Find the answers to some commonly asked questions below.

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When can I enter?

The final deadline for the WIA2020 competition was 25 February 2020.

The call for entries for the WIA2021 competition will launch at the end of 2020.

We recommend you sign up to our mailing list to keep up to date with Awards news!

What happens once I’ve entered?

Once you have filled in your form and clicked the ‘SUBMIT’ button, your work is saved in your account on the AOI website. You can then go back and edit it as much as you wish until you pay for it.

Once you are happy with the entry, you need to make your payment for it to be entered into the competition.

You will receive an email confirming your entry, and some information about how to share your entry with the AOI via social media – we will repost entries throughout the call for entries!

Don’t forget that the judges will only see entries that have been paid for.

The AOI team will check all entries as they are submitted, and will notify you of any issues, e.g. if your image is corrupted. The AOI reserves the right to remove entries that are offensive, incite hatred or break the rules.

The judges will then log in to the site to view all entries and will choose their shortlist.

Once the shortlist has been finalised, all entrants will be notified by email of the outcome of their entries.

Who are the judges?

WIA Judges are experts in their sectors, and are chosen to represent a global view of illustration. Our judges in the past have included editors, art directors and publishers from organisations including Penguin, WeTransfer, Twitter, Laurence King and many more!

We will announce the WIA2020 as they are confirmed. Check here for the judges who have been announced so far.

What happens if I’m longlisted or shortlisted?

**New for 2020** 500 illustrators will be longlisted for the Awards.

All 500 longlisted projects will feature on the AOI website on a dedicated page, and selected projects will be showcased across the AOI’s social media platforms.

200 shortlisted projects will be selected from the longlist.

Shortlisted illustrators will:

  • See their work featured in a printed full-colour catalogue, which is distributed to commissioners worldwide.
  • See their work featured in a two-week long showcase at a central London arts venue in October 2020.
  • Be invited to attend the Awards Evening in October 2020, a highlight of the illustration industry event calendar.
  • Be offered an exclusive discount on AOI membership for one year.
  • Receive a digital badge for their website and social media.
  • Receive incredible exposure across our digital and real-world networks: the WIA is a proven platform for illustrators to consolidate and expand networks.

What are the Prizes?

Overall Professional Winner: One of the eight Professional Category Winners will be named as the WIA2020 Overall Professional Winner. They will win a generous cash prize of £2,000, and a two-page marketing package in the Directory of Illustration, valued at $4,330 US Dollars, including a 100-image professional portfolio on

Overall New Talent Winner: One of the eight New Talent Category Winners will be named as the WIA2020 Overall New Talent Winner. They will win a generous cash prize £1,000, and a copy of the Directory of Illustration.

Professional and New Talent Category Winners: All 20 Category Winners (one New Talent and one Professional per category) will receive a WIA Trophy, an enhanced entry in the catalogue, a profile feature on the AOI website, and a complimentary AOI membership for one year with all the benefits this brings including business advice, discounted online portfolio and Varoom subscription.

Professional and New Talent Highly Commended in each category: 20 Highly Commended Projects (one New Talent and one Professional per category) will receive a WIA Certificate.

AOI Member Award: Selected from any AOI Member shortlisted for WIA2020. The winner will receive a complimentary year-long membership plus folio, a copy of the Guide to Law and the current Directories, worth £296.95, a WIA Certificate and profile feature on the AOI website.

SAA (Society of Artists Agents) Agents Award for New Talent: All shortlisted New Talent entries will be eligible for the SAA Agents Award for New Talent, offering the winner a six month trial representation with one of the leading SAA Illustration agents, which will include mentoring and career development. During that time, the winner will also benefit from having their work showcased on the SAA’s website and across their social media platforms. The winner will also be presented with a WIA certificate and profile feature on the AOI website.

DI (Directory of Illustration) Award: The DI Award winner will receive a single page marketing package in the Directory of Illustration, valued at $2,695 US Dollars. The program includes a 100-image professional portfolio on plus a one-on-one consultation with a professional Directory of Illustration marketing consultant on how to best present your work to the American market. The winner will also be presented with a WIA certificate and profile feature on the AOI website.

WIA Innovation Award: One shortlisted project will be selected for a new WIA Innovation Award, to be awarded for a project displaying considerable innovation and experimentation with the artform. It will be judged by at least two jury members. The winner will be presented with a WIA certificate and profile feature on the AOI website.

What is the timeline for the Awards?

  • Call for Entries open from December 2019 until 18 February 2020 (end of calendar day wherever you are)
  • Judging: March 2020
  • Longlist notification sent out: April/May 2020
  • Shortlist announcement: June 2020
  • Showcase, awards evening, and events programme: 21 Oct – 1 Nov 2020 showcase and celebration, London

Why do you charge for entry?

The AOI is a not for profit company that is fully funded by its membership, for the benefit of its members. The World Illustration Awards are delivered by The AOI in partnership with the Directory of Illustration.

We cover the costs of running the Awards by charging an entry fee, and securing sponsorship and in-kind partnerships. The income covers the costs incurred in running the Awards, including staffing, administration, development and delivery costs.

As part of the AOI, the World Illustration Awards are not for profit and all money goes back into the Awards

What are your terms and conditions?

You can read them here.

Please note, the terms and conditions are correct at the time of publishing, but may be updated during the course of the competition.

How do I contact the organisers?

You can contact the AOI Awards team via [email protected] – we usually reply back within two – three working days.

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