2025 Rules of entry

59th Edition

1 - AIMS

The aims of the Illustrators Exhibition (hereinafter also “the Exhibition”), staged as part of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, organized from 31 March to 3 April 2025 by BolognaFiere S.p.A. in the Bologna trade show grounds, are to bring illustrators and publishers together and to promote illustrators and their work among publishers.



Illustrators of any nationality, provided they were born prior to 31 December 2007, whose artwork is intended for use in children’s books, are eligible to enter the Exhibition, either directly or through schools/courses of art.

Applicants must complete the ENTRY FORM available online.
5 (five) works must be forwarded in digital format following the procedure indicated in Article 3 of these Regulations. Work may be unpublished, or published after 1 January 2023, and may be produced in black and white or colour using any technique (traditional, digital or mixed).
The final sizes of the participating illustrations must meet the requirements of art.8 whatever the technique used.

Artworks that were submitted for previous editions of the Illustrators Exhibition may not be re-entered.

The 5 artworks must be based on the same theme and must be numbered from 1 to 5 on the digital format file in the desired order. The number of artworks (5) is mandatory. Submissions of any other number of works will be rejected.

The artwork submitted must not contain any text that is not an integral part of said artwork.

All published works entered must be accompanied by a declaration bearing the ISBN number, publisher’s name and address.

The participation fee of 22 Euros (+ VAT if due) must be paid as follows in art.6 with the exception of students in possession of a code provided by the art schools/courses they are attending. Entering artwork for selection for the Exhibition requires full acceptance by the applicant of the Regulations hereto.



Registration and upload of artwork files must be entered exclusively on the Bologna Children’s Book Fair website: www.bolognachildrensbookfair.com



Format: jpg or png – max size 5 MB

Resolution: 150 DPI

Winners shall send the files in high resolution.



The Entry Form and file upload function will be available exclusively on the Bologna Children’s Book Fair website www.bolognachildrensbookfair.com

The registration and file upload function will be made available from 2 JULY TO 12 OCTOBER 2024.

All entries must, without exception, be received by 12 OCTOBER 2024. Registrations received after this date will not be included in the selection process.



With the exception of students in possession of a code provided by the art schools/courses they are attending, participation shall be on payment to Archimedia Srl, via delle Industrie, 53/c 45100 ROVIGO (RO), VAT number 01022950297, of a fee of €22 (+ VAT if due).

Once candidates have uploaded their illustrations, the subsequent and last step is electronic payment. Correctly following the procedure and successfully completing payment will generate an e-mail providing candidates with a code, which must be entered in order to complete the application.

On entering the code, confirmation will be given that the application procedure has been correctly followed and allows candidates to complete their application. The system will immediately confirm that the application has been successfully registered.

Archimedia Srl will provide certificates in its own name for VAT purpose.

Participation is free of charge for students, provided they are in possession of the code given them by the art school/course attended (codes will be sent directly to the school/course by BCBF). All those not in possession of a BCBF-supplied code shall be required to pay the participation fee.

On applying, once students have uploaded their illustrations, they should enter the free code in their possession. The system will then confirm that the application has been accepted.

Schools/courses already corresponding with BCBF will receive free codes for their students via e-mail. Each code is unique and may be used only once. However, further codes may be requested by e-mail at: illustratori@bolognafiere.it

Schools/courses that have not received free codes should apply to: illustratori@bolognafiere.it  indicating the number of students they wish to nominate to apply.


7. SHIPMENT OF ORIGINAL WORKS (for the winners selected by the Jury)

To be included in the Illustrators Exhibition that will travel to other countries after the exhibition at the Bologna Children's Book Fair, all winners must send the ORIGINALS of the SELECTED artwork to the address and within the date that will be announced by the Show Office of the Illustrators Exhibition. 

The five works must be exactly the same as the ones sent to the competition, judged and selected by the jury members. Retouching, additions and\or corrections are not allowed before shipment.

If the original artwork is in digital format, printed versions in high quality of all 5 images must be shipped.
Entries may be delivered by express delivery service. For those sending from Italy, illustrations sent by post will also be accepted.

