Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Narrative Art Award


2019 SCBWI Narrative Art Award Winner MIRKA HOKKANEN











A note from the judges:

We chose Mirka’s surprising and unexpected journey for its unique interpretation of the assignment. It provides a narrative sequence with a clear range of mood and emotion that takes us on a journey full of discovery, with humor, to a satisfying and surprising conclusion. Through composition and point of view, the visual energy and focal point of each piece progresses from inward and quiet to unfocused and kinetic to outward and open—successfully showing the scope of a narrative journey in three images.

You can see more of Mirka Hokkanen’s art here. Congratulations, Mirka!

Check out the 2019 Online Gallery of Submissions.


About the SCBWI Narrative Art Award
Each year, a rotating panel of judges will provide an assignment and will judge the submissions. The theme and specific assignment will change year to year, but the general goal will be to show sequence and narrative. The prize is an all-expense-paid trip to the SCBWI New York Winter Conference. The winning illustrations will be displayed during the New York Portfolio Showcase (in conjunction with the conference). We will also have an online gallery displaying the submissions to the award for any member who submitted to the award and wants to participate.

2019 SCBWI Narrative Art Award
2019 is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission’s moon landing. In recognition of this iconic event, the 2019 assignment is to submit a narrative sequence involving a ground-breaking journey, whether historical, personal, or imagined. 
– The submission will consist of three sequential images, with or without text.

– Your art style and visual story must be appropriate for one of these two specific audiences/book genres (Choose one):

                Full color, intended for a picture book for 4 to 7-year-olds
                – OR –
                Black and white, intended for a Middle Grade book for 8 to 11-year-olds
The judges will look for images that tell a visual story with clarity and nuance. The images should reflect a range and progression of mood and emotion. The storytelling qualities of the submission will be considered, as will the effectiveness of the design and composition of the image and any included text.
The prize is an all-expense-paid trip to the SCBWI New York Winter Conference. The winning illustrations will be displayed during the New York Portfolio Showcase (in conjunction with the conference).
How to submit 

– You must be a current SCBWI member to submit to this award.
– Deadline: Submissions are due by midnight, PST, October 15, 2019. (The winner will be announced November 15, 2019)
– Email one pdf with each image on a separate page to (The pdf should be three pages long)
– Title the pdf as follows: last name_first name.pdf (e.g. baker_sarah.pdf).


Optional online gallery

The online gallery is not part of the award judging, it is a place for the public to view the submissions. If you want your submission to the Narrative Art Award included in the online gallery, email one of the three images of your submission to no later than October 15, 2019. The Gallery will go live November 15.

– The subject of your email should be “Narrative Art Award”
– Your image should be saved as a web-ready jpeg (save it at 72 dpi).
– Save your jpeg as your last and first name. Example: baker_sarah.jpg
– Include the following information in your email, in this order:

1.     First and Last Name
2.     Medium the piece was done in
3.     Your website or blog address
4.     SCBWI member since____(fill in the year)
Please note: Each member may only submit one image to the online gallery. Due to the volume of submissions, any submissions not following these guidelines will not be posted. YOU MUST BE A MEMBER OF SCBWI TO BE POSTED. Participation in the online gallery is optional and the submission process to the award and the online gallery are separate.
– Is the competition open to everyone – published and prepublished?
Yes! This is open to anyone who is a current SCBWI member, whether you are published or prepublished.
– Does the story need to be an original work of fiction?
The story you use can be original or from the public domain.
For other questions about the SCBWI Narrative Art Award, write to