International competition for an illustrated children's book project. Second edition.

The first edition of the Clairvoyants competition turned out to be a success. The number of entries exceeded our boldest expectations: there were over 520 works submitted – many of them were very intriguing!

We can already enjoy the first fruits of the competition. A Grand Prix by the international jury, Kawalerka (Bachelor’s Pad) by Weronika Przybylska, has been published early this year. A Grand Prix by the jury of the Dwie Siostry Publishing Wieża Babel (Tower of Babel) will be launched in October under the title Ala ma kota. A Ali? (Ala has a cat. And Ali?).  

Three other titles – Zakątki (Corners of the world) by Michalina Rolnik, Okularki (Specs) and Król (King) written by Ewa Madeyska and illustrated by Kasia Matyjaszek, a finalist of the Clairvoyants competition – came to life thanks to the cooperation between Dwie Siostry Publishing and the outstanding participants of the competition.

The most captivating entries have been compiled to create an interactive post-competition exhibition, which has been travelling all over Poland and later on has been published in cooperation with the National Centre for Culture Poland in a book form as an interactive post-competition catalogue

Browse through the catalogue!

Therefore, with yet a greater joy and enthusiasm, we announce the second edition of the international competition for an illustrated children book CLAIRVOYANTS 2016! 

We continue to cherish the ideas and values that had underlain the first edition of the contest: the ambition to awake young artists’ creative potential, the care for an aesthetic and editorial quality of children’s books, the pursuit to determine the highest standards in the field and to support development of Polish children’s books and their position abroad.

The direct aim of the competition is to launch the process of creating beautiful and valuable books for children and to discover talented artists and give them chance to become known on the Polish and international book market.
The competition is open to both newcomers and experienced artists from Poland and abroad, participating individually or in a team. Participants need to be at least 18.
The purpose of the competition is to prepare a project (draft) of an illustrated children book in Polish or in English language. Submitted works should include a script or a storyboard of the whole book, together with 3 finished double spreads and the cover.
Submitted projects will be assessed according to the following criteria: artistic quality of the work, originality, the form which inspires child’s imagination and the content which takes into account child’s sensitivity.
Competition works will be assessed by two independent juries:
1. International jury chaired by Monika Hanulak.
2. The Dwie Siostry Publishing jury chaired by Ewa Stiasny.

Competitors may be awarded with 3 categories of prizes:
1. The main prize of EUR 2,500 and two honourable mentions – by the international jury; 
2. Book publication – by the Dwie Siostry Publishing House jury;
3. Participation of best competing works in the post-competition exhibition.
Works should be submitted between 15 November and 15 December 2016 to the following address:
Dwie Siostry Publishing House
al. 3 Maja 2 m. 183
00-391 Warszawa
Competition results will be published on 15 March 2017 on this website.

Jury of the 2nd edition

International jury

Monika Hanulak – chairperson.
Lecturer in the Illustration Studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Designer and illustrator of art books and children books, published in Poland and abroad. Winner of national and international awards including Bologna Ragazzi Award 2007 for the book ‘Poems for children’ by Julian Tuwim.

Juraj Horváth 
Czechoslovak illustrator, graphic artist, graphic designer, and co-founder of Czech publishing house Baobab. Head of the Illustration and Graphic Arts Studio at the University of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. Works for various small publishing houses. He is a graphic designer for the international Jihlava Documentary Film Festival (www.dokument-festival.cz). In 2000 and 2001, he won the Most Beautiful Czech Book award (2000 - fiction, 2001 - books for children).

Åshild Kanstad Johnsen
Norwegian graphic designer, illustrator and author of children’s books. Graduated from the Art Academy in Bergen. Her first book „Kubbe lager museum” (Kubbe makes a museum) has been published in 15 countries so far, winning various awards. It has been adapted into an animated movie in Japan.

Grzegorz Kasdepke
Polish writer and author of many best-selling books for children and young-adults. Former editor-in-chief of renowned Polish children magazine ‘Świerszczyk’. Winner of various prizes and mentions (among others: the Kornel Makuszyński Literary Prize, the Kallimach Prize awarded for the outstanding achievements in the field of education, and the lifetime achievement award of the Association of Authors ZAiKS). His books have been selected for the White Ravens list of the titles recommended by The International Youth Library (IYL) (Internationale Jugendbibliothek) in Munich.

The Dwie Siostry Publishing jury

Ewa Stiasny – chairperson.
Co-owner of Dwie Siostry Publishing; graduated from Warsaw Academy od Fine Arts. She designs and illustrates books.

Jadwiga Jędryas
Co-owner of Dwie Siostry Publishing and translator of many books from its catalogue. Graduate of the Applied Linguistics Institute of Warsaw University.

