Bologna: The €15,000 Fundación SM International Award

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

The 14-year-old award with one of the largest purses among prizes at Bologna goes to a 25-year-old Brazilian illustrator.

Trade visitors, illustrators, and exhibitors gather to hear the announcement on April 10 that the 25-year-old Brazilian illustrator Henrique Moreira is the recipient of the 2024 Fundación SM International Award for Illustration. Bologna director Elena Pasoli was onstage to support the announcement of the win, although Moreira was not in attendance. Image: Publishing Perspectives, Porter Anderson

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

Henrique Moreira Wins a Solo Exhibition in 2025
As awards continue to lead the news released by the administration of the ongoing Bologna Children’s Book Fair, which runs through Thursday. The 14-year-old Fundación SM International Award for Illustration held the crowded floor of huge the exhibition center at the trade show on Wednesday.

Henrique Moreira, a 25-year-old Brazilian illustrator and graduate in graphic design, was announced as this year’s winner of the award.

Moreira, the jury writes, “is very interested in exploring how to communicate stories with illustrations, especially working with silent books.”

An illustration by the Bologna-Fondacion SM prize-winning Brazilian illustrator Henrique Moreira. Image BCBF

The foundation is Spanish, established in 1977 by Marianists in Spain as an endowed fund. Its driving programs address educational research; teacher training; the encouragement of reading and writing among young people; and the care of youngsters in difficult socio-economic conditions.

This recognition carries a €15,000 purse (US$16,139) for artists who are younger than 35 and already selected for the trade show’s Illustrators Exhibition.

A product of this award meant to be “the peace of mind” for the winning illustrator “to create—over the course of one year—an illustrated book” to be presented in a solo exhibition at the following year’s Bologna book fair.

The jury behind today’s announcement of Henrique Moreira as this year’s winner was the product of the selection process run by jury members:

  • Philip Giordano, illustrator, Italy
  • Ayami Moriizumi Cometti, Itabashi Art Museum, Japan
  • Sara Rioja Gutiérrez, designer SM Madrid, Spain
BCBF Transportation Woes May Be Deepened by a Strike

While exhibitors and trade visitors today remain largely upbeat in their assessment of the fair’s tone and effectiveness this week, extraordinary problems with transportation in Bologna continues, some publshing professionals waiting for two hours or longer to get a cab to or from BolognaFiere.

An illustration by the Bologna-Fondacion SM prize-winning Brazilian illustrator Henrique Moreira. Image BCBF

The problem is systemic to much of Italy, where regional and municipal authorities have declined to issue new taxi licenses, some recent news reports estimating that Palermo may have only five licensed taxis per 10,000 residents (compared to what is said to be London’s ratio of 106 licenses per each 10,000 residents.

Rome, these in-country reports indicate, has only 28.5 taxis for each 10,000 residents, while the Abruzzo region, famed for its wines, is said to have 97 taxis licensed for an area that’s home to 1.3 million residents.

Sharing the few taxis available has become a quick way to meet fellow publishing professionals as hotel desk staffers pound away at call boxes connected to the Cotabo dispatch system, trying to capture a precious ride for their guests. Cotabo also has placed representatives on the long, snaking queues outside the trade show to determine each waiting visitor’s destination, but apparently without the power to call taxis into the compound to take advantage of these ready fares.

The book fair’s own shuttle plans for stops at various hotels have, many visitors say, run only with spotty reliability at best, in some cases apparently skipping stops entirely—even in today’s rainy early hours—and that has sent many trade visitors jumping onto Bus 28, which seems to be the most direct, if circuitous, municipal bus line to the fairgrounds.

Patience and tempers running short on these long lines have flared into sharp words among visitors at times, but those waiting for taxis to go to the airport have generally been granted a chance to move to the top of the queue.

All this is occurring among the progressively tired Bologna Children’s Book Fair goers as Italy braces for Thursday’s national strike called against the Cgil and Uil train systems.

As an edition of Il Messaggero puts it, the strike is intended “to raise awareness of issues related to health and safety at work, as well as to requests for changes in government taxation.

Publishing Perspectives readers who are attending the Bologna trade show this year are advised to arrange needed transportation as early as possible due to an ongoing rail strike this week.

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

More on Bologna Children’s Book Fair is here, more from us on children’s books is here, more on publishing and book awards 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.