Picturebook makers from all around the world submit their unpublished projects to be considered by a large jury of top international publishers. The jury publishers vote independently for their favourites, and the projects with the most votes go into a unique book fair showcase and are presented online to hundreds of publishers in the dPICTUS community. Picturebook projects from our first two showcases continue to be acquired by publishers around the world, and many of the artists have been approached by publishers and agents, interested in their work.


The jury of international publishers (2020)

Jury - The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase
  • Arianna Squilloni

    A Buen Paso | Spain
  • Béatrice Vincent

    Albin Michel Jeunesse | France
  • Mónica Bergna

    Alboroto Ediciones | Mexico
  • Elise Jones

    Allen & Unwin | Australia
  • Tereza Horváthová

    Baobab | Czech Republic
  • Sunhee Lim

    Bear Books | Korea
  • Nancy Conescu

    Berbay Publishing | Australia
  • Liz Bicknell

    Candlewick Press | USA
  • Saskia Heintz

    Carl Hanser Verlag | Germany
  • Victoria Rock

    Chronicle Books | USA
  • Marzia Corraini

    Corraini Edizioni | Italy
  • Yan Xiaoli

    Dandelion Children’s Book House | China
  • Marita Vermeulen

    De Eenhoorn | Belgium
  • Jadwiga Jędryas

    Dwie Siostry | Poland
  • Simon De Jocas

    Éditions les 400 Coups | Canada
  • Luca Notari

    Éditions Notari | Switzerland
  • Ana María Pavez

    Editorial Amanuta | Chile
  • Ellen Seip

    Ena Forlag | Norway
  • Jenni Erkintalo

    Etana Editions | Finland
  • Joana Carro

    Fulgencio Pimentel | Spain
  • Julia Marshall

    Gecko Press | New Zealand
  • Sophie Giraud

    Hélium | France
  • Haruna Yahagi

    Kaisei-sha | Japan
  • Véronique Haïtse

    l'école des loisirs | France
  • Mariève Talbot

    La Courte Échelle | Canada
  • Alīse Nīgale

    Liels un mazs | Latvia
  • Erik Titusson

    Lilla Piratförlaget | Sweden
  • Lulu Kirschenbaum

    Limonero | Argentina
  • Svein Storksen

    Magikon Forlag | Norway
  • Iannis Ganas

    Martis | Greece
  • Vicente Ferrer

    Media Vaca | Spain
  • Jenny Franke

    Mirando Bok | Sweden
  • Neal Porter

    Neal Porter Books | USA
  • Andrew Rushton

    Nordsüd Verlag | Switzerland
  • Fausta Orecchio

    Orecchio Acerbo | Italy
  • Odile Josselin

    Pastel | Belgium
  • André Letria

    Pato Lógico | Portugal
  • Andrea Macdonald

    Penguin Random House | UK
  • Peggy Espinosa

    Petra Ediciones | Mexico
  • Isabel Minhós Martins

    Planeta Tangerina | Portugal
  • Dik Zweekhorst

    Querido | Netherlands
  • Irina Balakhonova

    Samokat | Russia
  • Sunkyung Cho

    Somebooks | Korea
  • Roger Thorp

    Thames & Hudson | UK
  • Ivan Fedechko

    The Old Lion Publishing House | Ukraine
  • Sahar Tarhandeh

    Tuti Books | Iran
  • Ben Norland

    Walker Books | United Kingdom
  • Magdalena Kłos-podsiadło

    Wytwórnia | Poland

‘Publisher insights’ videos

Publishers on the 2020 jury introduce their publishing houses, talk about their experience of being on the jury, and present some of their favourite projects.

Isabel Minhos Martins

Planeta Tangerina | Portugal

Alīse Nīgale

Liels un mazs | Latvia

Arianna Squilloni

A Buen Paso | Spain

Erik Titusson

Lilla Piratförlaget | Sweden

Simon De Jocas

Éditions Les 400 Coups | Canada

Marzia Corraini

Corraini Edizioni | Italy

Lulu Kirschenbaum

Limonero | Argentina

Andrew Rushton

Nordsüd Verlag | Switzerland

Mónica Bergna

Alboroto Ediciones | Mexico

Odile Josselin

Pastel | Belgium

Saskia Heintz

Carl Hanser Verlag | Germany

Svein Storksen

Magikon | Norway

The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase 2 (2020)

Of the 420 projects submitted to the second edition of The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase in 2020, the 82 projects below are the ones which received the most independent votes from the 48 international publishers on the jury. dPICTUS members can view these projects in full; non-members can see two images from each project.
Watch the video presentation


The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase 1 (2019)

Of the 350 projects submitted to the first edition of The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase in 2019, the 48 projects below are the ones which received the most independent votes from the 30 international publishers on the jury. dPICTUS members can view these projects in full; non-members can see two images from each project.


