The Town of Mulazzo and the Association Montereggio Paese dei Librai, IOB International Organisation of Book Towns, with the support of Carthusia Edizioni in collaboration with the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, IBBY Italia and Centro per il Libro e la Lettura (MiBACT) presents the first International contest for illustrated silent books without words.

The Silent Book Contest will give a prize money and publication to an original illustrated and unpublished book project that has been created and produced exclusively through narration by illustrated images.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.

From the book designs sent to the competition an international Jury will select from five to ten finalists to be announced and exhibited at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. The author of the book project selected as winner by the International Jury will receive an money prize of Euro 4.500 as advance against copyright with publishing agreement and the winning book project will be published by Carthusia Edizioni. The book will be presented at the award ceremony  in August in Montereggio (Tuscany, Italy).

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

Gianni De Conno (1957-2017) was born in Milan, from a Neapolitan father and a Milanese mother. He loved Milan, a city of which he felt part 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 then moved on to illustration.

An artist of great impact, one of the greatest illustrators of the Italian publishing scene, in which he operates 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.

Discover more about Gianni De Conno here or on Facebook.