Want to illustrate children's books? - graphic

Mentoring Programme

Our 2020-2021 Mentoring Programme

***This scheme is now closed to submissions.***

Please make sure you read all the guidance before submitting your application via our online entry form. The deadline for submitting your application is midnight on 30 September 2020. Interviews will be held in October 2020.


Six emerging illustrators will be matched with six eminent and established illustrators for nine months.  You and your mentor will focus on particular aspects of the illustrator’s work.

For the mentee, it is a similar experience to working closely with an editor for a year, but with the additional opportunity to experiment and work outside your comfort zone, trying new techniques and methods.

One mentee will be awarded the title of the Picture Hooks Illustrator of the year.


There will be a training session to establish how you and your mentor will work together and to discuss your processes and intended outcomes.

The mentees will also be given further training during the scheme, which may include a trip to a publishing house to see the publishing process at first hand, and sessions on self-promotion, portfolio presentation and running events.  You will also be encouraged to attend the other Picture Hooks classes taking place throughout the year.

Showcasing your work

Towards the end of the process, you will be given the opportunity to show your portfolio to UK publishers and the Picture Hooks team will take your work to Bologna International Book Fair. We also intend that the work you make during the mentoring scheme will be displayed in a new Picture Hooks Festival of Illustration.

Meet our previous mentors and mentees

See the illustrators section of our website.

Each year, we collect feedback from our participants in order to improve upon the scheme. Below you can find some closing comments from past mentees.

“It has been a great process. In comparison to this time last year and thanks to the Picture Hooks mentorship year I feel in a much better position to continue working towards book illustration work.” – Rachel Everitt, mentee 2017-18

I think the scheme is a great stepping stone to getting your foot in the door and learning about picture book making, especially if you haven’t specialised in illustration.” – Hlin Davidsdottir, mentee 2017-18