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2019 Kestin Indigenous Illustrator Award now open for entries

Mon, Dec 03, 2018

Sample spread from Little Bird's Day

Sample spread from the forthcoming 'Little Bird's Day', written by Sally Morgan and illustrated by 2017 Kestin Indigenous Illustrator Award winner, Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr


Magabala Books is offering an Indigenous artist or emerging illustrator the rare and exclusive opportunity to illustrate a children’s picture book by multi award-winning author, Bruce Pascoe. Entries are now open for the Kestin Indigenous Illustrator Award, of which the winner will receive $10,000, a professional mentorship and the opportunity to illustrate Pascoe’s first foray into writing children’s picture books.

Established in 2017, the Kestin Indigenous Illustrator Award is a national biennial award that seeks to identify new talent in the art of children’s picture book illustration. Judges for the award are celebrated illustrators Bronwyn Bancroft, Ann James and Magabala Publisher, Rachel Bin Salleh.

Of his role in the award, Pascoe said he is excited to be involved and support the creative development of emerging Indigenous creators.
“I love to see new people coming into the business of writing and illustration, and it’s a thrill to see new people telling old stories,” he said.
“I’m proud that my story will create an opportunity for someone to learn about illustration and to find their voice as a visual storyteller.”

The 2019 award builds on the success of the inaugural Kestin Illustrator Award, won by Gapuwiyak artist Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr, whose winning illustrations feature in the forthcoming publication Little Bird’s Day by renowned author and illustrator Sally Morgan.

Magabala Publisher, Rachel Bin Salleh said judges for the 2017 award were overwhelmed by the quality and diversity of entries received from around Australia. “It confirmed for us that there are talented Indigenous artists out there who have the interest and potential to become illustrators with the right support,” she said. “We are excited to see what talent this second round will reveal.”

The launch of Little Bird’s Day will coincide with the announcement of the 2019 Kestin Illustrator Award winner at the NSW Children Book Council of Australia’s Professional Development Conference in Sydney on 26 March 2019.

Application details for the Kestin Indigenous Illustrator Award can be found here. Applications close on 28 February 2019.

Over a 30+ year period, Magabala Books has supported Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander storytellers, authors and illustrators to publish more than 270 titles, and built an impressive resume of award-winning works, including Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu. The Kestin Indigenous Illustrator Award expands its unparalleled program of professional development opportunities for Indigenous authors and illustrators.