Success story: Johanna Schaible

Johanna Schaible, an artist and illustrator from Bern in Switzerland, submitted her project to the first Unpublished Picturebook Showcase. The project ‘Once upon a time there was and will be so much more’ was independently voted for by 23 of the 30 publishers on the jury, and has since generated a lot of excitement and interest. The book will be published in 2021 by Lilla Piratförlaget from Sweden, as a co-edition with a group of international publishers.

Lilla Piratförlaget publisher Erik Titusson says: “When turning over the continuously changing pages of this book, you physically feel the passing of time. This is a truly unique project and a moving experience for readers of all ages. The theme of the book and its innovative design work hand in hand to reinforce the feeling that here we are in the world, right now, at this instant, and from this point on: we build the future!”

dPICTUS members: See a special co-edition presentation


Johanna Schaible

Feedback from some of the selected artists

  • “I really, really enjoyed this day! Not just because it was an exciting one for my book. More than this, because I met wonderful people and a fantastic energy was in the air! Thank you so much for your enormous amount of work, for the great ideas you have and especially for making them happen in reality! So many people connected thanks to this; so many people and their book projects get a chance, a boost and motivation to continue their work. I came back fully loaded with this positive energy! I’m sure this is the start of something very special.”

    Johanna Schaible

    Johanna Schaible

    Switzerland

  • “I’d been to the Frankfurt Book Fair several times before, but The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase gave me a fresh experience of the fair. I saw many interesting projects, met lots of illustrators, artists and interesting people from different countries. We exchanged a lot of information and we plan to maintain contact in the future. Publishers have expressed interest in several projects and I think that the interest in the showcase will increase every year. I believe that this kind of experience is valuable for every artist, and provides lots of motivation”

    Eka Tabliashvili

    Eka Tabliashvili

    Georgia

  • “The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase made many things possible: connections and starting friendships between Illustrators and storytellers all around the world, visibility of unique and authentic picturebook projects full of contemporary themes and issues, and the experience of community. As a newcomer to the confusing, exciting and overwhelming world of book fairs, it was a treasure to have a place to hold on to, to be reminded of what to love about books: human connection through sharing stories full of humour, beauty, poetry and all that’s possible!”

    Lili Mossbauer

    Lili Mossbauer

    Austria

  • “I went straight to The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase and the 100 Outstanding Picturebooks exhibition right next door, and I stayed there all day. I enjoyed looking through all the wonderful books, getting to know the great people there, including illustrators from the unpublished showcase. It was a great experience, and a wonderful support for me. After the fair, I received a lot of feedback, enquiries from various publishers and even an agent. Now my picturebook will be published in spring 2021 by Atlantis Verlag and I’m very much looking forward to it.”

    Laura D’Arcangelo

    Laura D’Arcangelo

    Switzerland


Illustration by Kitty Crowther

Illustration by Kitty Crowther

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The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase

About the 2021 showcase


In 2019, dPICTUS launched The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase. 350 picturebook makers from around the world submitted their unpublished projects to be considered by a jury of 30 leading picturebook publishers. The publishers voted independently for their favourites, and the 48 projects with the most votes went into a unique showcase at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase 2 in 2020 was a little different. Because of Covid-19, we couldn’t host a physical book fair showcase, so instead we presented the selected projects online, on the dPICTUS platform. In this second showcase, 48 picturebook publishers assessed 420 submitted projects from 60 countries, and 82 projects received the votes required to go through to the final showcase.

Picturebook projects from our first two showcases continue to be acquired by publishers around the world, and many of the artists have been approached by publishers and agents, interested in their work.

The jury selection for The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase 3 will be announced on 2 November 2021. Almost 60 international picturebook publishers assessed the submitted projects for this third edition.

We’ll present the selected projects online, year-round, on the dPICTUS platform.

Hundreds of international picturebook publishers and agents come together on the dPICTUS platform, to promote their titles, secure rights deals, discover new talent, and make new publishing connections around the world. There’s a strong and active community of publishers from over 50 countries, including many of the world’s most creative and innovative children’s book publishers, and winners of prestigious awards.

All through the year, the selected unpublished projects will be showcased in full to world-class publishers searching for talent, and to renowned specialists in picturebooks and illustration.

We do intend to host a physical showcase of the unpublished picturebook projects at an international book fair in the future – but until then, The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase will be online, year-round, on the dPICTUS platform.

