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20th May 2013, 11:17am
Illustration student wins children’s book design competition
Sarah (centre) with her winning design A design created by a talented University of Lincoln illustrator has been selected for the front cover of a new children’s book.

Sarah Hughes, currently studying on the BA (Hons) Illustration course at the University of Lincoln, had her design chosen after publisher Hawkwood Books invited students to submit their suggestions in an exclusive competition.

Sarah attended a celebration event where her illustration was unveiled as the winning design for the book, entitled The Strange Encounter of Sally Shakespeare and Toby Tinker. The competition attracted entries from a number of students, who all attended the event at The Terrace, Lincoln, along with publisher Ellis Delmonte, staff from the University of Lincoln’s College of Arts, recent graduates and guests.

Sarah said: “I am delighted to have been selected as the winner of the competition, as it is a great opportunity to work on the illustration for such a wonderful children’s book. All of the entries looked fantastic, and I can’t wait to see my design on the front cover!”

As part of her prize, Sarah’s illustration will adorn the front page of the book when it goes on sale from October 2013. Sarah also won a prize of £100.

The Strange Encounter of Sally Shakespeare and Toby Tinker tells the story of a smart and popular young girl, and a shy and friendless little boy, who are brought together unexpectedly.

Ellis Delmonte of Hawkwood Books said: “Every entry was of the highest standard and worthy of being selected. Each would have made a fine cover and I was moved by the skill, energy and imagination of the students’ work. In the end, the judges chose a simple, elegant, clever design, which is contemporary and appropriate for the 9-12 age range. Congratulations to Sarah and to all those who entered the competition.”

Ellis was speaking at the event alongside successful University of Lincoln graduates, Michelle Forest-Beckett and Karen Webb-Meek. Having graduated from the BA (Hons) Fine Art course in 2007, Michelle has worked in set design and contemporary art, and now runs the successful Rock Paper Scissors shop in Lincoln. Michelle spoke about professional artistic careers post-university, and Karen discussed her experiences of post-graduate artwork and publishing possibilities.

Professor Anne Chick, Professor of Design at the University of Lincoln, also attended the event to present Sarah with her prize.

She said: “Sarah’s illustration is a wonderful example of the talent we have here at the University of Lincoln. Her winning design is thoughtful and eye-catching, and is one of a number of distinctive illustrations entered into the competition.

“We are extremely grateful to Ellis, as this competition provides a fantastic opportunity for our students to work to a live brief in a real-world environment, while showcasing their creativity. We are passionate about working with local businesses, and hope that our relationship with Hawkwood Books continues into the future.”

The Strange Encounter of Sally Shakespeare and Toby Tinker will be available from October 2013. For more information, and to see all of the students’ illustrations, visit

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