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Calling all young artists!

White Petals illustration competition


We are looking for original artwork from artists aged 11-18 living in the UK to appear as chapter headings in the young adult novel White Petals by Maria Grace. White Petals is an unforgettable story about friendship and family set in and around a valley’s care home and school, and will be published in June 2015.

The Book:

Read the first chapter here to get a taste for Maria’s writing. The illustration does not have to be based on this chapter, though, it can be inspired by any element of the summary.


Emmeline’s life falls apart when her mother is sectioned, and she is sent to live in a care home, with only her lucky cardigan for comfort.  But it isn't the horror story she feared, and she slowly starts to make friends. It’s at school that Emmeline has her biggest problems, as the other pupils hear about her mother's illness. Why does Stacey hate her so much? Will her family ever be normal? And why is she haunted by visions of white petals?

As everything changes, Emmeline will have to work out who she can really rely on.

White Petals is a refreshingly frank YA novel filled with loveable characters who will make you laugh and cringe as they quickly start to feel like friends. It reminds us that whoever you are, and wherever you're from, you can always make a difference.

The Competition:

Children’s publisher Firefly Press is looking for original artwork from artists aged 11-18 living in the UK to appear as chapter headings in the novel White Petals by Maria Grace. The illustration should be black and white and square (10cm x 10cm) and can be submitted digitally as a jpeg or on paper.

All selected artists would work with Maria Grace to complete a piece of work.  The prize is to see your work published in the novel White Petals, a certificate and a free copy of the finished book. 

The winners will be selected by the judges: Maria Grace and Firefly Publisher Penny Thomas.

Closing date: 30 January 2015.
There is no fee to enter.

Send entries either by email to or on paper to Firefly Press P O box 249, Aberystwyth SY23 9FH.  NB - Work cannot be returned so if you are sending your work by post please keep a copy.


  • The competition is for a black and white illustration or artwork inspired by the book White Petals. Only black and white illustrations or designs that match this brief will be considered.
  • The artwork must be all your own original work and should not have been published before in any form. It must not copy or include images from any other artist’s work.
  • Please submit your work as a paper copy or an email jpeg.
  • Please include a separate cover page with your name, address, telephone and email, plus the title of your illustration - and then add only the title to the illustration image itself as the work will be judged anonymously.
  • No alternations may be made to the artwork once submitted.
  • Your work will not be returned, so please keep a copy. 
  • We are sorry but we cannot enter into correspondence with unsuccessful entrants about their entries or about the judges’ decision, which is final. If you have not heard from us by 30 February 2015, you can assume your work has not been selected.
  • You are welcome to submit up to two illustrations, but not more than two.
  • The competition is open to anyone aged 11 to 18 inclusive whose current address is in the United Kingdom.
  • No one who works for Firefly Press or is the immediate family of someone who works for Firefly Press or the author is eligible to enter.
  • The selected winners will work with Maria and Firefly Press on this particular work, either in person or by email, whichever is more practical. This will only be at a time to suit both parties and Maria will not be expected to continue mentoring the artist in their general work once the piece for the book is complete.
  • The publishers retain the right not to publish the work in the finished book if the artist, Maria and Firefly Press are unable to agree on a final design.