Parcels must be sent to arrive “carriage paid” (i.e.with no charge accruing to the addressee). Any customs duties or delivery charges shall, without exception, be paid by the illustrator selected.
Shipment by express delivery is to be preferred for shipment from non-EU countries. For customs purposes, we recommend indicating a low value of the goods shipped, and that the wording: “illustrations of no commercial value” be written on the forwarding documents.
BolognaFiere shall not be held accountable for the non-arrival or late arrival of artwork, nor for the eventual loss, theft or damage, either of the whole package or of individual artworks contained in the package. Claims for compensatory damages in this respect shall not be accepted.
Artwork received after the deadline given or through channels other than those indicated shall automatically be excluded from the Illustrators Exhibition 2025.



The artwork (i.e., the size of the sheet) must not exceed the following sizes:
50 x 70 cm (or 70 x 50 cm) maximum     
The artwork must be on paper or flexible board, maximum thickness 2 mm. If artwork on stiff backing is received, BolognaFiere shall detach the illustrations at the artist’s risk.

The illustrations must be sent without passe-partout or any other form of mounting. BolognaFiere will, at its own discretion, mount the artwork in keeping with the staging of the Exhibition. The choices made by BolognaFiere may not be challenged in any way.



All works compliant with the entry regulations and uploaded on the Bologna Children’s Book Fair website shall be examined by the international Jury comprising five members (from publishing houses, art schools, museum curators or illustrators) appointed by BolognaFiere. The Jury’s decision shall be final.

The Jury will make a first selection, choosing approximately 300 finalists and then the final selection of the winners whose names will be published on the Bologna Children’s Book Fair website by the end of January 2025.



The finalist illustrators, i.e. those who passed the first stage of the selection process but were not then admitted to the shortlist of winners will automatically receive a code to download a free 4-day admission ticket to the BCBF.
A young illustrator will be chosen by BolognaFiere and Chialab design among the finalists to create the Visual Identity of the Children's Book Fair 2025.
Finally, during the BCBF, the finalists will also have priority access to the Portfolio Reviews organised as part of the Illustrators Survival Corner activities: an opportunity for emerging illustrators to present their portfolios to important publishers, illustration authors, agents and art directors, and to hear opinions and valuable suggestions.

BolognaFiere S.p.A. - reserves the right to select the illustration, to publish it through the aforementioned channel, and to make reproductions, even partial ones. BolognaFiere shall not be held liable for any errors or omissions.

The Illustrators remain the exclusive owners of their works, but recognise to BolognaFiere, free of charge, the non-exclusive right to publish their works on the web and on the social channels of the "Bologna Children's Book Fair" and of its official and authorised partners, also for the general promotional purposes of the Illustrators' Exhibition and of any other initiative linked to the "Bologna Children's Book Fair", also in languages other than Italian, for the duration of three years.

The Illustrators undertake not to make requests for the use in any form of their works by BolognaFiere and/or third-party concessionaires, recognising that, through these actions, BolognaFiere also intends to promote the illustrators who are finalists in the Illustrators Exhibition selection worldwide.



Illustrators under 30 or 35 years of age who have been selected for the 2023 Illustrators Exhibition and who have delivered their artwork in the manner and within the deadlines indicated, shall be automatically entered for two other awards organized by different institutions in partnership with BolognaFiere / Bologna Children’s Book Fair:

-        The "Bologna Children’s Book Fair – Fundación SM International Award for Illustration”. Reserved for illustrators under 35 years of age, the Award will be assigned by an international jury (not including members of the Illustrators Exhibition Jury) and consist of a prize of 15,000.00 Euros paid by Fundaciòn SM, and the assignment to illustrate a children’s book to be published by Grupo SM, Spain. The book will be presented at the subsequent edition of the Book Fair, which will also host a personal exhibition of the winner’s work.
For more details, please refer to the Award Regulations

-        The ARS IN FABULA Grant Award. Sponsored by the school of illustration, ARS IN FABULA, in partnership with BolognaFiere, the grant award is reserved for unpublished illustrators under 30 years of age. The grant shall be awarded by a jury made up of Master course lecturers. The winner will be given the opportunity to attend, free of charge, the ARS IN FABULA – First level Master Degree Course in Illustration for publishing, working on a book project to be assigned by one of the Master course partner publishers.
For more details, please refer to the Grant Award Regulations.

