Call for Submissions: 2017 Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence Program

JFIR logo


IBBY Canada invites submissions from Canadian children’s book illustrators for the Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence program, for the month of October 2017, hosted at the Toronto Public Library Northern District Branch. Submissions are evaluated by a jury with expertise in children’s books and illustration. The submission deadline is Friday, April 28, 2017.

The Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence program is a joint project of IBBY Canada, Toronto Public Library, Edmonton Public Library, and the Canadian Urban Libraries Council. The program is funded by the family of Joanne Fitzgerald (1956–2011), whose books include Plain Noodles, Emily’s House, The Blue Hippopotamus and Doctor Kiss Says Yes (winner of the Governor General’s Award).  The Illustrator in Residence in previous years has been Martha Newbigging (2013 in Toronto), Patricia Storms (2014 in Toronto), John Martz (2015 in Toronto) and Dianna Bonder (2016 in Edmonton).

Overview of IBBY Canada’s Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence Program in 2017:

  • Held at Toronto Public Library Northern District Branch (at Yonge, north of Eglinton) from October 1 to 31, 2017
  • The illustrator leads art activities for classes of children, makes presentations to adults and students, and offers individual portfolio reviews
  • The illustrator’s original work is exhibited in the art gallery in the library
  • Remuneration of $4,000 provided to the illustrator, plus up to $300 for art supplies
  • Travel, accommodation and meals are the responsibility of the illustrator
  • The illustrator will provide about 20 to 25 programming hours per week, with some evening and possible weekend events

Requirements for illustrators:

  • Has illustrated four or more professionally-published children’s books, with publication of a new book expected within the next few years
  • Experienced in developing and delivering programs for kids, teens and adults
  • Is friendly and empathetic, with an understanding of the needs of aspiring artists
  • Has preparatory sketches and finished work that can be displayed in the library’s art gallery
  • Is available for the month of October 2017 (the illustrator is not scheduled on every day)
  • Is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident

Send submissions by Friday, April 28, 2017 to  Submissions must be a single attachment of a Word or PDF document that includes:

  • Your ideas for workshops and presentations for different audiences: school kids, adults, high school/college students (see Programming Guidelines on next page)
  • CV that includes your presentation experience and published books (include publisher and year)
  • Letters of reference (2) about your presentation experience

Programming Guidelines

The selected illustrator will lead the following types of workshops and presentations. We encourage illustrators to propose creative and engaging programming ideas, and also be open to suggestions from the library and IBBY Canada.

Workshops for Grades 2 to 6
Classes of about 30 kids from Grades 2 to 6 come to the library to participate in 90-minute workshops led by the illustrator; teachers are there to supervise the class. The workshops are scheduled in the morning and afternoon on 2 days of each week in October, about 15 workshops in total. Since a different class comes each time, workshop content can be similar/the same for all the classes, perhaps with modifications for different ages. Workshops must include a hands-on art activity, with everyone creating a piece (or group project) they take with them. The illustrator provides the art materials (costs of materials is reimbursed).  The workshop can also include short presentations with projected visuals such as PowerPoint, but most of the time should be spent on the hands-on art activities.

Adult presentations
Presentations for adults are 60 minutes, scheduled in the library on 1 evening of each week in October, about 5 adult presentations in total.  The content of each presentation should be different, since the same people often come back.  The focus should be on topics like getting started as an illustrator, work opportunities for illustrators, promoting illustration work, building a portfolio, and illustrating for publishers. Adult presentations should include projected visuals such as PowerPoint.  Hands-on art activities aren’t recommended for adult presentations.

Student presentations at high schools and colleges
High school presentations are held at the school or college, not in the library.  Presentations for student audiences can be similar to those for adults.  Presentations in schools are about 45 to 60 minutes long, depending on each school’s class schedules.

Portfolio reviews
Artists and art students can book individual 30-minute portfolio review meetings with the illustrator for feedback on the artwork they bring with them. Portfolio reviews are held in the library, on 1 evening of each week in October, with up to 6 portfolio reviews scheduled per evening.  A program coordinator books the portfolio reviews, and the illustrator receives an ongoing updated schedule.