Bologna’s 60th Book Fair: Illustrators Exhibition Winners

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A total 21,725 illustrations by 4,345 participants were submitted from 91 nations for this year’s Illustrators Exhibition honors at Bologna.

An illustration by Bologna Children’s Book Fair Illustrators Exhibition winner Marcos Guardiola of Spain. Image: BCBF

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Winners’ List: 80 Artists, 28 Countries
Celebrating its 60th edition this year, the Bologna Children’s Book Fair (March 6 to 9) has opened its season with its customary announcement of the winners of its Illustrators Exhibition competition.

Now in its 57th year, itself, the exhibition received work from 4,345 participants from 91 countries and territories). In fact, they sent in a total 21,725 illustrations, which were processed to a shortlist of 315 for the jury to handle.

From that shortlist, 79 sets of illustrations were chosen, representing the work of 80 artists from 28 countries and territories.

The 2023 Jury

An illustration by Bologna Children’s Book Fair Illustrators Exhibition winner Sadeghian Noushin of Iran. Image: BCBF

The jurors for this year’s competition are:

  • Gustavo Rosemfett, Argentina and Spain, teacher, illustrator, and author, a winner of the Bologna Ragazzi Award 2016 in the special category dedicated to disability for the book Mallko and Dad
  • Christine Morault, France, founder of Éditions MeMo
  • Sidney Smith, Canada, author and illustrator, winner of two Kate Greenaway Awards
  • Eric Telfort, United States, illustrator, artist and teacher of digital illustration and character design at Rhode Island School of Design
  • Erik Titusson, Sweden, former director of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, founder of Lilla Piratförlaget, an independent children’s book  publisher

The Illustrators Annual, the exhibition catalogue is published by Corraini in Italian and English; by JBBY, the Japanese Board on Books for Young People, in Japan; by CCOC in Korea; and by Dandelion Picture Book House in China. It’s available at specialist international bookstores.

In addition to reproductions of the illustrations, the catalogue also includes original articles by the jurors. The cover is illustrated on alternate years by either the winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Award or the winner of the Grand Prix BIB (the Biennial of Illustration Bratislava). This year, it’s the turn of Suzy Lee, winner of the Andersen Award 2022, who will also have a personal exhibition at the center of the fair in March.

The Bologna Trade Show’s Structure

An illustration by Bologna Children’s Book Fair Illustrators Exhibition winner Rahele Bell of the United States. Image: BCBF

As for Bologna Children’s Book Fair this year, it is, as Publishing Perspectives readers know, a three-part presentation in its 60th year:

  • The core event is the traditional fair. Bologna Children’s Book Fair, directed by Elena Pasoli and based on attendance patterns prior to the onset of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, can be expected to draw something close to 30,000 trade visitors and 1,500 exhibitors, organizers say, from roughly 100 world markets.
  • Bologna Book Plus, a co-located conference and training program for a more generalist element of the international book business (beyond children’s books, in other words), was established in 2020 and is directed again by Jacks Thomas.
  • The Bologna Licensing Trade Fair/Kids is, as our international readership knows, a presentation by as many as 600 or more brands, with a retail lounge and product showcase for licensing and entertainment operators.

In addition, as you’ll remember from our announcement story in September, the rights-trading component of the program, called the Global Rights Exchange, is to open its offer to the adult trade publishing sector as well as to those working i the children’s and young adults’ content areas.

2023 Illustrators Exhibition Winners

An illustration by Bologna Children’s Book Fair Illustrators Exhibition winner Colaneri Giovanni of Italy. Image: BCBF

On selection, all illustrators under 35 automatically become candidates for the Bologna Children’s Book Fair/Fundación SM International Illustration Award, consisting of a year’s scholarship worth €15,000 (US$16,287). During that year, the winner creates and publishes a picture book, the illustrations of which are then exhibited in a personal show at the subsequent edition of the fair.

