News | February 6, 2018

The Book Illustration Competition 2018 Announces Longlist

London — The Folio Society and House of Illustration are thrilled to announce the longlist for the annual Book Illustration Competition (#BIC2018). 

Now in its eighth year, The Book Illustration Competition is a partnership between The Folio Society and House of Illustration. To date, the competition has distributed over £50,000 worth of prizes and has received thousands of entries. 

This year from over 450 excellent entries, 24 have been selected for the longlist. 

The winner will receive a prestigious £5,000 commission from The Folio Society to illustrate their new edition of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Selected Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. The five other entrants who complete the shortlist will each receive £500. As part of the Book Illustration Competition’s committment to nurturing new talent, the judging panel ensures that students form part of the shortlist. 

The difficult task of selecting the longlist fell to Sheri Gee, Art Director at The Folio Society, and Colin McKenzie, Director of House of Illustration. 

Sheri Gee said ‘The longlist represents for me the entries that excelled in both cover and illustration, making a cohesive entry. It’s no simple skill to adapt styles and concepts for both - an illustration which pinpoints an exact moment and a cover which represents the whole in a compelling way.‘ 

Colin McKenzie noted ‘We had a wonderful response to the competition this year with almost twice the number of entries, clearly reflecting the enduring and international popularity of Sherlock Holmes. We were particularly pleased by the large number of student applications and the creativity and ingenuity of so many of the illustrations. As a result we have a very strong longlist.’ 

Entries were received from 48 countries including the USA, Singapore, Iran, Spain and Guatemala, and over 35% of them were from students. 

This year also sees the return of the popular stand alone People’s Choice award. Voted for online (, the People’s Choice can be selected from any of the longlisted entries.The winning artist and one member of the public who voted for them will receive £100 worth of books from The Folio Society and a one-year membership to House of Illustration. 

The shortlist and the winner will be selected from the longlist by eminent Holmesian, Helen Dorey; Sheri Gee, Art Director and Tom Walker, Publishing Director both from The Folio Society; Colin McKenzie, Director and Olivia Ahmad, Curator both from House of Illustration and Darya Shnykina, winner of the Book Illustration Competition 2017. 

The awards will be announced and presented by Helen Dorey at an exclusive ceremony at House of illustration on 20 February 2018.