Joanna Rzyska
Co-owner of Dwie Siostry Publishing, educator; graduated from Institute of Romance Studies.

Maciej Byliniak
Editor, translator, literary researcher. He has been taking editorial care of most of publications of Dwie Siostry Publishing since 2007.

Winners of the CLAIRVOYANTS 2016 competition

In May 2016 the Dwie Siostry Publishing announced the second edition of CLAIRVOYANTS – an international competition for an illustrated children’s book project. We received 380 projects from 34 countries.

The jury sitting took place in the Podchorążówka (Officer Cadet School) building situated in the Royal Łazienki Garden in Warsaw between 25th and 27th of January 2017. The entries were evaluated by two independent juries.

The international jury

The judges of the international jury – Monika Hanulak, Juraj Horváth, Åshild Kanstad Johnsen and Grzegorz Kasdepke – awarded the 2500 EUR main prize and three honorary mentions:

The international jury's verdict
After a brief and rather harmonious discussion, the jury reached its verdict and decided to award one project with the main prize and to distinguish three other with honorary mentions. The outcome of the jury sitting is an unanimous one, however each of us has their own favourites. That is why we have divided between ourselves the justification of our choices: each of the judges had written their argumentation on the submission that they particularly liked or whose virtues they found easiest to express. Therefore, although our justifications are very personal, they reflect the team work hidden behind each choice.
Monika Hanulak
Juraj Horváth
Åshild Kanstad Johnsen
Grzegorz Kasdepke

Main prize: ’Robook’ by Dalia Żmuda-Trzebiatowska
‘Robook’ is an example of a well thought-through and consistent concept, that follows a well-known idea, quite often explored by artists in the past (just to name the ‘Where is Wally?’ series). One could think that it’s impossible to create anything original within this genre, however ‘Robook’ proves the opposite. The author has designed an imaginary Warsaw-of-the-future, filled with hilariously drawn robots. “Robook” has the potential to absorb the readers for hours, due to the abundance of details on each spread, their fine finishing and its enormous playability. The author (with excellent skills) proposes nonintrusive humour, ingenious activities and, despite the undoubted preponderance of images over words, a great deal of linguistic jokes too.
Monika Hanulak

‘Robook’ is an entertaining book. Its various tiny elements form parts of an imaginary city. It is populated both by humans and robots whose needs, tasks and wishes are like ours.
All the double-spreads are linked with one another by one storyline. The proposed activities are not just simple instructions, but contribute to the humorous aspect of the book. ‘Robook’ is a grotesque enriched with game elements, luckily, not spoiled by a didactic or sentimental tone.
Juraj Horváth

Honorary mention: ‘Ciąża’ (‘Pregnancy’) by Małgorzata Wojtkowiak
This is a tiny, lovely and simply drawn story, beginning with a straight-forward question: ‘Mum, how come once I was in your belly?’. Intriguingly, the question is asked by a middle-aged chap in a red jumper…
The book gives an intriguing account of an everyday life of a pregnant woman, which sometimes can be amusing, and other times becomes mysterious.
The informal narrative, the very direct and personal manner in which the Mum answers her Child’s questions is a strong point of the book. Some illustrations impress with simplicity, efficiency and elliptical thinking.The moment when typography dominates the illustrations is amazing. However, the book’s weaker point is the cover, which is a bit overdone, but that can be easily fixed.
Juraj Horváth

Honorary mention: ‘Pupa and Beetle’ by Ayane Mitsuoki
Strange and funny, but also very understandable, even though I don’t understand it. But I understand it.
Funny characters, punch in colours, the dialogue is superb and characters built, one is talking a lot, the other talks very little, but in a firm way. Even though the dialogue is strange I feel I’ve had these conversations with people before talking at someone/with someone/past someone.
And clearly Pupa is holding back some information? Or is he/she a pupa? Will he/she be a butterfly, or is he/she something else?
Is the Beetle curious about Pupa, or frustrated because he/she doesn’t behave how he/she should.
I really feel the imaginary fits the text. It hit me. And I would have loved it as a child, and I would have loved to read it to a child.
It’s perfect for me, but I realise it’s not for everyone, but I guess that’s a part of the attraction.
And it makes me wonder: what is the deal with Pupa?
My interpretation: He was a pupa going to be a butterfly, but decided to just stay a pupa and he/she can’t really explain why, and he/she is tired of having to explain himself/herself for others.
Just great!
Love it.
Sweet & short!
Åshild Kanstad Johnsen
Honorary mention: ‘Signs of Silence’ by Rasa Jančiauskaitė
Grown-up Poles already love non-fiction stories, and it’s the highest time to make our children fall in love with them too!
‘Signs of Silence’ book cleverly combines fascinating illustrations by a Lithuanian artist Rasa Jančiauskaitė with narratives of the deaf people. They belong to the Lithuanian Deaf Youth Organization and the book gives an account of their experience. What’s important, the author managed to convey their stories in a way that remains interesting not only for those with impaired hearing, but for all of us who happened to glance with curiosity on the deaf passers-by, using sign language…
The combination of short, literary impressions with ambiguous illustrations leaves room for imagination and reflection. Thus, the book is a perfect starting point for a profound discussion with a child or with oneself.
Big congratulations to the author! She has touched upon a very important subject without drowning it in banality or pathos! ‘Signs of Silence’ should be available for the public as soon as possible.
Grzegorz Kasdepke

