Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

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

Loading Map....

Date(s) - 04/01/2020

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

Illustration by guest illustrator James Mayhew.

Call for Entries!!
 SCBWI Biennial Exhibition 2019

9 December 2019 – 4 January 2020

Saturday, 14 December Exhibition Launch Party and Panel Event!

Launch kicks off at 13:00 – 16:30. More info about panel and other activities for the afternoon coming soon!

Attention all SCBWI Illustrators!
 Submit your children’s book illustrations to the seminal SCBWI biennial exhibition, to be held throughout December in the centre of London, 
a few steps away from the National Gallery!

Pictures at Play is SCBWI’s Biennial illustration show. A juried exhibition of the best of children’s book illustration in SCBWI, this year it will take place at the Westminster Reference Library, selected by a panel including celebrated illustrator James Mayhew, and Creative Director, Tiffany Leeson, Egmont Publishing, and art director Walker Books, Louise Jackson.

Highlights 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.

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

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.


Our Jurors


James Mayhew, our celebrated guest author illustrator, is best known for the Katie books, Ella Bella Ballerina, Mouse and Mole 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.

Our other panelist judges are Tiffany Leeson, Creative Director at Egmont Publishing, and Louise Jackson, Senior Art Director at Walker Books!




Submissions Guidelines, Terms and Conditions

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 children’s book project showing a sequence in the form of:

2 double-page spreads, or

2 single pages, 

1 single page plus one double-page spread, or

1 cover plus 1 internal illustration

Illustrations can be published or unpublished, but must have been created within the last two years.

Do not include overlaid text, artwork only please.

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, plus 
the title of each published book or unpublished 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.