Talented Birgitta secures major book deal

Published: 8 July 2011 at 10:20

Anglia Ruskin graduate delighted to pen contract with Walker Books

Birgitta Sif, one of the stars of this year’s MA Children’s Book Illustration graduation exhibition, has signed a contract with leading children’s publisher Walker Books.

Birgitta, who is originally from Iceland, was working as a graphic designer in New York before deciding to enrol on Anglia Ruskin’s world-renowned Children’s Book Illustration MA course in Cambridge.

The 30-year-old said:

“Leaving my job to come to Anglia Ruskin University was a hard decision, but the best I’ve ever made.  I am thankful of how far this course has led me and excited to continue learning and developing as an illustrator.

“The course and my tutors and classmates have been a thousand times more than I ever imagined.  These past 18 months will leave lasting impressions on me, as an illustrator and as a person.  I’m very grateful.

“Several publishers approached me after the final MA exhibition in London and since then I have signed a two-book contract with Walker Books.  I’m thrilled and excited.”

Birgitta’s picturebook, Oliver, is an enchanting tale of a boy who feels different. Initially this and one other book will be published by Walker Books, with Oliver scheduled to be released in 2012.

Professor Martin Salisbury, Course Leader for the MA in Children’s Book Illustration, said:

“Birgitta has been an incredibly important member of the MA group over this last 18 months. On the MA Children’s Book Illustration programme the group dynamic is very important.

“Many others from this group have signed with publishers but Birgitta’s rich gift for visual storytelling sets her apart in the market.  She has worked hard to develop her particular narrative techniques that are powerful but quietly understated.”

Meanwhile, Anglia Ruskin has joined forces with Walker Books and its American counterpart, Candlewick Press, to create the Sebastian Walker Award, in memory of the company’s founder.

As well as a major cash prize, which will be awarded at the annual graduation exhibition, staff from Walker Books will make regular visits to Anglia Ruskin’s art studios in Cambridge and receive students at their Vauxhall offices.

“Since Sebastian founded Walker Books over 30 years ago, we have been known as the home of the best children’s picture books,”

said Helen McAleer, Managing Director of Walker Books.

“This award is a fitting tribute to Sebastian and also reflects Walker’s ongoing commitment to finding and developing new illustrating talent.  Just recently we were very excited to welcome Birgitta Sif to the Walker list – a former Cambridge School of Art student herself.”