The Folio Society announces Sherlock Holmes as subject for Book Illustration Competition 2018

The game is well and truly afoot as The Book Illustration Competition (BIC) returns this September, giving illustrators (both student and professional) the opportunity to win an exclusive commission from The Folio Society to illustrate a selection of Sherlock Holmes short stories.

Illustration by David McConochie from The Folio Book of Ghost Stories, © David McConochie

Illustration by David McConochie from The Folio Book of Ghost Stories, © David McConochie

A partnership between The Folio Society and House of Illustration, this year’s BIC is open for entries from 19 September 2017 until 17 January 2018.

Now in its eighth year, BIC 2018 asks entrants to create an illustration for each of three short stories – A Scandal in Bohemia, The Man with the Twisted Lip and The Musgrave Ritual – and design a binding for the entire collection.

The longlist will be exhibited online throughout February 2018 and the winner will be revealed at an exclusive ceremony at the House of Illustration, receiving a prestigious commission from The Folio Society worth £5,000 to complete the illustrations for their edition. Five prizes of £500 each will be presented to the other shortlisted entries.

Art Director at The Folio Society and BIC Judge, Sheri Gee, comments on the exciting new test for illustrators: “I’ve been a big fan of Sherlock Holmes stories since school and am really excited to see how the entrants will visualise the famous sleuth. His likeness has been tackled by many illustrators, and indeed casting agents, since publication. Creating a unique Holmes yet staying close to the text will be a challenge.”

Since launching in 2009, the competition has become known for identifying and cultivating the best illustration talent in the UK and overseas. The 2017 winner Darya Shnykina, a student from Moscow, won the opportunity to illustrate The Folio Society edition of Mansfield Park by Jane Austen which will be published in October 2017.

The selected longlist will be available to view on the House of Illustration website from 1 February 2018 where members of the public will be able to vote for their favourite entry.

The annual international competition is open to illustrators over the age of 18, both student and professional, who have not been previously commissioned by The Folio Society. Visit for further details on how to enter.


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