If you need some help entering the World Illustration Awards 2020, we’ve put together this helpful 10 Step Guide to take you through the process from start to finish!


Step 1: Register on the AOI website

  • You need to register an account on the AOI website to enter. You do not need to be an AOI member to register.
  • When you register, the website will auto-generate a password to login to the site and access the entry form.
  • Keep your login details safe, as you will need them again if your entry is longlisted.
  • If you already have an account (if you are an AOI member, or have entered in the past 3 years), please log in using your existing details (this is especially important if you are a member as your entry fee discount will be automatically applied in your account).
  • If you have entered WIA before, your images from a previous competition may still be in your online media gallery. They can remain there. They won’t be confused with your current entry, and will only show up in your entry if you manually add them.

Step 2: Read our helpful Hints & Tips

  • Read our FAQs
  • And the T&Cs
  • We have also put some further guides together here
  • We will be launching some helpful webinars and videos to help you see what you need to do!
  • By entering the competition, you agree to abide by these terms and conditions.

Step 3: Select projects to enter

  • Many illustrators find choosing which work to enter into the Awards is a really useful moment to reflect on the work they’ve made in the past year. It’s great to devote some time to taking stock of everything have achieved!
  • This year, we’re looking for work which is:
    • Technically excellent
    • Communicates its idea or message brilliantly
    • Explores illustration as an artform
  • When you are thinking about what to enter, as well as considering these judging criteria, think about illustration that really sings – work with the spark that lifts it off the page or screen.
  • It may be that it has come from a personal passion, or challenged you technically – or been one of those surprise commissions that just works.
  • Work can be created in any medium or style.
  • There is no right or wrong  – most illustrators will have at least one project that makes them sit up and think ‘Yes! That’s what I want my work to do’.  Usually, those are the projects to enter.

Step 4: Decide which category is the best fit for your entries

  • Choose the category that best frames the purpose of your entry. Keep in mind where you want to position yourself as an illustrator, if in doubt.
  • You can read the descriptions on our website here.
  • Thinking about the application of the illustration can be a useful way to decide which category to enter.
  • You can enter the same project more than once into different categories, but you will need to upload and pay individually.
  • You can enter commissioned or uncommissioned work into any category.

Step 5: Format your images

  • Ensure that you choose great quality images that show your work off at its best, and that they are optimised for the entry form.
  • Formats: save your file as RGB in either .jpg .png or .gif (note, the form does not accept .jpeg files).
  • Size: under 4MB and up to 3000px wide.
  • File name: name your files using this format: artistname_title_image1 (or image2, image3 etc if your entry is a multiple).
  • Ensure the file name uses only Roman letters and does not contain any special characters (i.e &*£$/. etc).

Step 6: Prepare your entry information

  • Decide if you are entering as New Talent or Professional. Only select New Talent if you are a current student or recent graduate (since January 2019) entering student work. Everyone else should enter as Professional.
  • Decide which format to use. You can choose a single format or multiple, with either still images, animated gifs, or animation links to direct YouTube or Vimeo pages. You can also do a combination of files.
  • Every entry must include a lead image from the project. This is also the first image the judges see.

Step 7: Gather the information that you will need to complete the form

  • Title Of Work: Choose a title for your project. This could be a descriptive title, or something more poetic. Make it precise, and not too long. Don’t put it in quote or speech marks.
  • Why did you make this work? This could be the reason you made the work, for example a brief you were given by a commissioner, or a creative challenge that you set for yourself. This information will be shared with the judges. (400 characters max)
  • How was the illustration used? What is the intended use of the illustration? This could be: a book cover, an advertising campaign, portfolio piece, product packaging or mural, for example. This information will be shared with the judges. (400 characters max)
  • How did you make this work? This is an opportunity to include information about the techniques, materials or processes used to create the illustration. This information will be shared with the judges. (400 characters max)
  • Biography: Please provide a short biography about yourself (or the illustrator if you are entering on their behalf). This can include where you’re from, where you studied, selected clients, the sectors you work in. Please write this in the third person (max 400 characters). This information will not be shared with the judges but will be included alongside your entry on the AOI website if it is longlisted.
  • Commissioner information: If your work was commissioned (i.e. if you were paid for the work in some way), please provide the commissioner details including name of the commissioner, the commissioner company and the name of the end client.

Step 8: Fill in the form

  • Please note we can only accept entries in English.
  • You can edit the information in the form by clicking ‘Update’ in your account.
  • Entries that have not been paid for will stay in your account until you delete them.
  • You can start the form, and go back and edit if you need to.
  • You will need to put something in the required form fields in order to save it.
  • It can be helpful to type out your entry into a word document, and paste into the form, rather than typing directly into the form.

Step 9: Pay for your entries (from 10 December)

  • Once you’ve completed your form, click ‘Submit’ and it will be saved to your portal so that you can get back to it
  • When you are ready to pay, and are certain that all images and information is exactly what you want to enter, click ‘Pay Now’ (or ‘Pay For All’ if you have more than one entry ready to submit).
  • A box will appear at the top of the form. Click ‘View Basket’.
  • Select your currency from GBP, EUR or USD.
  • If you change the currency, click ‘Update Basket’ to see the correct price.
  • AOI Members receive a 20% discount on an unlimited number of entry fees, applied automatically at the checkout, when logged into a live Member account on the AOI website. So AOI Members – login to website with your member account before you enter the awards
  • Click ‘Proceed to Checkout’ and complete the payment form.
  • Once you’ve paid you will receive a confirmation email from The AOI: [email protected] Check your junk/spam folder if you don’t see it in your inbox.
  • You will be able to amend your entry until the final deadline day, but you won’t be able to delete it.

Step 10: Share!

You’ve put in all that hard work and effort to get your entry just right, so why not share it!

  • Post your entry on social media, and tag us in using @theAOI and #WIA2021 #WorldIllustrationAwards – we’ll do our best to like and share as many as we can with our extensive networks.
  • You will receive an email notification letting you know the outcome of your entry in Spring 2021.
  • In the meantime, why not have a look around the AOI website? We have lots of information, events, and great membership options for illustrators at every stage of their career.