Learn more about the dPICTUS platform
See some of the publishers in the dPICTUS community

The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase

Terms & eligibility


How to submit your project

  • Step 1: Fill in and submit the application form.
    • We recommend you read this Terms & eligibility page before submitting.
  • Step 2: Upload a single PDF file of your picturebook project.
    • You can do this after submitting the application form. Maximum file size: 40MB.
  • Step 3: Pay the €45 application fee.
    • You’ll receive details of how to pay after submitting the application form.

Deadline

We’ll need to receive the application form, PDF file and application fee by 23:59 (UTC) on 30 June 2021.


Eligibility

  • Artists and illustrators of any nationality are eligible to submit a project, as long as they’re 18+ years old.
  • Your picturebook project (the text and the illustrations) must be unpublished and not acquired by a publisher at the time of submission.
  • We welcome projects in any language, but we recommend including a draft English translation of the text (either within the art spreads or by adding the translation at the end of the PDF file). This will help the international jury of publishers better assess your project.
  • Picturebook projects of any length and for any age group are eligible.
  • We welcome projects with unconventional formats, and projects which deal with challenging themes.
  • We welcome wordless/silent picturebook projects.
  • Self-published projects are eligible.
  • Your project can be a mix of illustrations and sketches/roughs, but we strongly recommend that the whole book is visualised. We don’t accept text-only projects.
  • You can submit up to 3 projects, but you’ll need to fill in a separate application form and pay the application fee for each submitted project.
  • We welcome applications from author-illustrator partnerships.

The selection process

In summer 2021, a jury of almost 60 top international picturebook publishers will look through the submitted projects and independently vote for their favourites. The projects which receive the most votes will go into the showcase, and the successful applicants will be notified by email in October 2021.


Online showcase

The selected projects will go into The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase on the dPICTUS online platform.

Hundreds of international picturebook publishers and agents come together on the dPICTUS platform, to promote their titles, secure rights deals, discover new talent, and make new publishing connections around the world. There’s a strong and active community of publishers from over 50 countries, including many of the world’s most creative and innovative children’s book publishers, and winners of prestigious awards.

All through the year, the selected unpublished projects will be showcased in full to world-class publishers searching for talent, and to renowned specialists in picturebooks and illustration.

Learn more about the dPICTUS platform
See some of the publishers in the dPICTUS community


Book fair showcase

Due to Covid-19, we’re not sure exactly when we’ll be able to have a physical showcase at an international book fair. But we do intend to do this in the future (we’ll then ask the selected applicants to send us 2 printed copies of their project). Until then, The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase will be online, year-round, on the dPICTUS platform.


Additional notes

  • You’re welcome to submit your project to other competitions while it’s under consideration/part of The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase 3.
  • You’re welcome to submit your unpublished project to publishers while it’s under consideration/part of The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase 3. But if your project is acquired by a publisher before 30 June 2021, please tell us, as we’ll need to remove your project from the jury selection process. If this happens, we’ll refund your application fee in full.

Any questions?

If you have any questions, please get in touch: [email protected]

The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase

FAQ


Where will the showcase be?

The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase will be on the dPICTUS online platform. Hundreds of international picturebook publishers and agents come together on the dPICTUS platform to promote their titles, secure rights deals, discover new talent, and make new publishing connections around the world. There’s a strong and active community of publishers from over 50 countries, including many of the world’s most creative and innovative children’s book publishers, and winners of prestigious awards such as the BolognaRagazzis. All through the year, the selected unpublished projects will be showcased in full to world-class publishers searching for talent, and to renowned specialists in picturebooks and illustration.

Learn more about the dPICTUS platform
See some of the publishers in the dPICTUS community

Will there be a book fair showcase, like you had in Frankfurt in 2019?

Due to Covid-19, we’re not sure exactly when we’ll be able to have a physical showcase at an international book fair, but we do intend to do this in the future. Until then, The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase will be online, year-round, on the dPICTUS platform.

Is this a competition with an overall winner?

Our main goal with this initiative (we don’t see it as a standard competition) is not to find a ‘winner’; it's to give all the artists, illustrators and emerging picturebook makers who submit a project the unique opportunity to have it considered by many of the finest publishers in the world – and to promote all the selected projects to the hundreds of international publishers in the dPICTUS community.

Is the showcase only for new and emerging artists and illustrators?

We’re open to any picturebook artist, new or established, who would like to submit an unpublished project.

How many projects will be selected for the showcase?

For our first showcase in 2019, 48 of the 350 submitted projects received enough jury votes to go through to the final showcase. For our second showcase in 2020, 82 of the 420 submitted projects received enough jury votes to go through to the final showcase. We don’t yet know how many projects will be selected this year; it’s up to the publishers on the jury.

Is the showcase only for children’s picturebooks?