Illustrator’s Last Name Illustrator’s First Name Nation/Territory
Akerman Emma Sweden
Alvarez Pablo Argentina
Antinori Andrea Italy
Aoki Takako Japan
Aparicio Català Anna Spain
Avramova Ksenia Russia
Barker James United Kingdom
Bell Rahele USA
Benetti Cathy Switzerland
Bomfim Flávia Brazil
Cerocchi Beatrice Italy
Chen Wei Hsuan Taiwan
Colaneri Giovanni Italy
Cosmos Golden Germany
Dan Yan China
De Telleria Maria Jose Argentina
Dipacho Colombia
Dostalova Petronela Slovakia
Drobova Yuliya Uzbekistan
Ekboir Laila Argentina
Fan Yuqin China
Fonseca Armando Mijangos Amanda Mexico
Gereke Vera Germany
Goldoozian Alireza Iran
Guardiola Marcos Spain
Guevara Santiago Colombia
Herba Gosia Poland
Hu Diandian China
Huang Liang-hsin Taiwan
Iribertegui Idoia Spain
Jönsson Maria Sweden
Kim Seungyoun South Korea
Kimura Yumi Japan
Kolb Alice Switzerland
Lee Kyung Kug South Korea
Leung Wai Yan Hong Kong – China
Lin Forest Xiao China
Litkei Julianna Hungary
Macaigne Jeanne France
Mahy Jess United Kingdom
Majewski Marc France
Melece Anete Latvia
Méndez María Elina Argentina
Mirdita Luise Germany
Montoya Escobar Manuela Colombia
Moreira Henrique Brazil
Mottaghi Anita Iran
Mun Jeongin South Korea
Oklejak Marianna Poland
Oliveira Viegas Inês Portugal
Pan Hsinping Taiwan
Phillips Benjamin United Kingdom
Plavinskaya Polya Russia
Rosende Gutierrez Maite Spain
Ruiz Johnson Mariana Argentina
Runde Aleksandra Latvia
Sabu Ward Sachie Japan
Sadeghian Noushin Iran
Samel Pamela Estonia
Sangiò Lorenzo Italy
Shin Ami South Korea
šiklová Tereza Czech Republic
Sobral Catarina Portugal
Su Li China
Suzuki Tomoko Japan
Tanco Miguel Spain
Terasawa Chieko Japan
Turdera Cristian Argentina
Tveritina Yulia Ukraine
Undritz Fanny Germany
Virardi Liuna Italy
Wang Chunhua China
Wang Minru China
Wu Peng China
Xu Yalan China
Yu Tongtong China
Zakeri Younesi Majid Iran
Zakharova Ekaterina United Kingdom
Zhang Xiaoyang China
Notes on the Arts in Fabula Grant

An illustration by Bologna Children’s Book Fair Illustrators Exhibition winner Cathy Benetti of Switzerland. Image: BCBF

The winner of the 2022 award, Andrés Lòpez, from Mexico, will be showing his solo exhibition at the 2023 book Fair. In addition, every year the Ars in Fabula School of Illustration makes available the Ars in Fabula Grant Award to an unpublished illustrator under 30 among those selected for the Illustrators Exhibition. The grant offers the opportunity to attend the Ars in Fabula Masters in Illustration for Publishing, working on a book project assigned by one of the partner publishers.

The grant award, which celebrated 10 years of activity last year, will be the subject of an exhibition in 2023 at the Fair, presenting the work of the 10 winners of the past editions.

An illustration by Bologna Children’s Book Fair Illustrators Exhibition winner Takako Aoki of Japan. Image: BCBF

We expect that the next competition news from Bologna Children’s Book Fair will be about the Bologna Ragazzi award program.


More from Publishing Perspectives on publishing and book awards in the international industry is here. More on Bologna Children’s Book Fair is here, more on children’s books is here, more on the Italian market is here, and more on world publishing’s trade shows and book fairs is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident fellow of Trends Research & Advisory, and he has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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