For the past five years Tomie dePaola has generously financed the Tomie dePaola Illustrator Award which was given to a promising illustrator chosen by Tomie himself. Beginning in 2011, SCBWI has chosen to take over the permanent funding of the annual award as recognition of Tomie's amazing contribution to both SCBWI and its illustrator members.
Tomie, who is a long-time board member (now emeritus), was instrumental in putting the "I" in "SCBWI." He founded the Illustrator's Committee, taught the first conference master class, and he's featured on an SCBWI-produced DVD.
The winning illustrator gets a pretty terrific prize--a $1,000 gift certificate for art supplies, plus full tuition, transportation and accommodations to the Annual Winter Conference in New York City where the winning piece of art will be featured at the exhibition.
The Tomie dePaola Award competition is open to all SCBWI members. To enter, you must create a single illustration (any size, any medium) based on a text supplied by Tomie. The text for this year’s illustration is from Johanna Spyri’s classic HEIDI and can be found on the SCBWI website. The deadline to enter (entries are sent electronically) is December 15, 2010 and Tomie will announce the winner on January 3, 2011. The award will be given to the winner at the New York conference held January 29-30.
"I want to be surprised, excited and--VERY jealous that I didn’t think of that way to illustrate it," Tomie says. "I want to see an image, a style, a vision that I’ve never seen before!"