V&A Illustration Awards

The V&A Illustration Awards were established in 1972 and have since become the UK’s most prestigious annual illustration competition. Free to enter, the Awards celebrate excellence in student illustration and three categories of contemporary practice: book cover design, book illustration and illustrated journalism.

Each winner receives £3,000 and the overall winner of the competition is awarded the Moira Gemmill Illustrator of the Year Prize of an additional £5,000. The student runner-up receives £2,000. Award winners and the student shortlist feature in a display at the museum each year.

The Awards are generously supported by the Enid Linder Foundation and the Moira Gemmill Memorial fund.

Enter the Awards

Enter the Awards

Entry to the V&A Illustration Awards has now closed.

The shortlist will be announced in April 2020. You can view this year's remarkable entries in our online gallery.

Wishing all entrants the best of luck!

The 2020 judges:

Published categories
Bonnie Greer, playwright, novelist, critic and broadcaster
Ren Renwick, CEO of Association of Illustrators (AOI)
Dr Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A

Student category
Sheri Gee, Art Director at The Folio Society
Yehrin Tong, Illustrator and past V&A Illustration Awards winner

Contact: villa@vam.ac.uk

History of the Awards

History of the Awards

The V&A has been running an illustration competition since 1972 when the Francis Williams Awards were presented for the best illustrated books. In 2004 new categories were introduced for Book Cover Design and for Editorial Illustration, covering illustration in newspapers, magazines and comics. Editorial Illustration has recently been renamed Illustrated Journalism. The student category was created in 2005, with a runner-up prize introduced in 2009.

View a selection of winning works 1972 – 2019



The V&A Illustration Awards blog brings you the latest updates throughout the year including the shortlist and winner announcements. You can also hear from our previous winners and receive words of advice from former judges.

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Background image: Student Illustrator of the Year 2019 shortlist – Harry Woodgate for Invisible Cities (University of Hertfordshire)