1. Carthusia Edizioni as main organizer, together with the Silent Book Contest Secretary’s Office, with the collaboration of Comune di Mulazzo, Bologna Children’s Book Fair, Salone Internazionale del Libro di Torino, l’Associazione Montereggio Paese dei Librai,  member of I.O.B. International Organization of Book Towns Italia, with the patronage of IBBY Italia and Centro per il Libro e la Lettura (MiBACT) and with the contribution of BPER Banca, presents the Internazional Silent Book Contest 2021 – Gianni De Conno Award. The competition is exclusively reserved for new and unpublished illustrated books without words. The subject is open and not restricted to any age group and readers. The narration must be carried out exclusively through illustrated images and have narrative and stylistic coherence.

2. Authors, illustrators and artists of any nationality, place of origin or residence may participate, with original and unpublished projects, provided they are not less than 18 years old on 5th April 2021. It is possible to participate with one to a maximum of three unpublished projects for each Author.

3. From the book projects enrolled and sent to the competition by 5th April 2021, an International Jury, nominated by the organization will select from eight to ten finalists book projects by May 2021. They will be presented and exhibited at the Salone Internazionale del Libro in Turin (To be defined) and at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2021 (June 2021). Then, among the finalists, the Jury will choose the winning project.

4. The book projects entered in the competition must be sent anonymously following the instructions given in the section “On-line registration procedure for submitting material”. Book projects submitted and not corresponding to the Participation Methods or incomplete book projects will not be admitted.

5. The International Jury, nominated by the organization, is formed of 9 personalities of recognized prestige and professionalism in the publishing world, illustration and literature. The members of the International Jury will be published on the official website of the Silent Book Contest Contest. 

6. The finalists announcement and exhibition will be held, indicatively, in June 2021. The place and time for the winner announcement and award ceremony need to be defined due to the Covid-19 situation.

7. The winning book project of the Silent Book Contest 2021 will be published by October 2021 by Carthusia Edizioni of Milan (Italy). The publisher will add it and promote it as part of its editorial catalogue. The author will sign a regular publishing contract and, as established in the rules of the contest and in the contract, will receive a cash prize of € 4.000, as advance on the royalties.

8.  The International Jury has the final decision: to not admit in competition book projects not corresponding to what is specified and contained in the Rules and / or Participation Procedure, to nominate among the projects admitted to the competition a lower number of finalist projects to five or more than ten, and also reserves the right not to proclaim a winner of the Silent Book Contest 2021 if the projects are not worthy of publication.

9.  To enroll in the contest the Authors have to accept the Rules and Participation Methods and the payment of a registration fee of Euro 50 (fifty) for each project submitted. The payment of the registration fee must be made only by 5th April 2021. It is possible to present a maximum of three unpublished projects for each author. The payment of the enrolment fee is not reimbursable.


A. The book project must not contain words, with exclusion of the title and possible subtitle. The narration must be realized exclusively through the illustrations and have narrative and stylistic coherence. There are no limits regarding age or reader group, and the subject matter is open.

The International Jury reserves the right at its sole discretion to assess the adequacy and correspondence of the projects presented in the competition with the characteristics specified above and to confirm whether or not they are admitted.

The Author undertakes, under his sole responsibility, to ensure that the illustrations included in the book project are original and unpublished works, as well as the project presented in the competition, absolving the organization, the International Jury and the publisher Carthusia Edizioni who will publish the winning book project, from any moral and legal responsibility in case of projects book and / or illustrations presented in violation of this regulation, copyright and / or in case of plagiarism to third parties.

B. No book projects that contain illustrations featuring either single words or partial texts will be accepted for selection. Pop-up books, cartoons and comic strips without words and “colouring book” will not be accepted. Furthermore, book projects containing photographic images, or that are not illustrated, or that do not correspond to the present definition of illustrated images will also not be accepted for selection.

C. The illustrations featured in the book projects can be in colour or black and white, with unlimited traditional or digital techniques and media.

D. The project must be presented on double pages with an open format of 57 cms in width and 28.5 cms in height (closed format 28.5×28.5cms and opening from right to left). Number of double pages is prefixed: 14 internal double pages of 57×28,5 cms, 1 double page as frontispiece with dedication, front and back cover. Download layout example here.

E. The illustrations featured in the book projects can be in colour or black and white, with unlimited traditional or digital techniques and media.

F. The book project should be presented on double pages with a open format of 57cms in width by 28.5cms in height (to give a closed format of 28.5cms x 28.5cms and opening from right to left) and with a prefixed number of double pages : 14 double pages in basic 57 cm format x 28.5 cm in height, plus front and back cover.

The Book projects sent in different format, due to excess or defect, from the one specified above and / or exceeding by excess or defect by the number of pages will not be admitted in the competition.

G.  The book project must be presented scrupulously following these indications:

  • Layout complete composed of 14 double pages + double page with dedication on the left and frontispiece on the right + front and back cover in the format indicated at point D.
  • The complete layout, as described above, must be sent exclusively as a digital file in high quality PDF format by 5th April 2021. To send the digital book project, refer to the section “Online registration procedure and submitting procedure”.

H. Will not be admitted to the selection: book projects with partial or incomplete layouts and book projects exceeding, due to excess or defect, from the dimensions specified in point D and exceeding excess or defect from the number of pages in point D. Will not be admitted projects submitted in a manner other than those listed in the dedicated section or sent after 5th April 2021. Do not send original illustrations and paper layouts.

I. Book projects must be sent anonymously.

L. The digital layout must show only the title of the project on the front cover, which should be considered as temporary with regard to any possible publishing as a winning book project, and the author’s pen-name. The digital files must be named exclusively with the title of the Opera/Project and the author’s chosen pseudonym. See the following “Online registration procedure and submitting materials” section for instructions on how to properly name the PDF file.

M. The subscription to the Silent Book Contest 2021 – Gianni De Conno Award, the upload of the PDF file and the payment of the enrolment fee (with PayPal or credit Card) must be done exclusively online on our website following all the given instructions. All the procedure must be completed within the 5th April 2021.