Supporting the children’s book illustrators of the future

Past winners

2018 winner

Student Riko Sekiguchi won the Carmelite Picture Book Prize 2018 with her illustrations for Peter Bently’s text, Where the Sea Meets the Sky, a rhyming story about a sea otter.

Sophie Stericker, Group Creative Director at HCG, said: “We had a huge number of outstanding entries this year, so many of which showed originality and advanced visual storytelling skill. Choosing a winner was extremely difficult but Riko’s work showed such energy and spirit the judges were unanimous.”

Sekiguchi, a student at Falmouth University, was given £1,000 and Hodder Children’s Books, an imprint of HCG, will publish her work with Bently’s text.

“It’s so exciting and surreal to win – this is such a fantastic way to finish my final year, and I’m incredibly grateful to my tutors for encouraging me to enter,” she said. “It’s going to be wonderful to have the advice and experience of the Hachette Children’s Group creative team, and I’d like to thank everyone so much for giving me this opportunity.”

Andy Ellis from Norwich University of the Arts won a second prize of £500 and Robin Mommers from Leeds Arts University won the third prize of £250. Luke Broadley from Norwich University of the Arts and Pui Jo Ng from University of Hertfordshire were highly commended.


Last year's winner Riko Sekiguchi

2017 winner

The first prize of £1000 was awarded to Isobel Evans, a third-year illustration student at the University of Hertfordshire. Acclaimed author and artist Rachel Bright wrote a picture book text called Free-range Freddy. Commenting on Isobel’s work, Sophie Stericker, Group Creative Director at Hachette Children’s Group said Isobel ‘delivered a story beyond the words, with subtle, visual subplots and masterful characterisation.’ The second prize went to Molly Fairhurst from Leeds College of Art and the third prize went to Kate Sheehy from Cambridge School of Art. Simina Popescu (Central St Martins) and Rose Robbins (Cambridge School of Art) were highly commended for their submissions.

2016 winner

The 2016 Carmelite prize was won by Mark Nicholas from Anglia Ruskin University, who illustrated Cressida Cowell’s The Story of Tantrum O’Furrily. His style was described by the judges as ‘classically reassuring but with a contemporary characterisation and palette’. The Story of Tantrum O’Furrily published in April 2018.