First Look Submission

What is First Look?

During this illustrator’s equivalent to First Pages, publishing professionals comment “cold'' on submitted images shared on screen. These immediate thoughts and reactions can include notes about mood, setting, and character. This mimics an illustrator’s sample work arriving unsolicited on a professional’s desk.

All Illustrators attending the 2024 Fall Conference are encouraged to participate/attend! The work is shown anonymously, just as First Pages are presented anonymously, so there are no worries about being “called out” or put on the spot. The professionals are supportive, but we do ask them to be honest, and if something about the piece does not work for the market, we hope they will point it out and offer constructive criticism. This is a valuable opportunity to get inside the head of publishing professionals. So don’t be shy! 

The moderator gives each illustration a number and compiles the images at random into a slide presentation to be shown on the screen. We hope to make it through all the submissions in the First Look session, but if we don’t, having them appear at random ensures that each submission has an equal chance of being seen. Even if your image does not get shown, hearing a publishing professional’s reaction to another illustrator’s image is still valuable.



Sean McCarthy


Tracy Shaw

Format for submission

  • JPG or PDF format only
  • RGB color mode
  • 8.5” x 11” (either vertically or horizontally) at 100%
  • SCAN at 300 dpi
  • Signature must NOT be visible: crop or mask out
  • PRO TIP: Choose a different image for your First Look piece than what you use on your Illustrator Postcard.

Please note: Artwork will be viewed as part of a slide presentation. The images will be sized and compiled into slides, with no other adjustments. Be aware that the viewing environment may affect the relative intensity of color and/or sharpness of detail, but that this is an unavoidable consequence of the medium and one that the art director will take into account when commenting on your work.

Deadline to submit: Sept 1st, 2024

  • One illustration per person
  • Send image as an email ATTACHMENT to Ashley Belote by September 1st, 2024.
  • Include FIRST LOOK in the subject line
  • You will receive an email confirmation when your submission is received


Contact Ashley Belote if you have any questions about First Look.

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