Sat. Dec 2nd, 2023

The New England Writers’ Centre announced the winners of this year’s New England Illustration Prize for Children’s Picture Book Publishing earlier this week.

Now in its eight year, the New England Illustration Prize attracted a strong field of entries from all over Australia. This year’s theme invited artists and illustrators to imagine and create a colour illustration suitable for a children’s picture book on the theme “Dreaming is a Super Power”. The outstanding imaginative and creative quality of the submissions deeply impressed our judges.

The entrants responded to the theme with work that was touching, fantastical, humorous and relevant.

The winners of the 2023 New England Illustration Prize are:
1st Prize: Elizabeth Misek (NSW)
2nd Prize: Kellie MacFarlane (ACT)
3rd Prize: Anke Noack (VIC)

Elizabeth Misek is an aspiring picture book Author Illustrator from the Hunter Valley and affiliated with the Hunter Writers Centre. Her goal as an illustrator is to enhance the author’s narrative using a range of techniques from primitive elements, scale, movement, colour theory and texture. Her winning image (pictured) is of a ballerina’s dream.

“The heroic ballerina’s dynamic pose seems to leap off the page while the shadowy, offstage dancers add an intriguing element. Dreams often encompass a mix of positive and negative elements, all of which is skillfully captured in this illustration.”

“It’s a beautifully atmospheric piece, particularly notable for the exquisite details in the ballerina—the graceful tilt of the foot and the evocative sense of reaching — as well as the subtly effective use of color.”

All entries were judged anonymously and the awards were chosen based on a score from each judge on artistic merit, how well the art fitted the theme and suitability for children’s book publishing. The winning artwork and the judges’ comments will be published on the New England Writers’ Centre website.

Program Manager Lyn Aspey said the New England Writers’ Centre warmly congratulates all the winners.

“The New England Writers’ Centre wishes to thank our prestigious and thoughtful judges and the generous sponsorship of Dr Sophie Masson, Chair of the New England Writers’ Centre, and Little Pink Dog Books, children’s publisher, for making 2023 another successful year for the Illustration Prize.”

“And finally, a big thank you to all entrants, for once again showcasing the incredible talent and creativity of Australia’s illustrators and deep commitment to children’s art and literature.”

More information about the 2023 Illustration Prize and the winning entries can be found at 2023 New England Illustration Prize.

Like what you’re reading? Support the New England Times to keep providing hyper-local news, for the New England and by the New England, pay wall free. Make a small contribution today.