Winners will automatically receive a code to download a free 4-day admission ticket to the BCBF.

Pursuant to Article 6 of Italian Presidential Decree 430 of 26 October 2001, this initiative is not considered a competition or a prize.



Each winner for the Illustrators Exhibition will have two pages in the Illustrators Annual dedicated to him/her in which all or some of the artwork will, at the discretion of BolognaFiere S.p.A., be reproduced, accompanied by a space for biographical and bibliographic notes.

BolognaFiere hereby reserves the right to choose the works to be published in the Illustrators Annual and to make complete or partial reproductions. BolognaFiere may not be held liable for errors or omissions.

While the illustrators remain the sole owners of their artwork, they hereby acknowledge the non-exclusive right of BolognaFiere, entailing no charge, to:

-          reproduce their artwork in the Illustrators Annual and on posters, leaflets and other Exhibition literature as well as on any other support (digital medium, on-line systems), also with the aim of promoting the Exhibition or any other initiative related to the "Bologna Children's Book Fair";

-          publish or republish all or part of the Illustrators Annual in Italian or other languages and to grant these same rights to third parties, wherever in the world, for the duration of ten years.

The illustrators undertake not to advance claims in respect of the reproduction, publication and use in the above-mentioned forms of their artwork by BolognaFiere and/or third parties, hereby acknowledging BolognaFiere’s intention with such action to promote throughout the world the work of the artists featured in the Exhibition.



After the Bologna event, the Illustrators Exhibition will travel to Japan under the curatorship of the Japanese Board on Books for Young People (JBBY), to Korea, curated by CCOC – Content’s Creator of Culture, and to China where it will be curated by Niu Niu Culture. The Illustrators Exhibition may subsequently be transferred to venues in other countries at the discretion of BolognaFiere.
Illustrators hereby undertake to hold harmless BolognaFiere from any and all liability in respect of damage, thefts or loss that the illustrations may sustain while outside Italy as well as on their outward and return journeys.

The Regulations governing the Illustrators Exhibition shall also apply to the exhibitions held outside Italy, the organizers of the exhibitions staged outside Italy being bound by the contractual obligations of the Regulations hereto.
The illustrators included in the Illustrators Exhibition grant the organizers of the various stages of the exhibitions held outside Italy the non-exclusive right entailing no charge to reproduce the artwork selected on posters, leaflets and other Exhibition literature as well as on any other support (digital medium, on-line systems), also for promotional purposes of the Exhibition itself.



All the artwork of the winning illustrators shall be returned to their owners by BolognaFiere or directly by the organizers of the Exhibitions staged outside Italy by the month of June 2027, unless notice has been given of further exhibitions to be held outside Italy. In any event, the artwork included in the 2024 Illustrators Exhibition may not be returned, withdrawn or replaced during the Exhibition and/or during the period of the exhibitions held outside Italy.



Applicants hereby agree to hold harmless BolognaFiere from and against any liability and third-party claims related to the contents of the artwork they have submitted for the Exhibition.
In addition, the artist/school/publisher hereby releases BolognaFiere and the organizers of the exhibitions outside Italy from all liability for damage to submitted works (including theft and fire) incurred during transport, while held at the exhibitions or while being returned.

· 1.        BolognaFiere will, however, take out an insurance policy covering the works selected for the event against damage, fire or theft for the duration of the Exhibition in Bologna. Every artwork shall be insured for a maximum sum of Euros 250.00, which may be increased by the illustrator at his/her request and expense;

· 2.       BolognaFiere shall oblige the organizers staging the Exhibition outside Italy to take out insurance against theft and damage of the artworks during transportation and while held at the exhibition venue.



BolognaFiere may cancel the Exhibition or change the dates thereof. By submitting the application, illustrators accept and acknowledge the Exhibition Regulations and all the rules that BolognaFiere may introduce. Relations between BolognaFiere and the illustrators are governed by Italian law. Any disputes will be subject to the jurisdiction of the Italian courts and to the sole competence of the law court of Bologna.