The Silent Book Contest will give a prize money and publication to an original illustrated and unpublished book project that has been created and produced exclusively through narration by illustrated images. Given that the illustrated book and the visual language of illustrations and pictures is in no way secondary to written language, with a universal power and potential that supersedes any barrier of language or genre, the Silent Book Contest competition invites authors and illustrators to think up and design a book conceived exclusively for the telling of a story through illustrated images, on any subject and intended for a wide and diverse section of the reading public, regardless of genre or age.

Among the books sent to the competition, an International Jury will select the finalists to be announced and exhibited at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and at the Salone Internazionale del Libro of Turin. The author of the book project selected as winner by the International Jury will receive money prize of Euro 4.000 as advance for copyright with publishing agreement. The winning book project will be published by Carthusia Edizioni


Since 2018 the Silent Book Contest is dedicated to Gianni De Conno, its ideator and creator.

Gianni De Conno (1957-2017) was born in Milan, from a Neapolitan father and a Milanese mother. He loved Milan, a city which he felt part of and from which he never wanted to separate. After having split between the artistic high school and musical studies at the Conservatory he specialized in set design and scenography and then he moved on to illustration.

An artist of great impact, one of the greatest illustrators of the Italian publishing scene, in which he operated a dense dreamlike vein sustained by an inclination to hyperrealism, a magical and surrealism, a sort of profoundly original creative oxymoron. Gianni De Conno was also a true “Grandmaster”, he illustrated and interpreted the world, he taught with passion and care, in this little and small editorial world, he made a lot of other extraordinary things in his work.

Over the years, the Andersen Prize has been awarded as an illustrator of the year 2005, the Award for Communication Arts of Excellence several times between 1998 and 2010. In 2008 and 2010 he obtained the gold medal from the Society of Illustrators in New York. He has published a lot in Italy and abroad, he has exhibited his work in numerous solo exhibitions around the world, in Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and United States.


Project conceived by: Gianni De Conno e Francesca Nini Carbonini

Organized and promoted by: Carthusia Edizioni

In collaboration with: Bologna Children’s Book Fair, Salone Internazionale del Libro di Torino, Comune di Mulazzo, Associazione Montereggio Paese dei Librai, IOB International Organisation of Book Towns

With the patronage of: Ibby Italia

Contest under the auspices of: Centro per il libro e la lettura

With the contribution of: BPER Banca

Media Partners: Rai Ragazzi, Rai Radio 3

Organizational committee: Patrizia Zerbi, Ilaria Maurri, Costanza India De Conno, Francesco Zamboni