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"a fresh illustration" [LADY]

The above image may be familiar to long-time Sherlockians. Is is the Folio Society's box set of the complete Sherlock Holmes stories, first published in 1993. Divided into two cases — one containing the four novels, the other the containing the five collections of short stories — the spines of the volumes form a profile of Watson and Holmes, respectively.

[Editor's note: when the Baker Street Journal went from stapled to perfect-bound we advocated creating a silhouette over the course of multiple volumes, thus ensuring that those who wished to display a similar illustration on their shelves would continue to subscribe, lest the image be broken. Alas, our suggestion was turned down.]

The Folio Society is preparing to release a new set of Sherlock Holmes stories and late last year put out a call for illustrations to accompany it, in conjunction with House of Illustration, as part of its eighth annual Book Illustration Competition (#BIC2018). There were 450 entrants, and 24 have been selected to move to the longlist. Entries came from 48 countries including the USA, Singapore, Iran, Spain and Guatemala, and over 35% of them were from students.

The winner will receive a prestigious £5,000 commission from The Folio Society to illustrate their new edition of The Selected Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. The five other entrants who complete the shortlist will each receive £500. As part of the Book Illustration Competition’s commitment to nurturing new talent, the judging panel ensures that students form part of the shortlist.

The awards will be announced and presented by Helen Dorey, BSI ("Helen Stoner") at an exclusive ceremony at House of illustration on February 20, 2018.


In addition to the main Book Illustration Competition Award, there is a standalone People’s Choice Award that will recognize the illustrations that resonate most with the public. Simply click here to see the entrants and cast your vote.

And when you do vote, share that on Twitter and Instagram by tagging @IllustrationHQ and @foliosociety using #BIC2018 and #MyBIC2018.




Who will be the next Sidney Paget, Frederic Dorr Steele, Arthur Twidle, or Frank Wiles? Your vote may help determine that. Best of luck to all of the entrants!

Images courtesy of the Folio Society and House of Illustration.