The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) open doors for children’s books to participate in the fifth edition of the Sharjah Exhibition for Children Book’s Illustrations, which will be held as a part of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF), taking place from 20 until 30 April 2015 at the Expo Centre in Sharjah.
The organising committee will accept submissions from illustrators from around the world until 15 January, 2016. Winners will receive cash prizes, with the first winner receiving $8000, while the second one will receive $6000, and the third $4000, plus three incentive prizes worth $1000 each.
Manager of Fairs and Festivals at Sharjah Book Authority, Hind Abdullah Lenaid, said, “Organising this exhibition for the fifth consecutive year, which is the largest one of its kind in the Middle East and the Arab world, is in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to positively influence children’s interest in reading books from all genres in order to foster their curiosity in culture and literature. This vision is clearly manifested in His Highnesses’ directives to consistently host a high standard of children’s cultural events and literary festival due to its essential role in raising our children properly so that they become positive contributing members of society.”
Hind Lenaid explained the requirements of the exhibition, dedicated to showcasing the illustrations designed keeping in mind children of all ages. She said, “In order to ensure we attract the best pieces of art in the field of children’s literature, the organising committee has set some terms and conditions for participation. The most important one asks that all submissions are original and belong to a single book. Each participant may submit between 3-6 pieces of illustrations, which should not exceed 40 cm in length.”
She added, that “Illustrators have complete liberty to use any colours, materials, techniques and may also choose the theme of their illustrations.”
Submissions must be in jpg format and should be emailed to [email protected], or may also be uploaded on a CD and sent to SBA’s postal address. She pointed out that illustrators must enclose a 50-word biography in both English and Arabic with their personal information and a brief description of their best works, achievements and awards.
All submissions will be evaluated by a highly qualified international committee, ensuring that each piece of work is judged objectively and a fair decision is reached.
Hind Lenaid said “The participants will gain benefits that will extend beyond showcasing their artwork. The exhibition, which has an international reputation, will create a strong platform that helps connect illustrators with one another and with publishers of children’s books from across the world. Every illustrator’s biography and contact information (email and phone number) will be displayed alongside their work.”
In previous editions of the exhibition, diverse pieces of artwork with an array of styles and techniques were submitted that created a rich environment for illustrators and students from art colleges visiting the exhibition to engage in stimulating discussions. Artworks in previous editions were also reflective of the artist’s ability to interpret ideas, values, and traditions.
This year’s edition is expected to receive a high number of entries, including works that are more attractive to children, due to the exhibition’s tremendous success in previous years. The previous four editions of the exhibition attracted more than 1,500 illustrators from 40 countries.
The Sharjah Exhibition for Children’s Book Illustrations was launched in 2012 with the support of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to highlight and recognise the distinguished illustrations seen in children’s books.
The exhibition, which is among the first ones on an international level for professional children’s book illustrators, helps develop visual taste among children and professionals in the industry by providing them first hand exposure to the products of those partaking in the exhibition.