023 with the five runners-up and one winner announced online on 29th June 2023.