The Golden Pinwheel Young Illustrators Competition and the Astra International Picture Book Writing Contest recently announced a strategic cooperation agreement aiming at the joint organisation of a new prize—the "Golden Pinwheel Astra Award". Starting from this year, the winner of this newly launched distinction will receive a USD 5,000 cash prize and be offered a publishing contract to illustrate one of the winning stories of the Astra International Picture Book Writing Contest. This initiative aims to promote collaboration and publication among illustrators and writers from different horizons.
Imagination and childlike ingenuity are the essences of children's bookmaking. Over the years, the Golden Pinwheel Young Illustrators Competition has built its spirit on a strong taste for visual innovation aiming to stimulate the imagination of children and adults alike. It aims to provide a stage for global creators interested in exploring imaginative worlds interesting and attractive to children.
In the world of illustration, creative freedom is a means to give life to beautiful reading experiences through vibrant pictures. At the same time, children's contents rely on the quality of their text. Captivating and compelling stories woven with clever and playful words have an important role in conveying the fun and power of reading to children.
Created in 2015, Golden Pinwheel has been providing a venue for emerging illustrators to showcase their talent. It aims to build bridges between them and children's publishers, both locally and globally. In so doing, it has given fresh life to China's children's book industry. Every year, an international jury formed by well-known publishing professionals of different backgrounds is tasked with determining the winners of the Golden Pinwheel Grand Awards (given respectively to a Chinese and an overseas illustrator) and Special Mentions. Supported by the Shanghai Press and Publication Administration, the competition has become one of the most eye-catching events organised by the Fair. In 2020, it received over 2,200 submissions from illustrators hailing from 77 countries and territories.
The Astra International Picture Book Writing Contest is a unique competition organised by Astra Publishing House US, minedition Switzerland, minedition France, and Thinkingdom China. Set up specially for picture book writers, the competition was created to foster literary excellence in books for young children, and promote international cooperation and understanding through picture books.
‘The creation of the Golden Pinwheel Astra Award takes advantage of the favourable conditions offered children's book publishing, and creates beneficial synergies between both programmes’, says Donna Chai, General Manager of Ronbo BolognaFiere Shanghai Ltd, which organises the China Shanghai International Children's Book Fair. ‘Connecting talented young illustrators with award-winning storytellers will help bring more quality books to children from all over the world. The award will also be a significant tool to support and endorse the progress of emerging authors and illustrators.’
‘The Astra International Picture Book Writing Contest is unique in several ways,’ says Leonard S. Marcus, Jury President. ‘The competition is open to all writers regardless of their publishing history or nationality. All types of picture book manuscripts are eligible: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. The contest is designed to nurture the writing of great picture books by offering significant cash prizes to the winners as well as the offer of publication, for the Gold Award winner in three or more languages. By showcasing excellence in the art of picture book writing, we also aim to inspire writers around the globe to explore the picture book text as an art form and to raise the quality of these deceptively simple books for the benefit of children everywhere,” says Leonard S. Marcus, Jury President.
The Golden Pinwheel Astra Award will run on a yearly basis and be open to all 50 finalist illustrators of the Golden Pinwheel Young Illustrators Competition from the ongoing edition. An independent panel of judges appointed by the sponsors of the Astra International Picture Book Writing Contest will then select one of these finalists as the winner of a cash reward offered by the Astra International Picture Book Writing Contest sponsors. The Award also encompasses a publishing contract for the illustration of at least one winning story of the Astra International Picture Book Writing Contest. The publishing contract will be signed between the sponsors of the Astra International Picture Book Writing Contest and the winner. As a consortium of international publishers, the sponsors of the Astra International Picture Book Writing Contest will consider the picture book for its publication in several languages, including Chinese, English, German and French.
Through their joint efforts, the Golden Pinwheel Young Illustrators Competition and the Astra International Picture Book Writing Contest sponsors are starting a fresh partnership to instil a burst of energy into the children’s publishing industry. With the strong support of all parties, the Golden Pinwheel Astra Award will have positive and far-reaching effects, including that of offering exposure to outstanding young creators, helping build a prosperous and diverse picture book publishing environment, improving the overall quality of picture book production, and promoting the reading of picture book among children.
The 2021 Golden Pinwheel Illustrator Competition is now open to submissions and will close on 28 June. Professional illustrators, art students and illustration enthusiasts aged 16 to 39 can enter the contest free of charge, regardless of nationality. The finalists will be announced in September, while the award winners, including that of the Golden Pinwheel Astra Award, will be announced later this year during the 9th Shanghai International Children's Book Fair, which will be held from 19 to 21 November.
About China Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair
Launched in 2013, China Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair (CCBF) has quickly become an important event for the global publishing industry. It is the only fair fully dedicated to books and specific contents for children aged from 0 to 16 in Asia Pacific.
Over eight editions, CCBF has thrived to accomplishing its motto—Embracing the Future. Not only is the fair a leading copyright hub for children’s books, but it is also a premium platform offering marketing solutions and crossover possibilities for a wide range of industries. CCBF plays an important role in promoting quality children’s literature and encourages reading culture among young children. Since 2018, it has entered into close cooperation with Bologna Children’s Book Fair (BCBF) organised by BolognaFiere. With a history of over 50 years, the BCBF is the largest children’s literature fair in the world. This exciting association also aims to better serve the current strategy of China’s publishing industry—disseminating original content worldwide and bringing the best international books to local readers—also known as the “go global, bring in” policy.
CCBF 2021 will take place on 19–21 November on the ground floor of the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Centre (SWEECC). The fair will cover 25,000 square metres, and we expect over 450 domestic and international exhibitors.
Astra International Picture Book Writing Contest
The Astra International Picture Book Writing Contest is a unique competition organised by Astra Publishing House US, minedition Switzerland, minedition France, and Thinkingdom China, which is open to children’s picture book writers, regardless of their publishing experience or country of residence. Designed to encourage, discover and honour talented writers of texts for picture books for children ages 3-8 from all over the world, the Astra International Picture Book Writing Contest has been created to foster literary excellence in books for young children and promote international cooperation and understanding through picture books. Contest entries may be submitted in English, Chinese, French, Spanish, or German. The contest submission period begins on 22 October 2020 and ends on 30 April, 2021. Additional details about submissions may be found at here.