The British Isles Conference is joining forces with Words & Pictures in an exciting opportunity for all SCBWI illustrator members — no bookings or attendance needed! Illustrator Coordinator and Art Director Tita Berredo tells us all about it.

The SCBWI British Isles Conference is a prestigious event that brings together high end industry professionals from all over the UK. This is the chance for you to showcase your work to important members of the children’s industry like agents, publishers, editors, art directors, and of course fellow illustrators.

One of the Conference's highest points of interest last year was the Illustration Exhibition, a massive display with prints of our members’ sketchbooks and character studies. This year we are repeating this popular feature with the addition of a fully rendered illustration piece!

Our Words & Pictures readers will be able to see your creative process in the Open Sketchbook Feature and the complete artwork at the Exhibition.

What are we looking for?

We want to see your creative process and the finished illustration. You can choose any genre, style, and medium that you like, as long as it’s suitable for children’s books. Illustrations can be done traditionally or digitally.

Sketches: any preparatory work that can support your final piece. This can be a combination of character studies, observational drawings, colour swatches, etc. Find some directions and examples here.

Final artwork: A fully rendered illustration that should belong in a book. Treat your canvas as a book spread, showing your narrative in either a full bleed or combine spots, vignettes, or box illustrations. Find some directions and examples here.

You are welcome to create a brand new artwork for the exhibition, or you can select one from an existing portfolio — as long as you include sketches or any preparatory work that supports it. You can create a character sheet if you don’t have any previous sketches.

There’s no particular theme, but if you’d like some inspiration, we are IN SEARCH OF WONDER!

Submission and Deadlines

Up to two fully rendered illustrations and any sketches or preparatory work that can support them. Each file should be A4 (210x297mm) horizontal, JPEG file, 300dpi.

Sketches should be sent to by the 2nd of October to be included in the Open Sketchbook feature.

Final artwork should be sent together with supporting sketches to by 15th October to be included in the Illustration Exhibition.

Name the final piece files with YourName_TitleOfTheArtwork and the sketch files with YourName_Sketches.

The email's subject should be "Illustration Exhibition". Include your website, social media handles, and a short paragraph about your artwork.

Get excited by watching the video of last year’s illustration exhibition!

Important Notes

The artwork must be original and suitable for children of any age group.

By sending your artwork you are agreeing to SCBWI printing your work to be exhibited at the British Isles Conference.

The selected artworks will be published in Words & Pictures under the Open Sketchbook feature, and exhibited at the Illustration Exhibition, which will take place at Manchester Metropolitan University on November 4th and 5th, 2023.

You don’t have to attend the Conference to participate. But if you are, there will be a spot for you to share your portfolio and network with other illustrators and industry professionals. Feel free to bring loads of business cards, postcards, and prints.

Whilst this is not a competition, we are seeking artwork that is as close to a professional standard as you are able to provide. If your artwork is not selected this only means that you might need a little more work on your technique or narrative representation. SCBWI is here to help you with critique groups, 1-1s, and portfolio feedback.

Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to showcase your talent!

Send your questions to Tita Berredo at

Book your Conference tickets here.

*Header by Ed Vere


Tita Berredo is the SCBWI British Isles Illustrator Coordinator and the Art Director of Words & Pictures. She has a Master's degree in Children's Literature and Illustration from Goldsmiths UOL, and a background in marketing and cinema. 

Instagram: @titaberredo 

No comments:

We love comments and really appreciate the time it takes to leave one.
Interesting and pithy reactions to a post are brilliant but we also LOVE it when people just say they've read and enjoyed.
We've made it easy to comment by losing the 'are you human?' test, which means we get a lot of spam. Fortunately, Blogger recognises these, so most, if not all, anonymous comments are deleted without reading.

Words & Pictures is the Online Magazine of SCBWI British Isles. Powered by Blogger.