The Kelpies Prize for Illustration

The 2020 prize has been postponed.

Floris Books has taken the sad decision to cancel the Kelpies Prizes for Writing and Illustration this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the uncertain months that lie ahead. The far-reaching impact of the pandemic means that we will not be able to judge the prizes effectively, hold the ceremony or commit to honouring the prize-packages promised to each winner.

We have emailed all our entrants and entries will be rolled over until next year unless we are asked otherwise. We are looking forward to launching The Kelpies Prizes 2021 later in the year.

2019 Winner

Edinburgh-based illustrator and former teacher Aimee Ferrier was revealed as the winner of the Kelpies Illustration Prize 2019 at an exclusive award-ceremony at Edinburgh International Book Festival on Thursday 15th August. Author and illustrator Catherine Rayner was on hand to open the top-secret envelope and present the winner’s trophy.

Aimee will receive a year of mentoring with the Floris Books design team, as well as a publication deal, £1,000 cash and a ticket to this year’s Picture Hooks conference.

Catherine Rayner and Aimee Ferrier

Aimee Ferrier is an illustrator and former teacher based in Edinburgh. She often uses hand-made textures in her work, which she manipulates digitally. She loves experimenting with non-traditional materials, and can sometimes be found destroying her kitchen with things like shaving foam, Chinese ink and graphite powder.

The judges were swept up in the atmosphere of the Scottish Highlands that Aimee captured in her illustrations, and they were impressed by the variety of interesting compositions and different viewpoints she included in her work. They also appreciated the work involved in both writing and typesetting rhyming text, as they felt it showed a good awareness of the picture book market.

History of the Kelpies Prize for Illustration

The Kelpies Prize for Illustration was launched in 2014 as the Kelpies Design & Illustration Prize. Previously focused on cover design, entrants were asked to submit a complete design for the cover of a Kelpies book. In 2019, we changed the format of the prize to reflect our new aims of nurturing and developing children’s illustrators in Scotland, asking entrants to submit a selection of illustrations suitable for a children’s book as opposed to a cover design. In addition, we introduced an all-new prize package including a year of mentoring with our experienced design team.

Find out about our past winners.