A blank white page and a purple crayon
In my four years at the Silent Book Contest I have examined hundreds and hundreds of projects and every time, together with the other jurors, we have found ourselves having no small difficulty when making the selections. Decisions have never been easy or obvious and always – and this is not a trivial observation by any means – we have been unanimous in agreeing that the level of quality has increased. This year the challenge was even more difficult but at the same time I would say richer and more exciting. This is all thanks to Gianni De Conno who with his usual calm ability to plan and look into the future, understood that something was moving in the world of silent books and that a particular sector, with its historical autonomy and its precise statutes, was undergoing tremendous changes, looking for new ways and opportunities. Here, what seemed to be a courageous and perhaps risky bet turned out to be a winner right from the start. Beyond the obvious lack of a written text people might wonder what unites such different works as those that over time have been awarded or selected. I was about to use the usual metaphor of the “fil rouge” or “common thread” but then I realized that I should really refer to the “purple crayon” that Harold uses in Crockett Johnson’s timeless classic. Suffice to say that what is confirmed here is the creative power that comes from the blank page, the insistent nagging thinking that after endless hours or days of work eventually leads to a story. It could be said that this also happens with picture books, but in the case of silent books, all this is enhanced even more, and can be seen to unfold in the overwhelming involvement of the readers, with their emotions and ability to “see”.
– Walter Fochesato
ABOUT THE CONTEST AFTER 4 YEARS AS PRESIDENT OF THE JURY
Walter Fochesato, president of the jury, speaks about the growth of the SBC during the years and about the magical “alchemy” between beginners and already famous illustrators who took part in the SBC2020.
HOW THE SILENT BOOK CONTEST IS GROWN AND WHAT’S NEXT
Patrizia Zerbi, publisher of Carthusia Edizioni, speak about the new opportunities and challenges for the SBC, with Carthusia now in charge of the full management of the contest.
SILENT BOOKS MEET CHINESE ILLUSTRATORS
Sara Wang, literary agent, tells us about the growing popularity of the SBC in China and the future perspective of this competition all over the world.
HOW TO DO… A GOOD SILENT BOOK
How should be a work made in order to pass the selection and be chosen by the jury? Let’s hear it from Javier Zabala, worldwide-known illustrator and member of the Jury of the SBC2020.
THE CONTEST AS WINNER AND THEN AS A JUROR
Arianna Papini, illustrator and winner of the 2017 SBC, talks about the new experience of being a juror of the 2020 edition, and the chance to meet many other “silent languages”.
QUALITY AND VARIETY OF THE RECEIVED WORKS
Emanuela Bussolati, illustrator, talks about the dedication and commitment of the SBC2020 participants, the result of a very good job made by the schools of illustration.
SILENT BOOK CONTEST MEETS THE SALONE INTERNATIONALE DEL LIBRO DI TORINO
Eros Miari from the Turin International Book’s Fair tells us how silent books came into the “world of words”, the Turin Books Fair, and about the new “child-jury” of the upcoming Silent Book Contest Junior.
BOLOGNA CHILDREN’S BOOK FAIR AND SILENT BOOK CONTEST
Elena Pasoli, director of Bologna Children’s Book Fair, speaks about the increasingly close relationship between SBC and BCBF during the years, and about the emotional aspect of being a member of the jury.
THE POWER OF SILENT COMMUNICATION
What do words have to do with the Silent Book Contest? Sonja Riva, journalist and member of the 2020 SBC jury, talks about the magic behind a “silent musicality”.