Italy: Bologna Children’s Book Fair Names 2024 Illustration Winners

In News by Porter Anderson1 Comment

Among the largest illustration competitions in the business, Bologna Children’s Book Fair’s Illustration Exhibition has 79 winners.

An image by one of the 79 winners in 2024 of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair Illustrators Exhibition competition, Sadeghian Noushin of Iran. Image: BCBF

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

3,520 Participants Submitted 17,500 Illustrations
In its 61st edition, the Bologna Children’s Book Fair (April 8 to 11) will again feature a raft of contests, the core Illustrators Exhibition competition making its own 58th appearance.

This year’s exhibition’s 17,600 submissions were put forward by 3,520 participants from 81 countries and regions. As big a load as that 17,600 submissions is, it’s notably a lower count that last year, when 21,725 submissions were reportedly entered by 4,345 participants, some 800 more people than last year.

From this year’s initial pool, 344 finalists and 78 sets of illustrations by 79 artists from 31 countries made the most coveted list. It’s the works on that list that will be seen at the show in April and on the fair’s site. They’ll also be part of the Illustrators Annual, a catalogue that goes to specialized bookstores—this year with cover art by Chilean illustrator Paloma Valdivia—published by Corraini in Italian and English, by JBBY, the Japanese Board on Books for Young People, as well as in Korea and China.

‘To Contribute Creatively, Peacefully, and Purposefully’

An image by one of the 79 winners in 2024 of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair Illustrators Exhibition competition, Gauthier Manon of Canada. Image: BCBF

In a kind of statement of rationale, the show’s organizers today (January 22) write, “The Bologna book fair confirms once again this year its willingness to welcome the individual participation of independent publishers, writers, and artists from every country and region of the world who wish to contribute creatively, peacefully, and purposefully to the greater publishing community, bringing children and books together.”
This year’s jury has comprised:

  • Marco Ghidelli, founder of the publisher and graphic design studio RAUM Italic (Italy)
  • Lee Ho-baek, founder of the publisher Jaimimage, author and illustrator (Korea)
  • Xiaoyan Huang, founder of Macmillan Century, a joint venture of Macmillan Group in Beijing and the independent publisher Everafter Books (China)
  • Øyvind Torseter, author and illustrator, and winner of the 2008 BolognaRagazzi Award Detours in 2008 (Norway)
This Year’s Solo Show is by Andrea Antinori

An image by one of the 79 winners in 2024 of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair Illustrators Exhibition competition, Yuan-chin Jheng of Taiwan. Image: BCBF

Speaking of the many competitions that have become so numerous that they compete with each other for fair-going professionals’ attention and focus, those winners of the Illustrators Exhibition who are 35 or younger are automatically entered in the Bologna Children’s Book Fair [and]  Fundación SM International Illustration Award, the winner of which receives a €15,000 scholarship (US$16,326) to create and publish a book over the course of a  year.

Those illustrations then are given a solo show at the next edition of the fair, in this case in 2025. This year’s solo show is by the 2022 winner Andrea Antinori.

  • You can see the complete list of 79 winning artists for 2024 and the countries they represent, on this page.
  • The complete list of 344 finalists is found on this page.
  • Finalists in the category of illustrators using photography are listed on this page and broken into geographical regions: Europe, the Americas, Asia, Oceana, and Africa.

An image by one of the 79 winners in 2024 of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair Illustrators Exhibition competition, Ruiz Johnson Mariana of Argentina. Image: BCBF

More of our coverage relative to the 2024 Bologna Children’s Book Fair

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 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 International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, 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.


  1. It’s fascinating to see the global participation in the Bologna Children’s Book Fair Illustrators Exhibition, showcasing a diverse range of talents. The decrease in submissions compared to last year raises the question of whether there were specific factors influencing this decline or if it’s part of a broader trend.

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