Picturebook makers from all around the world submit their unpublished projects to be considered by a large jury of top international publishers.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 previous 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 (2023)

Jury - The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase
  • Sebastien Esteban Desplat

    3FPJ | France
  • Arianna Squilloni

    A Buen Paso | Spain
  • Mónica Bergna

    Alboroto Ediciones | Mexico
  • Elise Jones

    Allen & Unwin | Australia
  • Nancy Conescu

    Berbay Publishing | Australia
  • Victoria Rock

    Chronicle Books | USA
  • Pietro Corraini

    Corraini Edizioni | Italy
  • Yan Xiaoli

    Dandelion Children's Book House | China
  • Jadwiga Jędryas

    Dwie Siostry | Poland
  • Simon de Jocas

    Éditions les 400 coups | Canada
  • Christine Morault

    Editions MeMo | France
  • Dorota Harwich

    Editions Format | Poland
  • Béatrice Vincent

    Éditions La Partie | France
  • Ana María Pavez

    Editorial Amanuta | Chile
  • Emma Raddatz

    Elsewhere Editions | USA
  • Claudia Zoe Bedrick

    Enchanted Lion Books | USA
  • Xiaoyan Huang

    Everafter Books | China
  • Karen Louÿs

    Fotokino | France
  • Joana Carro

    Fulgencio Pimentel | Spain
  • Tang Ling

    Jieli Publishing House | China
  • Christelle Renault

    L'école des loisirs | France
  • Pascale Rosier

    La Joie de Lire | Switzerland
  • Celina Alonso

    Lecturita Ediciones | Argentina
  • Sandra Feldman

    Leetra | Mexico
  • Alīse Nīgale

    Liels un mazs | Latvia
  • Erik Titusson

    Lilla Piratförlaget | Sweden
  • Lulu Kirschenbaum

    Limonero | Argentina
  • Svein Storksen

    Magikon Forlag | Norway
  • Valérie Picard

    Monsieur Ed | Canada
  • Elena Rittinghausen

    Nordsüd Verlag | Switzerland
  • Ivan Fedechko

    The Old Lion Publishing House | Ukraine
  • Fausta Orecchio

    Orecchio Acerbo | Italy
  • Jérémie Fischer

    Éditions Pan | France
  • Odile Josselin

    Pastel | Belgium
  • André Letria

    Pato Lógico | Portugal
  • Richa Jha

    Pickle Yolk Books | India
  • Isabel Minhós Martins

    Planeta Tangerina | Portugal
  • Andrea Macdonald

    Penguin Random House | UK
  • Moa Brunnberg

    Rabén & Sjögren | Sweden
  • Sunkyung Cho

    Somebooks | Korea
  • Cherise Lopes-Baker

    Tate Publishing | UK
  • Paolo Canton

    Topipittori | Italy
  • Sahar Tarhandeh

    Tuti Books | Iran
  • Fanny Deschamps

    Versant Sud | Belgium
  • Magdalena Kłos-Podsiadło

    Wytwórnia | Poland

The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase 5 (2023)

For the fifth edition of The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase in 2023, over 500 projects from around 60 countries were submitted. The 78 projects below are the ones which received the most independent votes from the 45 international publishers on the jury. dPICTUS members can view these projects in full; non-members can see two images from each project.


The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase 4 (2022)

For the fourth edition of The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase in 2022, 350 projects from over 50 countries were submitted. The 94 projects below are the ones which received the most independent votes from the 50 international publishers on the jury. dPICTUS members can view these projects in full; non-members can see two images from each project.


The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase 3 (2021)

Almost 400 projects from 60 countries were submitted to the third edition of The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase in 2021. The 84 projects below are the ones which received the most independent votes from the 55 international publishers on the jury. dPICTUS members can view these projects in full; non-members can see two images from each project.


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.


Publisher insights

Jury publishers introduce their publishing houses and talk about their favourite projects.

