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Silent Book Contest - Gianni De Conno Award: the 2021 finalists

Let's discover more about the stories and the authors of the 14 projects

  |   TOPICS: Awards
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 The Silent Book Contest - Gianni De Conno Award 2021 is the first international contest dedicated to books without words, now in its VIII edition. The Silent Book Contest competition invites authors and illustrators to think up and design a book conceived exclusively for the telling of a story through illustrated images, on any subject and intended for a wide and diverse section of the reading public, regardless of genre or age.

Among the books sent to the competition, an International Jury selected the finalists, announced and exhibited at the 2021 Bologna Children’s Book Fair Online Edition and at the Salone Internazionale del Libro of Turin. The author of the book project selected as winner by the International Jury will receive money prize of Euro 4.000 as advance for copyright with publishing agreement. The winning book project will be published by Carthusia Edizioni

the 2021 finalists

Violeta Gomez - Spain


What the adults do while waiting? They stare at walls, think about their problems, listen to music, check their phones… they get bored. They don’t pay attention to the little things that could be happening around them. However, a little girl waiting at the bus stop with her father, sees things very differently…

Sophie Fatus - France

La notte e la bambina

Sophie, after many years of sketches and projects for the contest, found the inspiration in her garden. The idea was born in autumn, while watching the season changing. “La notte e la bambina” is the story of a girl who takes part to the dance of the autumnal leaves.

 Masha Shebeko - Russia

Where is my home

A little hermit crab has to change its house and is looking for it on the shore. Perhaps he cannot find himself a new shell among the garbage. Luckily, with the help of some new friends, the little hermit crab will find a new home. Everyone can make the difference in making the world cleaner.

 Rita Nikiforova - Latvia

Light of life

This is Rita first book and the idea for it came intuitively, she wanted to draw something true and honest: like friendship. This is what the story is about: care and supporting each other, about people who bring light into our lives.

 Lisha Jiang - China

The lone traveler

Lisha took inspiration from an ancient Chinese poem “I raise my cup to invite the Moon who blends her light with my shadow and we’re three friends”. So she decided to portrait the moon as a person and to tell a story from her perspective.

 Agnes Bertothy - Hungary


Agnes’s story talks about something personal. “Lamella” is about school bullying because she experienced it in first person when she was younger. The feelings of the little girl are portrait metaphorically as a monster, growing in her slowly until explosion.

 Irene Guglielmi - Italy

Io sono Blu

Blu is the name of a bee, but unlike its friends of the hive, it isn’t yellow and black, but it’s blue. For this reason Blu has to face its diversity until it will find a place where to feel accepted.

 Anna Spreafico - Italy

Per tutta una vita

This a story about a family, in particular this is the story of the author’s grand parents. She wanted to tell their story by potraying their house, especially the living room and how it changed significantly year after years.

 There Rausch Potgieter - South Africa

All alone without a phone

The author says: “With the rise in smartphone usage, modern society is irretrievably glued to their phones. Having a two-and-a-half year old child of my own, I’ve come to realize how important is it to switch smartphones off on a regular basis”.

 Yao Jian - China

Mr. Tears-go-away

The idea for this character was born thinking of a friend of mine. His job is about solving people’s problems. The pressure of his work can make him sad and frustrated and the only relief is when he comes back home and spend time with his wife. This is the job of Mr. Tears-Go-Away, he absorbs people problem and bring them away.

 Deimantė Rybakovienė - Lithuania

Grains Feather

The idea for the adventure of this funny bird was born watching the picturesque countryside of Lithuania, the place where the author was born and currently living. The adventure of the bird, called Grain, is about several topics like individuality, solitude, imagination and many more…

 Desislava Georgieva - Bulgary

On silent waves

The author, who spent the COVID-19 lockdown isolated in her apartment in London, saw the drawing of a lighthouse in winter. This image made her think about the lonely life of the lighthouse keeper, so similar to the isolation that she was living and like many other people in the world due to the pandemic.

 Wang Pin Yi - China

The winter in the Northeast

This is the story of the winters of the author’s childhood, spent in her hometown in Northeast of China. The town is located at the feet of a big mountain, covered in snow. Playing there as a child seemed to her like a fairytale and a place where children cordially can communicate with the nature.

 Luca Cognolato, Silvia del Francia, Fabio Sardo - Italy

Matilde’s Backpack

This three authors designed a story about the ability of children to find treasure in the smallest little things but also the fatigue of detachment, of interrupting a relationship, even if temporarily.


Since 2018 the Silent Book Contest is dedicated to Gianni De Conno, its ideator and creator. An artist of great impact, one of the greatest illustrators of the Italian publishing scene, in which he operated a dense dreamlike vein sustained by an inclination to hyperrealism, a magical and surrealism, a sort of profoundly original creative oxymoron. Gianni De Conno was also a true “Grandmaster”, he illustrated and interpreted the world, he taught with passion and care, in this little and small editorial world, he made a lot of other extraordinary things in his work.

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