The Dwie Siostry Publishing jury

The Dwie Siostry Publishing jury – Ewa Stiasny, Jadwiga Jędryas, Joanna Rzyska and Maciej Byliniak – awarded the main prize and two honorary mentions. The winning project will be published by Dwie Siostry.

The verdict of the Dwie Siostry Publishing jury

The 2016 edition of the Clairvoyant competition for an illustrated children book has had a decidedly international character: there were 380 submissions sent from 34 countries. Our verdict reflects this geographic diversity: we’ve decided to award one main prize, which is the book publication, and to distinguish two entries with honorary mentions; each of these works comes from a different country.

The first mention goes to the work entitled ‘Pupa and Beetle’ by a Japanese artist Ayane Mitsuoki. This one-of-a-kind humorous book balances on a thin line that separate primitivism from minimalism and eccentricity from genius. However, it is done with charm, brilliance and a sense of humor that is irresistible. The entire work consists barely of 10 spreads, depicting just three simple elements: two characters and a tree. Still, it’s enough to let something extraordinary happen, thanks to a superbly crafted dialogue: surprising, ambiguous and, above all, irresistibly funny.

The second mention goes to the work ‘Zwyczajna mowa w regionalnych słowach’ ('Ordinary words in regional languages') by Aleksandra Zaborska from Poland. The author proposed an educational game in form of cards, showing the diversity of regional variations of the Polish language in an attractive and clever way. The user is invited to arrange the cards in a correct order – so that the sentences written on them form a story and the images on the backsides match. A traditional, dialectal word used in one of the five regions of Poland stands out as a central element of each card. The idea of the game is to trace and learn the regional words and their surprising connotations. The strength of this works is not only a well-thought-out and clever concept, but also a fine and striking artwork.

The main prize goes to the work ‘Signs of Silence’ by Rasa Jančiauskaitė from Lithuania. This outstanding submission grasps a socially important subject in an artistically accomplished way. The book leads a reader into the world of the deaf by combining a semi-documentary texts with a laconic but expressive graphics. The accounts of persons facing deafness are compact, clear and diverse. These micro-stories are accompanied by illustrations drawn with powerful strokes which gain an even stronger expressive power thanks to the conscious use of a limited color palette and the 'color mismatch' effect. ‘Signs of Silence’ gives the voice to those whom we do not hear. The book allows us to cross an invisible border, separating the world of those who hear from the world of those who don’t, and impresses us positively, encouraging to cross this line again in the future. We are certain that this promising project will turn into an uncommon book.
We congratulate the winner as well as the authors of works distinguished with the mentions and thank all the participants of the competition.

Ewa Stiasny
Jadwiga Jędryas
Joanna Rzyska 
Maciej Byliniak

Apart from the winning projects the Dwie Siostry Publishing jury selected 40 most interesting entries, that will be presented at the post-competition exhibition in May 2017.

e would like to thank all and each of these who contributed to the success of the second edition of the competition for an illustrated children's book project CLAIRVOYANTS.

We thank all the participants – the authors of the submitted works.

We thank our partners: the Arctic Paper company, the Europapier company, the Pigeon studio, which prepared the footage of the competition, as well as the Royal Łazienki Museum in Warsaw, which made their premises available for the jury sittings and the Czech Center and the NORLA foundation, who helped us host the foreign judges of the international jury in Warsaw.

We thank our honorary partners: the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the mayor of the capital city of Warsaw, the Polish Section of IBBY, the Association of the Applied Art's Creators, Festival of Children's Literature, Museum of Children's Books in Warsaw, Polish Society of Book Publishers and the ZORROZ Foundation.

We thank our media partners: the LubimyCzytać.pl portal, the 'KSIĄŻKI Magazyn do czytania' magazine, the 'Magazyn Literacki KSIĄŻKI' magazine, the ‘Nowe Książki’ magazine the Qlturka.pl portal, the quarterly on children and young adults books „Ryms”, TVP Kultura, the Wydawca.pl portal and the Xięgarnia.pl portal.

Video interviews with the jury members on the competition and on the winning projects together with pictures to be seen in 'gallery'.

Samples of the winning projects
Press info

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