Bologna Children BookFair | 2020 Exhibitions
10 years of the International Award for Illustration

An award created to discover and support new talents

In 10 years, BCBF and Fundación SM have launched the careers of brilliant young artists, new stars in the children’s book universe.

Created in 2010, the International Award for Illustration Bologna Children’s Book Fair-Fundación SM has celebrated 10 editions. The aim of the prize is to discover young talented children’s books illustrators and financially support and guide them during the process of creating a children’s picturebook.

Throughout its ten editions, the award has brought to the international stage brilliant young artists from Asia, Europe and North America.

Every year, on the first day of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, a special jury of three experts chooses the winner of the International Award for Illustration Bologna Children’s Book Fair-Fundación SM from among the artists under 35 included in the Illustrators Exhibition.

The winner receives a US$15,000 cheque from Fundación SM, and its commitment to publish a picturebook to be produced by the artist.

The award is announced during the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Afterwards, the winner is asked to create a picturebook based on a classical tale or legend from his/her own country, a process that helps the young illustrator evolve professionally, expressing his/her full potential on the international stage. The following year, the book is published by SM. It is also presented at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, and the original illustrations shown in a solo exhibition dedicated to the illustrator.

Over the 10 editions of this award, there have been some 30 jury members. They include prominent experts, such as Jeffrey Garrett, Northwestern University librarian and independent bookseller; Antonio Faeti, professor at the University of Bologna; Kiyoko Matsuoka, director of the Tokyo Itabashi Art Museum; Martin Salisbury, director of Master of Arts in Children's Book Illustration of Cambridge School of Art; Sophie Van der Linden, picturebooks expert and author of Album (s); Leonard Marcus, children’s book expert, publisher, curator of exhibitions and professor at New York University and the New York School of Visual Arts; Nathan Fox, illustrator and director of the Master of Fine Arts in Visual Narrative at the New York School of Visual Arts (MFA Visual Narrative, School of Visual Arts); Steven Guarnaccia, illustrator, former art director for the New York Times and professor at the Parsons School, New York; and prestigious illustrators such as Beatrice Alemagna, Rotraut Susanne Berner, Chiara Carrer, Kitty Crowther, Roberto Innocenti, Katsumi Komagata, Lorenzo Mattotti, Roger Mello, Alfonso Ruano and Lisbeth Zwerger, among others.

About Fundación SM
Fundación SM is an educational foundation, owner of the SM publishing group. It is present in 10 countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Spain, Mexico, Peru, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. In its commitment to the promotion of reading among children and teenagers in Latin America, Fundación SM awards literary prizes and develops reading and educational programmes in poor areas of these countries. The Fundación also promotes and disseminates the art of illustration, an all-important component of children’s books.