Major Macmillan honour for talented Bethan

Published: 29 May 2014 at 10:14

National illustration prize won by an Anglia Ruskin student for fifth successive year

The prestigious Macmillan Prize has been won for the fifth year in succession by a student from Anglia Ruskin University.

Now in its 29th year, the Macmillan Prize was established by Macmillan Children’s Books to stimulate new work from young illustrators in art schools and universities, and to help them take the first steps in their professional lives.  

The coveted award was won this year by BA (Hons) Illustration student Bethan Woollvin, who follows in the footsteps of previous Anglia Ruskin winners Mike Smith (2010), Gemma Merino (2011), Irene Dickson-Bulleid (2012) and Jules Bentley (2013).

Originally from Chelmsford and now living in the Arbury area of Cambridge, Bethan wowed the judges with her illustrations of Little Red Riding Hood.  The 20-year-old, who was awarded a cheque for £1,000, said:

“I am absolutely ecstatic to have won!  
“I really pushed myself when making Little Red Riding Hood, and I was really hoping to get highly commended, that was my goal.  When I got a call to tell me that I had won, I was shocked beyond belief.  My dream is for a career in illustration and I couldn’t have asked for a better start.”

The 2014 award judging panel was made up of former winner Emily Gravett; illustrator David Roberts; Melissa Cox, Children’s Buyer for Waterstones; Lorna Bradbury, Deputy Literary Editor of the Telegraph; Chris Inns, Art Director at Macmillan Children’s Books; Ella Butler, Head of Campbell Design and Suzanne Carnell, Publishing Director for Picture Books at Macmillan Children’s Books.

The panel went through over 300 entries for the award before picking their first, second and third prize winners.  The runner-up, and winner of the Lara Jones Award for the best picture book for young children, was Matt Robertson for his work Blankets.  Matt graduated from the MA in Children’s Book Illustration at Anglia Ruskin earlier this year.

Current Anglia Ruskin MA Children’s Book Illustration student Morag Hood shared the third prize with Louis Craig Carpenter, of Arts University Bournemouth, for her work Colin and Lee, Carrot and Pea.  

Fellow Anglia Ruskin students Fiona Rich, Toby Rampton, Danni Gowdy, Dan Ungereanu, Amanda Pike, Robert Ramsden, Ana Alepuz, Ami Shin and Anna Chernyshova all made the final 25-strong shortlist after their work was highly commended by the judges.