● Entrants will illustrate a single scene of their choice from Ursula K. Le Guin’s short story ‘The Fliers of Gy’
The Folio Society, London publisher of award-winning, beautifully produced illustrated hardback books, launches the international Folio Book Illustration Award 2023 on 6th March at Bologna Book Fair. This is the second edition of the annual free-to-enter competition, 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 opens on 6th March 2023 at the Bologna Book Fair Illustrators Café, where Sheri Gee, Raquel Leis Allion and Tom Walker will announce the set story, entry requirements, judging panel and what they will be looking for in the submitted artwork. On 7th March, The Folio Society will host two additional talks that cover the collaborative process of working with Folio on illustrations for their editions of iconic texts, including an appearance from longtime Folio collaborator and illustrator Neil Packer.
The Award closes on 20th 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.
About The Folio Society
The Folio Society, based in London, publishes beautifully produced books – available worldwide exclusively at foliosociety.com. Proudly independent for its 75 year history, in 2021, under the leadership of its CEO, Joanna Reynolds, The Folio Society was sold to its employees and is now an Employee Owned Trust. The accessible, diverse and inclusive values of The Folio Society are reflected in its new ownership that is committed to a progressive sharing of power and profit in publishing.
The Folio Society publishes some of the best names in publishing past and present, across the globe in beautiful, high specification, collector editions. Notable publications include Frank Herbert’s Dune, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Andrew Chaikin’s A Man on the Moon and Alice Walker’s The Color Purple among many other contemporary and classic titles including a publishing partnership with Marvel delivering the world-recognised, iconic brand’s luxury editions.
About the Folio Book Illustration Award
The Folio Book Illustration Award aims to encourage and discover new and diverse talent from artists not previously commissioned by Folio and is open to artists from across the globe.
● No entry fee
● First prize: £2,000 cash, £500 Folio Gift Voucher plus portfolio review with the Folio
Society Art Directors
● Five shortlisted runners-up: £500 Folio Gift Voucher plus portfolio review with the Folio
Society Art Directors
About the Folio Book Illustration Award judging panel
Evangeline Gallagher (they/them)
Evangeline Gallagher is a freelance illustrator based in Baltimore, Maryland. They received their BFA in Illustration from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2018. Evangeline was the inaugural winner of the Folio Book Illustration Award in 2022. Since winning the Folio award, they have gone on to work on illustrations for clients like Peachtree Publishing, Possum Creek Games, and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. When they aren’t drawing they’re hanging out with their dog, Charlie, or playing Dungeons and Dragons (but they’re probably drawing).
Sheri Gee (she/her)
Sheri Gee is an award-winning Art Director with 25 years’ experience in book publishing and design. Shortly after graduating with a degree in Illustration, Sheri became Production Assistant at The Folio Society. She went on to learn about all aspects of fine book production and was made Art Director in 2010. Many of her commissions and art directed projects for Folio have won awards in renowned illustration and design competitions. Sheri is passionate about good drawing skills, which underpin everything that is excellent in
Raquel Leis Allion (she/her)
Raquel Leis Allion is an award-winning Art Director and book designer. She has many years’ experience commissioning a diverse range of artists, illustrators and designers. After receiving a BA (Hons) in graphic arts and illustration from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, Raquel worked both in-house and freelance for Cartoon Network, Scholastic, Headline, Little, Brown and Company, Orion Publishing Group, and Penguin Random House before joining The Folio Society in 2016. Raquel’s interests range from craft, art to film but especially books; all of which inspire her professional practice.
Tom Walker (he/him)
Tom Walker has been Publishing Director at The Folio Society for seven years, working to transform an incredible heritage publisher into a joyful and desirable destination for book lovers around the world. Tom leads Folio’s publishing strategy and programme, curating a beautiful list of books and directing Folio’s world class editorial, art and production teams. Tom loves books of all sorts, design, illustration, realising the creative potential in people and projects, and all forms of storytelling.