The Golden Pinwheel Young Illustrators Competition and the Astra International Picture Book Writing Contest announce a strategic cooperation agreement and creation of a new prize – the Golden Pinwheel Astra Award. This is a unique joint award that leads to a collaboration between winners of the two contests. Designed to encourage, discover, and honor talented creators of picture books for children from all over the world, the Golden Pinwheel Astra Award has been established to foster innovation and excellence in books for young children and promote international cooperation and understanding through picture books.

The winner of the Golden Pinwheel Astra Award will receive a $5,000 (US) prize and the opportunity to sign a publishing contract to illustrate at least one of the winning manuscripts from the Astra International Picture Book Writing Contest. The cash award is separate from and independent of any subsequent publishing agreement with the sponsors.

The winner of the new Golden Pinwheel Astra Award will be chosen from the fifty finalists in the 2021 Golden Pinwheel Illustrator Competition. The latter competition is open free of charge to all illustrators, published or unpublished, ages 16 to 39, regardless of nationality. The competition closing date is June 28, 2021. The finalists will be announced in September 2021. All awards winners will be announced during the 9th Shanghai International Children's Book Fair, which will be held from November 19 – 21, 2021. Interested artists may submit materials at

About the Golden Pinwheel Illustrator Competition

Created in 2015, Golden Pinwheel has been providing a venue for emerging illustrators to showcase their talent. It aims to build bridges between them and children's publishers, both locally and globally. In so doing, it has given fresh life to China's children's book industry. Every year, an international jury formed by well-known publishing professionals of different backgrounds is tasked with determining the winners of the Golden Pinwheel Grand Awards (given respectively to a Chinese and an overseas illustrator) and Special Mentions. Supported by the Shanghai Press and Publication Administration, the competition has become one of the most eye-catching events organised by the Fair. In 2020, it received over 2,200 submissions from illustrators hailing from 77 countries and territories.

“The creation of the Golden Pinwheel Astra Award takes advantage of favorable conditions presented by today's global children's book publishing environment, and greatly enhances the value of both awards programs," says Donna Chai, General Manager of Ronbo BolognaFiere Shanghai Ltd, which organises the China Shanghai International Children's Book Fair. ‘Connecting talented young illustrators with award-winning storytellers will help bring more quality books to children from all over the world. The award will also be a significant tool to support and endorse the progress of emerging authors and illustrators.”

About the Astra International Picture Book Writing Contest

The Astra International Picture Book Writing Contest is a unique competition from Astra Publishing House US, minedition Switzerland, minedition France, and Thinkingdom China, which is open to children’s picture book writers, regardless of their publishing experience or country of residence. Designed to encourage, discover and honor talented writers of texts for picture books for children ages 3-8 from all over the world, the Astra International Picture Book Writing Contest has been created to foster literary excellence in books for young children and promote international cooperation and understanding through picture books. Contest entries may be submitted in English, Chinese, French, Spanish, or German. The contest submission period begins on annually in October and ends the following April; winners are announced the following October. Additional details about submissions may be found at

“I'm excited about this unique cooperative venture between the Astra and Golden Pinwheel Awards, which promises to bring together some of the world's most talented writers and illustrators,” says Leonard S. Marcus, contest jury president and Astra Editor at Large. "Who knows where the next great children's book writer or artist may be waiting to be discovered. This award is wide open to creators the world over."

About China Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair

Launched in 2013, China Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair (CCBF) has quickly become an important event for the global publishing industry. It is the only fair fully dedicated to books and specific contents for children aged from 0 to 16 in Asia Pacific. CCBF has thrived to accomplishing its motto—Embracing the Future. Not only is the fair a leading copyright hub for children’s books, but it is also a premium platform offering marketing solutions and crossover possibilities for a wide range of industries. CCBF plays an important role in promoting quality children’s literature and encourages reading culture among young children. Since 2018, it has entered into close cooperation with Bologna Children’s Book Fair (BCBF) organised by BolognaFiere. With a history of over 50 years, the BCBF is the largest children’s literature fair in the world. This exciting association also aims to better serve the current strategy of China’s publishing industry—disseminating original content worldwide and bringing the best international books to local readers—also known as the “go global, bring in” policy.

CCBF 2021 will take place on 19–21 November on the ground floor of the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Centre (SWEECC). The fair will cover 25,000 square metres, and we expect over 450 domestic and international exhibitors.

CCBF website: