Final year UWE Bristol Illustration student Katie Cottle got more than she was expecting at the Batsford Prize awards ceremony. Delighted to be the winner in the Children's book category, the judges amazed Katie with the surprise announcement that she'd secured her first book deal with Pavillion Children's books.
Now in its fifth year The Batsford Prize is a national award for student artists, designers and illustrators.
Katie took on a record number of entrants responding to this year's competition theme 'Interpreting Nature' to win the advertised £500 cash prize. Katie's entry 'Home Grown' tells the story of a man who gets lost in his greenhouse.
As a book deal was not originally part of the prize, Katie's work made a big impression on the judging panel. Neil Dunnicliffe, Publisher of Pavilion Children's Books said, “The standard of entries in the children's illustration category was amazingly high and it was difficult narrowing the submissions down. We were so impressed with the winning entry, from Katie Cottle, that we decided to award a book contract with Pavilion Children's Books as an additional prize. We're always searching for fresh new talent, and Katie certainly fits that bill; we look forward to publishing her book shortly.”
Soon to graduate this summer, Katie is planning to become a freelance illustrator. Describing her success, Katie adds, “I was so shocked about the book deal, I was excited to even make the shortlist so to be picked as winner, and then to get a book deal was amazing. I've had such a good time at UWE Bristol. The facilities at Bower Ashton are amazing; especially the print rooms, and the technicians and lecturers are all really helpful. I'm kind of sad to be leaving but feel pretty prepared for the future.”
Adding to the success was a runner- up prize for Andrew Wilson in the Illustration category.
Jonathan Ward, Senior Lecturer in Illustration, said, “This is a rare event for a student prior to graduation but comes fast on the heels of Katie's third shortlisting in three years for the Macmillan Children's Book Prize. This is a remarkable achievement and highlights a consistency that displays Katie's readiness for the professional marketplace. The staff team are extremely proud of both Andrew and Katie and will look forward to following their careers.”
Katie and Andrew will be amongst the 500 new graduates showcasing their talent at the Creative Industries Degree Show – IMPRINT from 02-08 June 2017.