Templar Illustration Prize 2019 shortlist revealed

Templar Illustration Prize 2019 shortlist revealed

Three Cambridge School of Art Children’s Book Illustration graduates Maria Coco, Paula White and Sally Walker are shortlisted for the second Templar Illustration Prize.

The Templar Illustration Prize was launched last year as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Bonnier Books UK imprint. The award’s impetus is to discover and foster new illustrative talent, offering a platform for new illustrators to launch successful careers.

The 2019 prize invited applicants to submit book materials – including cover, storyboard and spread designs – to the theme of ‘Where I Come From’, aimed at pre-school children up to 12 years.

Illustrator and recent graduate Maria Coco is shortlisted for her story The New Swamp, a 32-page picture book story devised for her final MA project in Children’s Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art (ARU).

Fellow ARU graduate Paula White is shortlisted for her story Bread, Buns and Biscuits, also created for her final MA project, which she described as “a picture book with a non-fiction narrative that gives us a glimpse into a past way of life” in a close-knit fishing community.


Maria Coco, Paula White and Sally Walker

Former graphic designer Sally Walker, who also studied the same course at Cambridge, is shortlisted for her story Grandpa’s World.

The 2019 judging panel includes Templar authors and illustrators Jonny Duddle, Lara Hawthorne, Lucia Gaggiotti and Frann-Preston Gannon.

Jane Harris, m.d. of children’s trade at Bonnier Books UK, said: “The Templar team are thrilled with the quality of talent that entered for this prize, and we thank our illustrators who helped us reach our selection of three finalists.  We congratulate every illustrator that entered and are delighted to have discovered new artists– we hope next year the prize will grow even bigger in attracting the enormous talent that is present in this area of children’s publishing.”

The winner will be announced at an award ceremony hosted by Nomad Books in Fulham on 18th September 2019. There will be cash prizes of £750, £500 and £250 for the first, second and third places and an opportunity for the winning idea to be considered for publication by Templar Publishing.

Freelance illustrator Emma Chadwick won the inaugural Templar Illustration Prize for her story Douglas in the Land of Faraway. The book is to be published by Templar in 2021.