Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Narrative Art Award


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.




Congratulations to the 2021 winner, Druscilla Santiago!


Click HERE to view past NAA winners and galleries.


2021 Narrative Art Award 

Submit a narrative sequence based on the theme, “Be careful what you wish for. 


  • The submission will consist of either three or four images, 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

Submissions close on October 21, 2021.

Click HERE to submit.

Submit one PDF of your images. (Maximum file size 20 MB)

You may also submit one image (PNG or JPG) to be included in the Narrative Art Award Gallery.


Failure to follow these guidelines will result in exclusion from the online gallery. For questions, email




The judges will look for images that tell a visual story or incident with clarity and nuance. The images should reflect a range and progression of mood and emotion. The narrative qualities of the submission will be considered, as will the effectiveness of the design and composition of the image. Whether you choose to submit three images or four images will not factor into the judging.




The prize is free tuition to the Virtual SCBWI Winter Conference. The winning illustrations will be displayed during the online Portfolio Showcase (in conjunction with the conference), and the winner will be acknowledged during the live awards ceremony at the Winter Conference, as well as on social media. 




  • You must be a current SCBWI member to submit. 
  • Submissions due from September 20 – October 20, 2021. Deadline is midnight, PST, October 20, 2021. (The winner will be announced on November 20, 2021.)
  • Title the PDF as follows: last name_first name.pdf (e.g. baker_sarah.pdf)
  • Submit your PDF through the designated award portal HERE. (You must be logged in to your SCBWI account.)


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, you will have the option to submit one of the three images, as a jpg, in your member home along with the actual pdf submission.


  • Your image should be saved as a web-ready .jpeg (save it at 72 DPI).
  • Save your .jpeg as your last and first name (e.g. baker_sarah.jpg). 




Q. Is the competition open to everyone – published and pre-published?

A. Yes! This is open to anyone who is a current SCBWI member, whether you are published or pre-published. 

Q. Does the story need to be my original idea? 

A. The images you draw can either be based on a story or incident of your own invention, or from the public domain. 

Q. Do the three images have to tell a complete story? 

A. No, your three images can portray a smaller moment within a bigger story. 


For other questions about the SCBWI Narrative Art Award, please email