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The "A Way with Illustrations" Competition

Francisco Fonseca Owl

Bring the brush to our words

💙 We’re giving one lucky illustrator the opportunity of a lifetime 💛

We've got "A Way with Words".

Now we need someone who has a way with illustrations. Could it be you?!

We're looking for a new illustrator for our latest children's book manuscript, Stacy Burch's "A Way with Words" - and we're searching the world for the talented guy or girl to join our brand and feature among some of the world's most talented illustrators, including Francisco Fonseca, Stella Mongodi, and Alvin Ahdi, just to name a few. 

Follow the steps below to see how you can join us to become the illustrator for our next stunning book. 

Follow the steps below to find out more.

1. Read the brief 

To be eligible to enter the competition, you'll need to create 1 x A4 landscape spread that fits this brief. 

2. Create your masterpiece

What can you come up with? We can't wait to see! Please note that we want to see your unique style. You can illustrate your masterpiece in any way that suits you, we have published books in everything from traditional watercolour to modern art created on Procreate. 

The medium doesn't matter, but the result do. It has to catch our eye! 

3. Submit your art

Our editorial and design team will be madly refreshing their screens waiting for your masterpiece.

Please send (or scan) your submission to us on or before Sunday 12 September for consideration (we recommend We Transfer as the best way to send your piece.)

4. Shortlist announced

Our editorial team will announce the three strongest entries, and from there, the world will vote. We’ll invite our community to participate, but...

... If you’re shortlisted, it’s over to you to ensure you win! Pitch your local newspaper, make a viral video, do whatever you need to do to ensure yours is the winning entry.

5. Winner announced

The artist with the most votes will be commissioned.

The illustrator will be offered a full contract, with AUD $500 prize money and payment of their nominated fee for work completed. 

Why enter?

Delight children worldwide

Delight in seeing thousands of children marvel over your work, worldwide. 

Partner with a sustainable + successful publisher

As an award-winning, sustainable global publisher, you'll be joining the ranks of a company who cares and gives back. 

Prize money + project fee

The winner will receive AUD $500 in prize money, as well as the opportunity to illustrate the entire book for an agreed fee.

Why are we doing this?

At Ethicool, we’re passionate about two things: the future of the planet; and our community. We’re also a wee bit sick of the totally-non-transparent decision making process that occurs in editors’ back offices. So we thought it was high time that the people who will ultimately cherish your book - the community - decided on which illustrations they’d like to see the most.

The finer details

1. Who can enter?

Anyone! We encourage illustrators from diverse backgrounds to enter. Please note that a decent grasp of English is required (or access to a translator) as the manuscript is written in English. 

2. When does the competition open and close?

Competition dates below: 

  • Competition opens: 9:00pm (GMT+10) Thursday 5 August
  • Competition closes: Midnight Sunday 12 September
  • Shortlist announced: 9:00pm Wednesday 15 September
  • Voting opens: 9:00am Monday 20 September
  • Voting closes: Midnight Saturday 25 September
  • Winner announced: 9:00pm Sunday 26 September
  • Late entries will not be accepted, so please submit in time.

    Book release date: Early 2022.

    3. How do I enter?

    Create your masterpiece, and send it through to with the title "A Way with Illustrations Competition - <Your Name>."

    4. Can I enter more than once?

    Unfortunately, no. You can only make one entry, so make sure it counts!

    5. What prize money and project free will you offer the winner?

    The winner will receive AUD $500 in prize money. 

    The manuscript will be shared with the shortlisted illustrators, and they'll be asked to provide a quote for illustrating the entire book. The fee will be determined based on their quote. 

    7. Are there any tips for what you’d like to see?

    We'd like to see your unique style! But beyond that, we've found that the illustrations that children love most are colourful, detailed, and invoke a sense of wonder and awe. 

    There are more details on this in the brief. 

    8. I made the shortlist! What should I do to ensure I’m the winner?

    CONGRATULATIONS! Get support behind your entry by creating a video, pitching your local newspaper, getting a book blogger to chat to you … the world is your oyster. The more votes you get, the most likely you’ll win!

    9. Will you share details of the runners up, or just the winner?

    We hate letting illustrators down and it will be hard enough that we have to do this, so no, we won’t be making this public.

    10. If I'm the winner, how long will I have to complete the illustrations for the book? 

    The book's release is slated for February 2022, so in order to meet that deadline, we need all illustrations by the end of November 2021. You need to ensure you have the availability/capacity to complete them by that time. The book is a 32 pages long.