Macmillan Children’s Books is delighted to announce the winners of The Macmillan Prize for Illustration 2018. It was an exceptional year for the competition, with over 250 submissions from 44 different Universities and Colleges, with winning entries from student alumni from the Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University and Kingston School of Art at Kingston University London.

First prize has been awarded to MarĂ­a J. Guarda (Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University) for her entry ‘Paloma Flew’. The second and third prizes were awarded respectively to Soojin Kwak for ‘Annie the Hatmaker’ (Kingston School of Art) and Marina Ruiz for ‘Your Home, My Home’ (Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University).

Chris Inns, Chair of Judges and Art and Design Director at Macmillan Children’s Books, said: “This year’s winner, ‘Paloma Flew’ by Maria J. Guarda is a story of a family in exile seen through the eyes of a young girl. Out of a strong field the judges chose this entry due to the beautifully observed representation of a family struggling with a life away from their own country. Maria’s images have the ability to breathe life into the characters and connect emotionally with the audience. The way the family interact, their gestures and feelings are captured sensitively by Maria’s fluid colour washes and intricate line-work.”

Paloma-Flew-Maria-J-Guarda

The Macmillan Prize For Illustration was established over 30 years ago by Macmillan Children’s Books in order to stimulate new work from young illustrators in art schools, and to help them take the first steps in their professional lives. This coveted award has discovered such talent as Emily Gravett, Lucy Cousins, Ross Collins, Gemma Merino, Bethan Woollvin and Morag Hood amongst many others.

Inns added: “It is refreshing and energising to see the new wave of talent in this year’s Macmillan Prize for Illustration. The creativity of the students is inspiring and the hard work that goes into creating their entries is impressive. I would like to thank both the tutors for supporting our prize and our excellent judges for giving up their time and using their expertise to help choose our winners.”

The 2019 judging panel was made up of renowned author/illustrators Catherine Rayner and Ben Mantle; The Alligator’s Mouth’s Margaret Wallace-Jones; Chair of the Youth Libraries Group and Reading Development and Children's Book Consultant, Jake Hope; Publisher for Two Hoots, Suzanne Carnell; Editorial Director 0-6 MCB, Hannah Ray; and Chair of Judges, Chris Inns, Art and Design Director at Macmillan Children’s Books.

Paloma-Flew-Maria-J-Guarda

Margaret Wallace-Jones said that she loved ‘Paloma Flew’ for “it’s warmth, humanity, hope and excellent storytelling”, with Ben Mantle adding that “it was a very difficult process to narrow down the hundreds of submissions, which were all incredibly impressive and very inspiring, and the three winning entries show just how strong and diverse the future of children’s illustration is.” This year’s YLG Chair Jake Hope agreed, saying “it is exciting to think of the swathes of new and upcoming talent in the arena and that the exhibition showcases.”

The winning and highly-commended artwork will be on display to the public at the Coningsby Gallery in London from Tuesday 19th June - Friday 22nd June.