Aspiring illustrator Georgia Page has won this year’s £1,000 Carmelite Picture Book Prize, organised by Hachette Children’s Group (HCG), for her interpretation of a story by Kes Gray.
Sophie Stericker, group creative director at HCG, said: “We are thrilled the Carmelite Prize increases in popularity every year with illustration students and tutors around the country. We had a record number of entries this time, with so many showing outstanding originality and visual story-telling skill. It’s always agonizing to choose the overall winner but Georgia’s innovative interpretation of the text impressed us unanimously.”
Page, who is a student at the University of South Wales, will now work on a final version of Zebracadabra, a story about animals and magic, which may be published by HCG imprint Hodder Children’s Books. Her course tutor will receive £500 sponsorship towards their students’ final year show.
A second prize of £500 was awarded to Katie Allen, from Nottingham Trent University, and Yingxi Xu, also from Nottingham Trent University, won third prize of £250. Three students - Beatrix Hatcher from Arts University Bournemouth, Daniel Bennett from University of Central Lancashire and Alan Orczyk from Nottingham Trent University - were highly commended.
The entries were judged by the senior team at Hachette Children’s Group, Gray and Imogen Russell Williams, who is the children’s book reviewer for The Guardian.
Hilary Murray Hill, c.e.o. at HCG, said: “It is so rewarding to be able to offer new illustrators their first steps into the world of publishing. We’ve been deeply impressed with the quality of this year’s entries – which seem to just get stronger and stronger every year. Huge thanks go to Kes Gray for a text which inspired the entrants to great creativity and to the judges for giving up their time to help us find a winner – no easy task! Finally enormous congratulations to Georgia Page and all of the other finalists.”
Last year’s winner, Riko Sekiguchi, will publish her first book Where the Sea Meets the Sky in 2020.