Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Judges’ Comments & Statistics

We asked each of our esteemed judges for a few words about the submitted works and this is what they had to say:


Cecilia Yung (Board Member and Executive Art Director and Vice President at Penguin Books for Young Readers)
First, congratulations to everyone who participated. It is clear from the impressive range of medium, styles and content that we have a varied and vibrant pool of talent represented in this gallery. Many submissions caught my eye by their sheer artistry: the skilled execution, the strong compositions and striking palette. The top contenders stood out for the story they tell and the powerful response they elicit in the viewer. Whether they chose to highlight the drama, mystery, anticipation, anxiety or humor of the moment, these pieces were particularly effective in capturing the mood and emotion of the scene. Well done!


Susan Eaddy (Mid South – Regional Advisor & Team Bologna Member)
I was so impressed with the overall quality of the work. The things that I looked for in this order were story, character, & setting. If the work had all of that going for it, then I could hone in on the craft, how well the artist used the medium, composed the picture and/or used interesting perspective or lighting or palette to enhance the drama of the storytelling. If you made it to the final 25 give yourself a hand! The level of talent in this short list is outstanding and any one of these could have ended up in the top three.

Congratulations to ALL who entered. The immense talent found in these SCBWI entries keeps the bar high, and you deserve kudos for challenging yourself to meet it.


David Liew (Singapore – Regional Advisor & Illustrator)
What amazed me was the each time I thought I’ve found a new favourite illustration, another one would appear on the screen.  I guess it was a bittersweet situation. The galaxy of talent and wonderful visual storytelling was an amazing journey for me – tinged with the minor sting of having the difficult task to compare one against another.  If there was any one wish I had for the BIG entries, it would be the chance to see the rest of their stories.  Book illustrators aren’t merely artists who decorate the text, they’re storytellers themselves.  The selection for the BIG will radiate with this narrative quality.

It has been a great honour to have been involved in this year’s BIG.  Congratulations to those whose work will be a the gallery.  If I should be asked to judge again for the next gallery, I’m more than happy to say yes (especially since I have since bought a nice yoga mat to cushion my being floored)



THE 2018 BiG Statistics

3 judges — Illustrator Co-ordinator, Illustrator, Art Director (details above)


391 entries from 17 countries with membership being
114 PAL
167 Associate, and
110 Full

and chose:

25 entries for the shortlist which hailed from 17 Regions (3 Countries)
1 x Indonesia
1 x Canada
23 x USA

        and judged again to uncover:

10 finalists hailing from 3 Regions (3 Countries)
1 x Indonesia
2 x Canada
7 x USA

and from these they chose:

2 Honours:
Nakamura Toshiki (Canada West)
Hanakata Felia (Indonesia)

1 Winner:
Alexander Rowe (USA – Rocky Mountain)