Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Illustrators’ Intensive Assignment 2018


ASSIGNMENT: Finding the Story


PROMPT WORDS: summer, city


GOAL: Create one (or a sequence of two or three) narrative illustration that tells a story about SUMMER and CITY.



Collect visual references. These can be sketches from life, snippets from books, snatches of conversation, scraps of fabric . . . your imagination is your limit!



  • Something personal
  • Something observed
  • Something unexpected
  • Something found
  • Something sensory (smell, texture, sound)
  • Add one secret ingredient (surprise visitors from Mars? a mysterious shipment from Antarctica?)


Curate the material. Examine your visual references to see how they could contribute to the narrative of your illustration and how they support your mood and your point of view. Find unexpected ways to use them in your work. Let them inspire and inform your piece.


Create one (or a sequence of two or three) narrative illustration incorporating your visual references to tell an imaginative and original story about SUMMER and CITY from the point of view of a 6-year-old child.


Keep in mind the narrative elements:

Who, when, how, what, why?

Action, reaction, and interaction!


Please note: Include a mood board of your references next to your illustration (both your illustration and your mood board side-by-side in one jpg)


ELIGIBILITY: You may only submit an assignment if you are currently registered for the 2018 Summer Illustrators’ Intensive.



  • Please send the file as a jpg
  • Send the jpg as an attachment to (please do not send links, only attachments)
  • The title of the file must be structured as follows: first name_last name.jpg
  • Do not include titles of the pieces, only this naming convention
  • Do not put your name on the image (only in the file name)
  • The subject line of your email must be structured as follows:  Illustrators Intensive Assignment


DUE: July 2, 2018 by 5pm Pacific Standard Time


DISCUSSION: On the day of the Illustrators Intensive, a panel of publishing professionals will review a selection of submissions from the assignment and discuss the story potential in the references and the illustration.