The initiative isn’t only for children's picturebooks. Some of the publishers on the jury are tightly focussed on the child audience with the books they publish, but others publish picturebooks and illustrated books for a wider audience. We recommend you visit the websites of the publishers on the jury last year, to get an idea of the types of picturebooks they publish, and if your project could appeal to them.

Does my project have to be finished?

Your project can be a mix of illustrations and sketches/roughs, but we strongly recommend that the whole book is visualised.

Do you accept wordless/silent picturebook projects?

Yes we do.

Do you accept self-published picturebook projects?

Yes.

Do you accept text-only picturebook projects?

No, the book must be visualised.

How many projects can I submit?

You can submit up to 3 projects, but you’ll need to fill in a separate application form and pay the application fee for each submitted project.

What is the selection criteria of the jury?

Each member on the jury can use their own criteria to choose projects, but will be looking for projects which demonstrate a strong understanding of the picturebook form. Publishers on the jury for our two previous showcases told us that they chose projects based on a number of aspects: the subject, the development of the idea, the story, and the quality of the illustrations/graphic work.

Which publishers are on the jury this year?

Last year, we had a jury of 48 top international picturebook publishers, which you can see listed here. On the 2021 jury will be some of the publishers who took part last year, plus some new ones. Almost 60 publishers will be on the jury this year.

Will you tell us which publishers voted for my project?

We understand that many of you will be interested to know which publishers voted for your projects. But after discussions with publishers on the jury, we decided not to give out this information. Many of the publishers’ criteria for voting isn’t based only on what they could/would publish in their country/market, but on projects which interest them personally. So we’re able to tell you how many of the publishers voted for your project, but not the names of the individual publishers who voted.

Having said that, the jury publishers will have all the applicants’ contact emails, so if any of them are interested in publishing your project, they’ll surely be in touch.

Will I receive personal feedback on my project?

It’s not feasible for each publisher on the jury to provide personal feedback on several hundred submitted projects; the selection process is already extremely time-consuming. However, we’ll gather all the general feedback we receive from the publishers, and make this available to all applicants.

I’ve submitted my PDF file; can I send an updated version later?

Yes, as long as you submit the final PDF before the submission deadline (30 June 2021), that’s fine.

Why is there an application fee?

The €45 application fee goes towards our organisational and development costs. Please note that the publishers on the jury are not being paid to look at the submitted projects.

I don’t have access to PayPal; how do I pay the application fee?

If you don’t have access to PayPal in your country, we recommend asking a friend or family member to pay the fee on your behalf.

If my project isn’t selected, will I receive anything?

Whether your project is selected for the final showcase or not, we believe that getting your work under the eyes of so many great international publishers at the same time is worth the application fee. Many of these publishers don’t generally accept unsolicited submissions, so this is a fast track to the desks of these busy publishers and editors.

Until spring 2022, the publishers on the jury can continue to access all the submitted projects and the contact emails of the applicants in a private area of the dPICTUS platform. So even if your project doesn’t receive enough jury votes to go into the final showcase in October 2021, it will still receive further exposure to a large number of publishers.

Does my picturebook project have to be in English?

We welcome projects in any language, but we recommend including a draft English translation of the text if possible (either within the art spreads or by adding the translation at the end of the PDF file). This will help the international jury of publishers better assess your project.

Can I still submit my unpublished project to publishers while it’s under consideration for The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase?

Yes, you’re welcome to submit your unpublished project to publishers while it’s under consideration/part of The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase. But if your project is acquired by a publisher before 30 June 2021, please tell us, as we’ll need to remove your project from the jury selection process. If this happens, we’ll refund your application fee in full.

If my project is selected, how long will it be showcased on the dPICTUS online platform?

We plan to showcase all the selected projects on dPICTUS indefinitely. The idea is that The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase grows each year and becomes an increasingly valuable resource for picturebook publishers searching for talent.

Who will have access to my project online?

All the publishers and agents who are members of the dPICTUS community will have access to your project on the dPICTUS platform. The platform is invitation-only and password-protected. See some members of the dPICTUS community

The dPICTUS Terms of Service specify that members of the platform (mostly publishers and agents) must agree that all ‘content’ on the platform is protected by intellectual property rights, and they shall not use, reproduce, modify, copy, publish, transmit, distribute, upload, link to, display, sell or otherwise exploit any of this content without written permission from the respective owner.

If you don’t feel comfortable for your full project to be accessible online, you’re welcome to show a selection of spreads. Publishers can then contact you if they’d like to see a complete PDF.

If my project is acquired by a publisher, will it be removed from the online showcase?

If your project is acquired by a publisher, it will remain in the showcase. But we’ll add a note to say that your project has been acquired.


If you have any questions not listed above, please get in touch: [email protected]