Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators


The Tomie dePaola Illustrator Award is given annually to an illustrator of promise chosen by Tomie himself. 
The award consists of full tuition, transportation and accommodations to the New York Winter Conference held in Manhattan. 
The winning piece of art will be featured at the Portfolio Showcase at the annual winter conference in New York. About Tomie dePaola



Announcing the Winners of the 2017 Tomie dePaola Award!



Katya Tabakh


From Tomie:
Katya’s entry/illustration stood out immediately. I “care” about this little girl. I want to know her story, where she is, more about her.
A small caveat: I wish the windows were a little bit more “windows” than “specks” of color. A very small caveat.



Stephen Macquignon


From Tomie:
What a very nice surprise when I turned over this illustration and recognized Stephen’s name. I remembered his work from previous assignments, and we’ve met at the New York Conference.
In his piece, he’s taken his sketchy line and colored wash to a new level especially in his self-portrait. The mood, the body language and the hidden face are very moving to the viewer.
Again, I “want” to know more: What’s going on, can I help? I’m interested!
Again, a small critique. I wish more care was taken with the background and the left front of the image. I read “shirts – maybe” for the background, but still, “What is that on the bottom left?”
Great job, Stephen. Keep it up. You’re on to something.



Rebecca Hirsch


From Tomie:
This was the happiest image (for me) in all of the entries. I love the body language, the economy of composition. It tells a story and I’m interested, again, in knowing more about this child. I only wonder how much Rebecca looks like this child. Is it possible to make this little girl a bit more “particular” and not so generic?



Lisa Cinelli

Lisa & Katie Tomie Contest 2017 sample

From Tomie:
Lisa has a very distinct and mature style. I recognized her image right off the bat. She’s been in the top tier often.
I have one suggestion. I’d love to see a group of children, different ethnicities – male and female – to see if Lisa can show me versatility.
Always a good job, Lisa!


The Online Gallery of the Tomie dePaola Award Submissions is now live! Click here to view.


This will be the final year of the Tomie dePaola Award. SCBWI would like to thank Tomie dePaola for creating his award, and for generously giving his time and energy assigning and judging the award for many years. Starting in 2017, the Tomie dePaola award will become the SCBWI Narrative Art Award. A rotating panel of judges from the SCBWI Board of Advisors will provide an assignment and will judge the submissions each year. The assignment will require three images, in the format of panels, to show sequence and narrative. The theme and specific assignment will change each year. The prize will continue to be a trip to the SCBWI New York Winter conference, with tuition, travel and hotel included. The winning piece will be displayed during the New York VIP Party and Portfolio Showcase. We will also continue to have an online gallery displaying the submissions to the award for anyone who wants to participate. The first assignment of the Narrative Art Award will be announced in July 2017, submissions will be due in September, and the winner will be announced in November. The winner will attend the SCBWI 2018 Winter Conference.

The SCBWI Narrative Art Award