Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Call for Entries!! PICTURES AT PLAY SCBWI Biennial Exhibition 2019

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Date(s) - 20/10/2019

Westminster Reference Library
35 St Martin's St - London, WC2H 7HP

Illustration by author illustrator James Mayhew.

Call for Entries!!
 SCBWI Biennial Exhibition 2019

9 December 2019 – 4 January 2020

Attention all SCBWI Illustrators!
 Submit your children’s book illustrations to be selected by top industry pros
and shown at the seminal SCBWI biennial this December in the centre of London, 
a few steps away from the National Gallery!

Pictures at Play is SCBWI’s Biennial illustration show. It is a juried exhibition of the best of children’s book illustration in SCBWI, selected by a jury panel of celebrated illustrator, James Mayhew, and an art director and a commissioning editor (TBC).

Highlights will include

A grand opening and talk for the exhibiting artists and industry professionals.
Sale of prints by private arrangement with the exhibitors and of illustrators books at the launch party. 
Workshops and events for children and families (TBC).

Key dates

20 October: Deadline for entrants to submit

3 November: SCBWI informs entrants by email.

17 November: Deadline for selected work to be uploaded to SCBWI for printing and framing.

9 December: Exhibition opens to the public

14 December: SCBWI panel event and exhibition launch (TBC)

4 January 2020: Exhibition closes.

Please note: Though two images may be accepted, only one will be shown at the Westminster Reference Library exhibition space. 
Both images will be given lots of promotional support on a permanent online exhibition space.

Illustrations for the SCBWI Pictures at Play Biennial must have been created within the last two years.

Our Jurors

James Mayhew, our celebrated guest author illustrator, is best known for the Katie books, Ella Bella Ballerina and Gaspard the Fox. He will be exhibiting alongside SCBWI Member Illustrators whose work has been accepted into the Biennial Exhibition.

James also collaborates with musicians and orchestras in concerts for children, painting illustrations live on stage in time to the music. For many years he taught on the MA in Children’s Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art.

James will be joined in the judging process by an industry art director and editor (TBC)


Submissions Guidelines, Terms and Conditions

Please read these guidelines below carefully before you submit.

Submission requirements

All candidates must be a current SCBWI member in the British Isles region, during submission and for the duration of the exhibition.

What to submit?

2 illustrations from one project showing a sequence in the form of:

2 double-page spreads, or

2 single pages, 

1 cover plus 1 internal illustration

Online submission  By email only please to

  Please ensure that the proportions of each original illustration fit comfortably within 
an A3 horizontal or vertical format.

For the initial email submission send a jpg (jpeg) file in RGB format,
1600 pixels at the longest dimension at 150 dpi

Naming: Please save and name each attached jpeg using the following convention:
 (first initial)-(surname)-(book or project title 1 or 2 )-(illo 1 or 2).jpg
  (e.g. j-Blog-Little-House-2-illo-2.jpg)

In the body of your email please write: your name, email, phone and full postal address 
the title of each book or project (e.g. Little House). 
The name of each attached jpeg file alongside the caption for each illustration up to 25 words. (e.g. Little House ill 1) (e.g. Little House ill 2).

Deadline for jpeg submissions: 20 October 2019

Please note: the entrant guarantees to SCBWI British Isles that they have the right to submit work, that the image is original and does not infringe on the rights of any other artist.

Judges will be looking for a diverse spread of work with strong and original narrative content and a high standard of execution.

Important information for Confirmed Exhibitors

Selected exhibitors will be informed by 3 November 2019.

Deadline for selected work to be uploaded for high resolution printing by SCBWI: 
17 November 2019.

Exhibitors will need to provide a high resolution .tiff file as specified on acceptance, which will be printed and framed by SCBWI.

A single £40 fee per exhibitor is required to cover printing and framing.

Optional sale of prints 

Any print sales will be on private arrangement between the artist and the buyer.

Optional Book sales

Related books by exhibitors will be sold by a local bookseller. (TBC)

Further details will be provided upon acceptance.

Additional Terms

  • The entrant agrees that accepted entries and the name of the creator of the work and their contact details may be published on the SCBWI website.
  • The entrant is not obligated to sell prints
  • The entrant agrees that accepted entries may be used by SCBWI and the Westminster Reference Library for the promotion of the competition, publication, exhibition – such as invitation cards, press coverage, information leaflets, postcards, posters etc. Entrant also grants SCBWI a non-exclusive license to reproduce the entries in print or digital form for archival purposes.
  • SCBWI reserves the right to include accepted entries for further possible exhibitions up to December 2020. Exhibitors will be informed if so.