  • Arianna Squilloni

    A Buen Paso
    Spain
    2021 jury member

  • Isabel Minhós Martins

    Planeta Tangerina
    Portugal
    2021 jury member

  • Julia Marshall

    Gecko Press
    New Zealand
    2021 jury member

  • Christine Morault

    Editions MeMo
    France
    2021 jury member

  • Erik Titusson

    Lilla Piratförlaget
    Sweden
    2021 jury member

  • Bai Bing

    Jieli Publishing House
    China
    2021 jury member

  • Magdalena Kłos-Podsiadło

    Wytwórnia
    Poland
    2021 jury member

  • Valérie Picard

    Monsieur Ed
    Canada
    2021 jury member

  • Bjarne Michael Jensen

    Jensen & Dalgaard
    Denmark
    2021 jury member

  • Emma Parkin

    Barefoot Books
    USA
    2021 jury member

  • Alīse Nīgale

    Liels un mazs
    Latvia
    2020 jury member

  • Lulu Kirschenbaum

    Limonero
    Argentina
    2020 jury member

  • Odile Josselin

    Pastel
    Belgium
    2020 jury member

  • Simon de Jocas

    Éditions les 400 coups
    Canada
    2020 jury member

  • Marzia Corraini

    Corraini Edizioni
    Italy
    2020 jury member

  • Mónica Bergna

    Alboroto Ediciones
    Mexico
    2020 jury member

  • Svein Storksen

    Magikon Forlag
    Norway
    2020 jury member

  • Saskia Heintz

    Carl Hanser Verlag
    Germany
    2020 jury member

  • Andrew Rushton

    Nordsüd Verlag
    Switzerland
    2020 jury member

  • Isabel Minhós Martins

    Planeta Tangerina
    Portugal
    2020 jury member

  • Arianna Squilloni

    A Buen Paso
    Spain
    2020 jury member

  • Erik Titusson

    Lilla Piratförlaget
    Sweden
    2020 jury member

  • Mrs Tang Ling

    Jieli Publishing House
    China
    2023 jury member

  • 2020 Showcase Presentation

    dPICTUS
    Hosted by Sam McCullen
    Featuring the 2020 jury members


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

Photos from the Bologna Children's Book Fair 2024

Photos by Theodore Bauthier (@b.c.theodore)


Photos from the Bologna Children's Book Fair 2023

Photos by Theodore Bauthier (@b.c.theodore)


Photos from the Bologna Children's Book Fair 2022

Photos by Sam McCullen


Photos from the Frankfurt Book Fair 2019

Photos by Theodore Bauthier (@b.c.theodore)


Illustration by Kitty Crowther

Illustration by Kitty Crowther

The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase 6 is open for entries!

Enter The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase 6
The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase

About the showcase


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

The Unpublished Picturebook Showcases 2 and 3 (2020–2021) were a little different. Because of Covid-19, we couldn’t host physical book fair showcases, so instead we presented the selected projects online, on the dPICTUS platform.

At the Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2022, we were finally able to bring together the selected projects from the previous years for a physical showcase. We arranged sessions with publishers from the jury and selected artists, talking about the projects and sharing valuable feedback.

In 2023, we had our busiest and most energising showcase to date. More than 40 of the selected artists from the 4th edition came to Bologna, and they brought so much energy and talent to our stand. Picturebook artists Kitty Crowther and Johanna Schaible hand-painted the walls of our stand and we arranged group sessions with the selected artists and publishers from the jury. We were busy all week and there was a wonderful energy in the air!

We’re now gearing up for Bologna 2024, where another 40+ selected artists will be joining us. We can’t wait!

Since launching The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase, more than 80 of the selected picturebook projects have so far been acquired by publishers around the world, and many of the artists have been approached by publishers and agents, interested in their work.

The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase 6 will be presented at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2025. At the fair, we’ll once again be arranging networking sessions between the selected artists and top picturebook publishers. The selected projects for the 6th showcase will also be presented 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.

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.
    • Page 1 of your PDF should be a mockup of the front cover, followed by double-page spreads and supporting material if necessary. Maximum file size: 40MB.
  • Step 3: Pay the €55 application fee via PayPal.
    • You’ll receive details of how to pay after submitting the application form. 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.

Deadline

We’ll need to receive the application form, PDF file and application fee by 23:59 (UTC) on 14 July 2024.


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

A large jury of 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 final showcase. The successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified by email in December 2024.


The showcase

The selected projects will be showcased at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2025 and 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


Additional notes

  • You’re welcome to submit your project to other competitions while it’s under consideration/part of The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase 6.
  • You’re welcome to submit your unpublished project to publishers while it’s under consideration/part of The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase 6. But if your project is acquired by a publisher before 14 July 2024, 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 selected projects will be showcased at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2025 and 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

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?

In our previous 5 showcases, 48, 82, 84, 94 and 78 of the 350–500+ submitted projects received enough jury votes to go through to the final showcases. 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 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 45 top international picturebook publishers, which you can see listed here. On the 2024 jury will be many of the publishers who took part last year, plus some new ones.

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 so many submitted projects; the selection process is already extremely time-consuming. However, we may gather general feedback we receive from the publishers, and make this available to 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 (14 July 2024), that’s fine.

Why is there an application fee?

The 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 2025, 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 December 2024, 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 14 July 2024, 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 showcase?

If your project is acquired by a publisher, it will remain in the online showcase. But we’ll add a note/badge to say that your project has been acquired. For the physical showcase at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, we’ll add a “project acquired” sticker to the cover of the book. In previous editions of The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase where we presented recently-acquired projects, it led to international publishers acquiring the rights to publish the books in other languages.


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