Illustrator Criteria

The Giant was Furious with Jack – illustration by John Morgan (UV 2016)

The anthology will present a selection of children’s illustration pieces and be sent to art directors, agents and editors in the UK. The anthology is being produced thanks to the kind support of Working Partners Ltd.

Your entry should illustrate a moment or scene from one of the artwork briefs listed below.

Submissions are now closed.

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Submission eligibility:

  • There is no submission fee for this contest, but you must be a member in good standing of SCBWI and reside in one of the current 28 countries of the EU or the 4 European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries.
  • Only un-agented illustrators may submit work for consideration. Illustrators must remain un-agented until the anthology is published in February 2018.
  • Only illustrators who have yet to be published (or contracted for publication) may submit work for consideration. By ‘published’ we mean the illustrator is credited as the sole illustrator on the title page of a book produced by a traditional publisher in any country.
  • Illustrators who have been published in other media (for example, the internet, magazines, advertising) or spot illustrations in educational non-fiction books are eligible to submit work.
  • Similarly illustrators who have illustrated work by self-published authors may also submit.
  • Any submissions that do not follow the following guidelines or include the appropriate information will be disqualified.


Submission briefs:

Your entry should illustrate a moment or scene from one of the following artwork briefs:

Brief 1.   Reimagine a scene from Kenneth Grahame’s classic, The Wind in the Willows. We are looking for a fresh, modern and lively take on this riverside favourite.

Brief 2.  Illustrate a scene from a well-known myth from anywhere in the world. The scene must include one or more human characters, plus a creature or animal. The scene could be set in ancient or modern times.

Brief 3.  Illustrate a scene to include these three characters who are thrown together in the school holidays.

  • Lily – fair skinned girl – bit moody and stroppy, bit of a drama queen.
  • Jack – South Asian boy – always busy and helpful – likes to have fun and a joke.
  • Rose – black girl – very happy and smiley – takes things in her stride.

Design the children to be either 8 year olds for younger fiction or 12 year olds for slightly older fiction. In the school holidays they help out at various places – possibly with a parent/relative/teacher who might be mentioned in the text but who doesn’t have to be seen. Choose one of the ‘locations’ below, and have them doing something that shows their various personalities:

  • Helping at local park – raking leaves/picking up rubbish/watching squirrels – Autumn.
  • Helping keep the beach clean – rock pools/eating ice creams after a hard day rubbish collecting – Summer
  • Helping at the dog groomers – washing a dog.


Submission rules:

  • Your entry must illustrate a moment or scene from one of the artwork briefs published above.
  • All submissions are to be black and white illustrations, interpreting one of the artwork briefs above, with content appropriate to a children’s book format within the 6 years to Young Adult age range.
  • You may submit one (1) black and white illustration, either as a single illustration, or a sequential comic style narrative to one of the three artwork briefs above.
  • Final page size is 148 mm by 210 mm trim, 158 mm by 220mm bleed.
  • Final artwork resolution requirements: all artwork, grayscale and black and white line: 600 dpi at 100 percent and submitted for publication in tiff file format. Artwork produced in a vector format must be submitted as a Press Quality Adobe Illustrator pdf.
  • As your final work will be a high resolution black and white image to a specific page size, please produce your work first to the high resolution specifications above, then save a copy to the size listed below for jurying. Be sure to do a ‘save as’ for your low resolution initial submission.
  • For more information on image requirements, the exact image dimensions are available in this Illustration Guidelines PDF. You can also download this image template in .TIF image format which has been created with the correct dimensions and resolution, and is compatible for use in most image creation software, including Affinity Pro, all Adobe products and Clip Studio (formerly Manga Studio).
  • The initial low resolution version of your entry must be submitted in jpeg format, maximum file size 1MB, 72 ppi and no larger than 1000 pixels on longest side.
  • The file name of each submission must be a descriptive title of your artwork only. Examples include Brief1_Clever_Toad.jpeg, or Brief2_Fighting_the_Medusa.jpeg
  • The title of the artwork should not include your own name or initials. Jurying and selection for the anthology will be carried out anonymously.
  • You must fill in every required field in the online form, including a biography of a maximum of 50 words, written in the third person. Should you be selected, this is how it will appear in the anthology.
  • Only one illustration submission per member. Illustrators may also submit one novel extract (see separate writers guidelines here).
  • You may not resubmit an illustration you submitted for consideration in previous Undiscovered Voices anthologies. Illustrators included in previous anthologies may not submit an entry for the current anthology. Honorary mentions from previous anthologies may submit, as long as it is a different piece.
  • Illustration submissions must be entirely the original work of the illustrator.


Submission information:

  • There is no submission fee for this contest, but you must be a member in good standing of SCBWI and reside in one of the current 28 countries of the EU or the 4 European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries.
  • The contest opens for entries on 1st July 2017. The deadline is midnight on 15th August 2017.
  • When submissions open, a link to an online form will appear on this website. Submissions are only accepted by this means. They will not be accepted by email or by post.
  • By submitting your entry, you agree to giving SCBWI-BI permission to publish and promote (both online and offline) the illustration in the 2018 anthology together with your name, as it appears on the SCBWI roster, and email address. No pen names can be used.
  • Longlisted illustrators will be contacted by the Regional Illustrator Coordinator in November 2017 and will be given directions on sending their high resolution artwork for final jurying to the guidelines listed above.
  • The entries selected to appear in the anthology, as decided by a panel of children’s art directors and illustration agents, will be announced in January 2018.
  • The ebook will be produced in early 2018 and copies of the anthology will be distributed free of charge to a comprehensive list of UK children’s book art directors, agents and editors, as well as the media, in order to achieve the most widespread industry attention to the illustrators and the artwork.
  • The authors and illustrators of the selected works will receive one copy of the anthology (in ebook format). In addition, they will receive judges’ written comment sheets on their illustration. The illustrators will be invited to attend a ‘getting discovered’ workshop in January 2018 that includes an intensive portfolio review and information on building a portfolio that catches the art director or agent’s eye. You will also be invited to the book launch party in February 2018 to meet in person with the judges and other art directors, agents and editors who attend.
  • To become a member of SCBWI, visit For membership queries, please email You can find out more information at or
  • Copyright remains with the illustrator.
  • The judges’ decision is final.
  • No corrections or alterations can be made to submissions.
  • Entry implies acceptance of the rules and eligibility criteria, as listed above.
  • A list of selected illustrators and honorary mentions will be posted in the ‘Latest News’ section of this website once the judging is final and the results are compiled
  • You can contact us with any queries about the anthology, the submissions process, rules or eligibility at: scbwiillustration (at)